In March 1970 the State of NH identified land frontage and specific properties to be taken for bridge access along Ferry Street. Many residents remember those times and the major impact the demolition and reconstruction had on Ferry Street. We have already discussed the destruction of the 20th Century complex and that of the White Cross Superstore on the opposite (south) side of Ferry Street at Post Office Square. Today we look at the impact on the north side of Ferry Street up to Library Street. Three properties from the intersection of Ferry and Webster Streets to Carl’s Esso were taken by the state: the Morey Building, a Dry Cleaning shop, and Chick n’ Chips. Also frontage was taken from the Esso station to Library Street. The intersection of Baker Street onto Ferry Street was eliminated and Baker became a dead street. Frontage, including 26 shade trees, was removed from Library Park. Initially it was thought that the old ‘trolley stop’ would also be demolished; but, in the final planning it was saved.
The Morey Building was an important part of the business center of Hudson about 1923 when it became the site of the Hudson Post Office. This building was also the initial location of the 20th Century Store, a shoe repair shop, and a second hand shop. It was remodeled in 1948 into a 2 storey brick veneer building. The Post Office occupied 1/2 of the first floor. The rest of the first floor was rented to Trombley’s shoe repair. The second floor provided residential apartments. The Post Office remained at this location until 1959 when town growth required expansion of office space and parking. A new Post Office was built at 15 Derry Street.
In April 1926 Ray House contracted with Osgood Construction Company of Nashua to build a 2 stall garage type building on Ferry Street; he then leased space, including office space, to the town of Hudson for a Fire/Police Station. This served as our fire station until after WWII when it was expanded to a 4 stall station. In addition to the Police/Fire station this was home to Ferry Street Garage, Chevy Sales and Service, and Hudson Cab. As town growth continued plans were made to build a town owned station on town land. The Central Fire Station (now Leonard Smith Station) was completed about 1953.
Once the Post Office, Fire and Police Departments removed from the area these building were used for various commercial purposes and residential apartments until their demolition in 1970. The Nashua Trust Bank used space in the Morey building for a temporary Hudson Office in 1964. At time these buildings were home to Chicken ‘n Chips, a cleaning establishment, a donut shop, and residential apartments.
Driving on Ferry Street today heading toward the bridge into Nashua, there is no evidence of these buildings; in fact one wonders how there was even enough room for this complex to exist! The only possible reminder of the old roadway is the dead end of Baker Street.
We continue to revisit places to eat in Hudson through the years. This week we travel to Hudson Center for a fried clam dinner followed by ice cream and a round of miniature golf for desert!!
In the late 1940’s traffic along the Route 111 corridor known as Central Street in Hudson Center was on the increase. This was the result of the popularity of Benson’s Wild Animal Farm as well as the convenience of automobile travel for business and pleasure. Businesses were beginning to open up or relocate to this section of the highway. One of these that holds a permanent place in our memories is “The Meadows”, a seafood restaurant.
In September 1947 John Wollen, founder and long time owner of The Meadows, purchased about 20 acres on the east side of Central Street from Perley B. and Clara E. Smith. The Smith’s lived in the area and Perley operated a Cider Mill just a few lots south towards Belknap Road. By the spring and summer of 1949 The Meadows opened for business and soon became a popular eating place for the locals as well as the tourists visiting Benson’s. Their menu included fried clams, haddock, scallops, and sandwiches along with onion rings, french fries, and cold slaw. A soda fountain was added for drinks and ice cream based deserts. In 1962 a miniature golf course and a shuffle board court were added just north of the restaurant and near the meadow around Merrill Brook.
John Wollen was born in Hudson and educated in Nashua Schools. He was the founder and owner of Meadows until a short time prior to his passing in November 1985. He also operated the McNulty and Foley catering and function hall when it was located on Amherst Street in Nashua.
The Meadows was destroyed by fire on November 23,1992 after business was closed for the day. A neighbor across Central Street noticed the flames and called the fire department. The fire was fought by the Hudson department with assistance from Londonderry, Windham, Nashua, and Litchfield. At the time the building was owned by Arthur Bursey of Manchester and the restaurant operated by George Apostolopoulas of Wilmington, MA. The Meadows did not re-open following the fire.
Many Hudson residents remember Berk and Son Farm Stand and Scott’s Wood craft which operated on the northern end of The Meadows parking lot adjacent to Merrill Brook. Little remains of The Meadows except our own memories of the delicious seafood and the summer evenings playing miniature golf. The 20 plus acres with 500 feet of frontage onto Central Street which Mr Wollen purchased in 1947 has been idle for many years and is on the commercial real estate market.
Today’s photo of “The Meadows” was taken about 1975 at the time of the preparation of “The Town In Transition” an update to Hudson’s History.