The construction of the Veterans Memorial bridge in the late 1960’s and the Taylor Falls Replacement bridge in the early 1970’s completely altered the landscape of and virtually ‘wiped out’ what many Hudson residents knew of as the business center of Hudson. This week we look at how this construction affected one of Hudson’s landmarks, the 20th Century Store.
The 20th Century Building “at the bridge” on the corner of Ferry and Webster Streets dated to 1877. Mr. Elisha Z. Martin purchased the property (land and building) about 1876. Shortly after that the building was destroyed by fire and he rebuilt it the following year. After he passed 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 in 1876 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.
Changes occurred through the years. By 1928 it was owned by Mrs. Jennie Connell and known as the Connell Block. The left side was washed away during the 1936 flood. The livery and barn were removed from the right side and remodeled into a grocery store. As early as 1926 the right 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 20th Century Store and building which was owned by Phil Lamoy of Nashua.
The problem of adequate and safe travel over the Merrimack River between Hudson and Nashua came to a head in 1960. Hudson’s population was approaching 6,000 and expected to be near 11,000 by 1970! A comparable increase in Nashua’s growth was also expected. The State of New Hampshire commissioned the consulting engineering firm of Bruce Campbell of Boston to study the already heavy traffic situation and make recommendations. The resulting report, published at the end of 1960, kicked off a controversy which would span more than 10 years. This report made two recommendations. The first that a new, two lane bridge be built about 350 feet north of the Taylor Falls Bridge. This bridge would be used for traffic traveling westward into Nashua. The concrete Taylor Falls bridge would be retained for eastward bound traffic from Nashua. The second recommendation was that in the 1975-1980 time frame a circumferential belt highway be built be built to further ease the flow of traffic!!
This report stimulated much discussion between the two communities and the state. We could not agree on where to place the new bridge and the corresponding access roads. The initial plan was rejected. Another idea was a new span to the south, crossing the river about where the B+M bridge abutments exist. A third was to place the new bridge just north of the Taylor Falls bridge with traffic ovals on each side of the bridge for access/egress. 1966 became the year of compromise.
In March 1967 voters of Hudson agreed on a plan. This was followed by agreement by the Board of Aldermen in Nashua. By October 1967 the State issued this map showing the proposed bridge and approaches at Taylor’s Falls between Nashua and Hudson as shown. Access to the proposed bridge would go through the 20th Century Building and eliminate part of Webster Street. This plan did include a rotary on the Hudson side; which was later eliminated with plans to extend Chase Street from School Street to Ferry. With all of these discussions taking so long to resolve; traffic flow on the existing concrete bridge was increasing and the bridge was deteriorating.
In September 1968 it became necessary to make repairs to the concrete bridge to shore it up and prolong it’s life. The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic. Foot traffic (and bicycle) were permitted. Vehicle traffic was detoured to the bridge at Tyngsborough or Manchester to the north. Residents on both sides of the river would team up with neighbors and have two cars; one on each side of the bridge.
In the spring of 1969 the state relocation assistant expressed concern over the re-location of some 37 Hudson falmilies resulting from bridge construction. Many of these were families of 1 or 2 people living in apartments in the 20th Century Complex. The average rent paid by these families for a three room apartment was $16 per week. Comparable housing for a comparable amount of money did not exist in Hudson. The closest they could get for decent and safe conditions were going for $25 per week; over a 50% increase. The zoning ordinances of Hudson encouraged the construction of better homes without considering the needs of low cost housing.
By June 1969 the state offered $158,000 for the 20th building including the 20th century market. $38,000 for the purchase of a building on Webster Street, adjacent to the 20th Century which was used as a laundromat.
Construction was awarded to Cianchette Brothers of Maine and work on the new bridge began in July 1969 with forms for the first pier on the Nashua side by the construction The bridge was slated for completion September 1970. Meanwhile the Taylor Falls bridge to the south continues to be the work horse for traffic between the two communities.
In October 1969 we would see the end of the 20th Century store at the bridge in Hudson. On October 8 there was the ‘Sale of the Century”; designed to empty the store of all items as the building was scheduled for demolision within a few days. A new store at the 20th Century Shopping Center (now 102 Plaza) on the Derry Road was being readied. The “Welcome to Hudson, NH” sign which sat atop the building was removed. In less than two weeks the 20th Century building was gone.
September 1970 the Veterans Memorial Bridge opened for two-way traffic. State and local officials were present on September 16 for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Mrs. Georgianna Manter, a 99 year old resident of Londonderry was given the honor of cutting the ribbon. She had outlived all previous bridges. She had driven a horse and buggy over the wooden bridge and driven an auto over each of the later bridges. Finally our traffic needs no long depended on the old, crumbling concrete bridge.
