Martin Block at PO Square 1913
By 1913 a business center was developing near the Taylor Falls Bridge at the intersection of Central and Main Streets, called Post Office Square. The Martin Block, as shown in today’s photo, was at the center of the activity. As one came across the bridge from Nashua the roadway branched: right took you up Central Street and past the Methodist/Episcopal Church (now The Community Church). If you kept to the left you were on Main Street; the Martin Block was at 1 Main Street. In 1913 Main Street was a short street extending from the bridge to the intersection with Derry Road where it’s name changed to Ferry Street.
The Martin Block and the building shown here dates to 1877. Mr. Elisha Z. Martin purchased the property and building about 1876. Shortly after the building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt by Mr. Martin the following year. After Mr. Martin’s passing in 1879, Mrs Martin married a Mr Sherman from Connecticut. Together they continued to make changes and improvements to the building.This site has a long history of being occupied by a grocery or general store. At the time of the fire it was the location of Nathan Webster’s store, and following reconstruction his business returned and continued until about 1892. George Andrews succeeded Mr. Webster and continued the business until his death in 1903. Mr Elijah Reed ran the business for about 1 year after which Mr Charles Daniels in partnership with Charles B. Gilbert took it over and continued until about 1925.
From the information on the reverse of this photo we know the following: In the left el was a barber shop along with Daniels and Gilbert Flour, Grain, and Grocery. Charles Daniels was the Postmaster at that time so the Post Office occupied a corner of the local grocery. On the extreme right was a blacksmith shop and horse barn, or livery. In the main building there were apartments. In 1913 property taxes were $98 and it cost $50 for insurance!
In the foreground we see the tracks for the street railway and overhead the electric wires which provided t power to the cars. On the right is an early street lamp.
This building remained until it was demolished in the 1960’s to make way for the Veterans Memorial Bridge and the access route onto that bridge. Changes occurred through the years. By 1928 it was owned by a Mrs. Jennie Connell and known as the Connell Block. The left side was washed away during the 1936 flood. The double dormers on the third floor were replaced with a single dormer. The livery and barn were removed from the right side and remodeled into a grocery store. As early as 1926 this side of the Connell Block was home to Sal’s Cash Market; with Harry Salvail as proprietor. By 1940 this was the location of the every popular 20th Century Store and owned by Phil Lamoy of Nashua. Business continued here until demolition when Mr. Lamoy moved his grocery in Hudson to the 20th Century Shopping Center on Derry Road.
My best guess for a present location of this site would be on Ferry Street just as you entered the northern span (Veterans Memorial Bridge) and part of the green space which lied between the access to that and the southern span (Taylor Falls Replacement Bridge). This photo is a recent addition to our collection at the Historical Society.
The first established post office in Hudson was at Hudson Center. The Postmaster, Reuben Greeley, used this ell attached to the west side of his house for the Post Office. This 1960 photo shows the back side of the ell from the field located at what is now 230 Central Street; the 7-11 Convenience Store. Reuben served as postmaster from 1818 until 1829 and then again from 1849 until 1853 after which the Hudson Post Office was moved to the bridge area. This ell was a part of the Greeley/Wentworth property when purchased by the Baptist Church in 1962. A few years later the large section was removed for safety reasons and the remainder configured into a garage. This garage has since been removed also. From 1876 until 1910 the Hudson Center Post Office was located in the Railroad Depot. So, for a period of 34 years the town of Hudson had two post offices; one at the bridge ad one at the center. This photograph is used here by permission of Hastings House Publisher the publisher of “The New England Image” by Samuel Chamberlain.
This is among my favorite pictures! A view of Central Street from Post Office Square at the bridge c1900. On the hill we see the Baker Brothers Store, Cumming Brother’s Shop, and the Methodist Church (now the Community Church). In the fore ground to the left we see the watering fountain. Walking across the square are pedestrians coming and going to the waiting station for the electric trolley. If you look carefully you can see the electric tracks coming from Nashua and up Central, out Webster, and Ferry Streets. From this square one could take public transportation to Nashua as well as down Webster Street to Manchester; up Ferry Street to Hudson Center and on to Salem; and up Central Street to Lowell Road and on to Dracut and Lowell. The waiting station and ticket office is off the picture to our right. In 1853 the location of the Hudson Post Office was moved from Hudson Center to the bridge area and was located at first in the Greeley Store Building. As time progressed, the location would shift from that site to the Baker Brothers Store depending upon who was appointed Post Master. Photo from the Historical Society collection.
The expression “Go to the post office for a dozen eggs” was a common one during years of our town history when the Post Office was co-located within a grocery business. Charles Daniels took over this business site in 1903 and was appointed Postmaster, a position he held until 1921. Soon after 1903 he was joined in partnership with Charles Gilbert and together they operated a successful grain and grocery business for many years. The post office remained here until 1921 when it was moved into the Morey Building. This location previously known as the Greeley Store Building, was rebuilt by owner Elisha Martin in 1877 following a fire the previous year. This circa 1920 picture is one of a number of post cards of Hudson printed and sold by Daniels and Gilbert. From the Historical Society Collection.
The Hudson Post Office moved into the Morey Building in 1923 and remained here until the building was remodeled. This building, owned by Henry Morey, was located on Ferry Street just above the intersection with Webster Street. In addition to the Post Office, this building was the location of The 20th Century Store, a barber shop, a shoe repair shop, and a second hand store. In 1948 the building was remodeled by Henry’s son, Ernest. While the Post Office was in this location Mrs. Anna Clyde served as Post Master until 1936 at which time Paul Richard was appointed and Mrs. Clyde served as his assistant. This photo was taken in 1946 and is from the collection at the Hudson Historical Society.
In the spring of 1947 the Hudson Post Office was the center of a controversy. A plan to consolidate Hudson service into the Nashua office was being considered by the Postal Department. Town officials and approximately 1,000 Hudson residents submitted a 30 foot long petition expressing the need for and confidence in the existing Hudson Post Office. The decision was made to not only retain but to enlarge the office. The Morey Building on Ferry Street, just above the intersection with Webster Street, was remodeled under the supervision of owner Ernest Morey. The result was this two storey, brick veneer building. The new Post Office occupied 1/2 of the first floor; the remainder was rented out to Trombley’s Shoe Repair. The second floor provided a small number of apartments. This was the location of our Post Office from 1948 until 1959 when town growth required the move to 15 Derry Street. Those serving as Post Master during this time were Paul Richards and Roger Boucher. This building was demolished during bridge and road construction in the late 1960’s. Photo from the Historical Society Collection.
Remember when all services of the US Post Office in Hudson were located in a single building located at the corner of Derry and Highland Streets? By the late 1950’s growth of our town was reflected in the increased demands on postal services; revenues had increased from $10,000 in 1949 to $39,000 in 1959. This building on 15 Derry Street was dedicated as the new US Post Office in Hudson on March 28, 1959. Those serving as Postmaster at this location were Roger L. Boucher, Clayton E. Smith, and Gerald Winslow. By 1976 postal revenues had exploded to $341,490. About 1986 the service locations were moved to 36 Executive Drive and 77 Derry Road. The Derry Street building was re-purposed for commercial uses and is now the home of Showtime Computers. Tune in next week to see where the Post Office was located before 1959! Photo from the Historical Society Collection.