As you were growing up did you have a favorite picnic spot? Living on a farm near Robinson Pond we, as a family, would often pack a picnic lunch on Sundays, then after church take a short “road trip” for a picnic,relaxation and play before returning home in time for evening chores. We often visited Butterfield Rock in Windham, the shore line of Robinson Pond near the sawmill (now Sawdust Island) or, when gas was unavailable, hike to the top of the hill above our farmhouse and picnic at our family picnic table.
Early on I was not aware of picnic spots in other parts of town. Later, as I became active in the Historical Society I listened to Natalie Merrill as she reminisced about one of their favorite spots, “Camels Hump” – a natural formation, near a brook, and close to the Merrimack River. Local residents in the bridge section of Hudson would visit this spot for an outing. I did not remember anything about it’s location.
I heard and read about Tarnic Brook, Melendy Brook, and First Brook. Gradually I learned by reading, listening, and looking at maps that these were just different names for the same brook! It drained from Tarnic Pond into Melendy Pond (with help from a dam) and from there it meandered past Lowell Road and on to the Merrimack River just south of the right of way for the steam railroad tracks. The information on “Camels Hump” came together for me a few years back as I was browsing through an old scrapbook which had been donated to the Historical Society. The following details on “Camels Hump” are taken from an undated and unidentified newspaper article.
One of the prettiest spots in this vicinity for a day’s or a few hours’ outing is the Camel’s Hump. Located just southeast of the railroad bridge in Hudson. The brook that winds through the dell is as crooked as the imagination would desire, with its clear sparkling water flowing over rocks and smoothly flowing over shallow sands. In this area the grass grows just high enough for a clean grassy carpet. The smell of the pine needles gives one a generous appetite. The place known as “Camels Hump” has the most beautiful mingling of dell, meadow, and hills with cooling shade. As nice as this place is, few know of its of location and rare beauty.
First Brook flows into the Merrimack River a short distance south of the right of way(row) for the former railroad, now the southern section of Merrill Park. To get to this park turn onto Maple Avenue from Central Street; Merrill Park is located at the end of the street toward the river. The entrance to the park is the old right of way for the railroad. From a June 1981 map of the proposed Merrill Park we see that the park includes this town owned row plus two land parcels once owned by the Merrill/Nutting Family; a 6 +/- acre parcel north of the row and a 2 3/4 +/- acre parcel to the south which includes most of First Brook as it flows into the river.
In today’s busy and fast paced times picnics have morphed into brown bag lunches, take out meals, or back yard barbecues. When was the last time a picnic became became a destination event as opposed to a matter of convenience? This Post Card of Camel’s Hump is part of the Historical Society collection. It was published by Daniels and Gilbert of the Hudson Bridge area.