By 1911 the Hudson bridge area had become an attractive and growing community. The iron bridge connecting the villages of Hudson and Nashua was recently replaced by a concrete bridge. This bridge was sturdy and wide enough to accommodate vehicular traffic plus the increased traffic from the electric street railroad. Once the street railroad or “trolley” crossed into Hudson the line split to provide service in three directions: up Central Street to and down Lowell Road to Lakeview and on to Lowell; a second line went up Ferry Street on to Hudson Center and then to Pelham; a third made a sharp turn onto Webster Street and on to Litchfield, Goffstown, and Manchester.
In addition to the improved roadways and and trolley service a business and shopping area was developing which included the post office, fire and police a new public school named for Kimball Webster. Just a few years earlier the town received the gift of permanent public library donated by Dr. Alfred K. Hills in memory of his wife Ida Virginia. Also, across the way from the library was a public park which included a convenient waiting station for the trolley line on Ferry Street.
This was the community which attracted 54 year old George H. and 52 year old Harriett “Hattie” Skeels. They selected a lot on the corner of Ferry and First Streets from John A. Robinson in November 1911. Ten months later their new home was completed and they moved in a few weeks later on October 12, 1912. Our first photo shows Mr and Mrs Skeels on the porch of their new home and their young daugter, Myrtle, at the walkway. To the right and down the hill is the Hills Memorial Library. This photo is from a post card of the private collection of Gerry Winslow.
George was born Feb 1868 in St. Lawrence, NY and Harriet Furman was born in 1870. They were married in 1892 most likely in NY. By 1900 they were established in the Nashua community. He was employed as a brakeman for the B&M Railroad and belonged to fraternal orders including Masons, IOOF, and the Brotherhood of Trainmen. Both George and Harriet were leaders in Christian Endeaver in Nashua. He often ministered to his fellow employees. With the convenience of transportation a move to Hudson would be a relatively easy transition for Mr and Mrs. Skeels.
Their life together in the new Hudson home would be short lived. On November 23, 1917 George passed away due to traumatic shock resulting from a railroad accident. He died instantly. Funeral services were from his home in Hudson. He was laid to rest in the family plot in Woodlawn Cemetery. His father, Herman H. Skeels had predeceased him in 1916. His parents had moved to Nashua about the same time as George and Harriet, Aside from his widow, Harriet, he was survived by his mother and Little Myrtle. This is the only mention, other than the young girl in the photo, of Young Myrtle. He was remembered as a friend of all – an enemy of none.
Harriet continued to reside in her Hudson home and continued her social and christian crusade activities in Nashua. I have no further information on Myrtle.
In June 1940 Harriett, widow of George Skeels, married Clarence Paige of Manchester. Following their wedding trip they resided in Manchester. In July 1942 Harriett Paige sold her Hudson home to Mr and Mrs Carroll Morse. In June 1948 Harriett (Furman)(Skeels) Paige of Mancheser, a well known former resident of Nashua and Hudson passed. She was laid to rest with hr first husband George in Woodlawn Cemetery.
From 1948 to the present time, some 70 years, the house at 57 Ferry Street has been home to 12 different owners; including Francis and Florence Fairfield and their family. Many remember Francis from service as a window and distribution clerk in our Hudson Post Office and Florence “Ginger” for her hairdressing salon.
The present owners are Jaqueline Martone and Michael Euliano. Although they have lived here only a short time they love the house and appreciate the maintence and upkeep by the previous owners. The second photo taken C1945 is complements of “Jackie” Martone. It shows the garage which is at the rear of the house and faces First Street.