The farm fields of the Frank Winn farm stretched between what is now Winn Avenue and Winnhaven Drive at Lowell Road. Development included apartment buildings, candlepin bowing lanes, banks, and restaurants. Of particular interest to those familiar with Hudson is the series of restaurants which have existed at 49 Lowell Road. By my count there have been 10 different restaurants at this location since 1964. They are: Winstead, Hayward Farms, Pizza by Giovanni, Straw Hat, Primo’s, Ziggy’s, Stevie P’s, Yaght Club, Charmans, and SOHO. Did I miss any?
This week we visit the homestead of Frank Almon and Effie May (Wyeth) Winn on Lowell Road. Frank moved to Hudson from Pelham with his parents, Franklin A. and Lizzie Winn, about 1883 when he was 8 years old. His family purchased a farm of over 70 acres which stretched from Lowell Road to the river. Across one part of the farm was a large brook which traveled through fields and woods, making it’s course through the rocky gorge to the river. This is where Frank played, grew, and worked with his family. By today’s landmarks, this farm includes most, if not all of , the land between Winn Avenue and Winnhaven Drive (between 35 and 49 Lowell Road) and extending westward to the river. Between these roads and adjacent to Lowell Road was a large tilled field for growing vegetables for market. The family home with the large attached barn was located at what is now 1 Winn Avenue and faced this field. On December 24, 1958 the barn was destroyed by a spectacular fire. The fire fighters were able to save the house.
As a young man Frank made his way across the United States, but he soon returned to his home here in Hudson. Along with his parents, he tilled the farm fields all his life. In due time he came into possession of the farm. In September 1915 he and Effie May Wyeth were married; and it is here that they raised their family. Frank was a tireless worker with both his hands and his head. He not only knew about agriculture, he also knew about the wider world of business and economics.
Effie May was born in Nashua, May 1886, and educated in Nashua schools and Keene Normal School. Prior to their marriage in 1915, she taught school in Nashua. She later did substitute teaching in Hudson, Pelham, Merrimack, and Nashua. Frank and Effie May raised a family of 3 girls; Lillian Emma (b: about 1918), Effie May (b: about 1921) and Frances (b: about 1923).
Frank passed in September 1935, at the early age of 60; Effie May and her daughters continued to live at the homestead. By the end of 1942 all three daughters were married. Lilliam Emma was married to Walter Schindler; Effie May married Clayton Oban; and Frances Stebbins married Alton Drown. Mrs. Winn, Effie May, was a resident of Hudson most of her 97 years. She passed in 1983 at the home of her daughter Frances (Drown) Hosmer, with whom she had lived for a few years. Many Hudson residents remember Effie May; particularly with her involvement with the Hudson Fortnightly Club for over 50 years.
As time advanced and the land usage changed, the Frank A. Winn farm was developed. At first with the apartments and residential buildings in wooded area and adjacent to the river. Later the farm field between Winn Avenue and Winnhaven Drive were developed. The earliest development occurred in 1963 with the construction of LNL Bowl at what is now 8 Winn Avenue. Named for the three owners: Earl Libby, Leon Noel, and Adrien Labrie; LNL bowl offered candlepin bowling lanes, a sport unique to New England, The lanes operated until 1978. By 1979 this site became the home of Dessault Engineering Associates. It is now home to Opti-Sciences.
By 1964 construction began for the first of many restaurants to operate at 49 Lowell Road, likely owned by members of the Winn Family. The Winstead Restaurant began operation in 1965. By 1969 this was the site of Hayward Farms Restaurant. Over the succeeding years a number of restaurants were located here. From what I can piece together the list is as follows: 1972 – Pizza by Giovanni; 1980 Straw Hat Restaurant; 1984 Primo’s. Following Primo’s there were Ziggy’s, Stevie P’s, Yaght Club, Charman’s, and presently SOHO.
Construction for Nashua Federal Savings and Loan at 45 Lowell Road began in 1979. A bank has remained at this site; becoming Bank of America and more recently Enterprise Bank.
This home at 190 Central Street on the corner with Burnham Road was built by the McCoy Brothers, Herman, Elgin, and Daniel, about 1948. Prior to that time the land was a part of the James McCoy Homestead. When James passed in 1915 his home at 192 Central was passed to Herman McCoy. Later, in 1948, Herman transferred a smail lot to a brother, Herbert, and the McCoy brothers built the house.
After The McCoys the first occupant of this home was Mr and Mrs. Joseph Lantagne from Chelmsford, MA in 1949. The Lantagnes sold the home to the next owners, Chester and Gladys Bradlee. Chester worked for the the railroad in the mail car. He and Gladys had three children, Alan, Leslie, and Ellen. There was an older son Jimmy by a previous marriage. By 1954 the Bradlee family moved to Derry Road, where Jimmy passed away. After this the Bradlee family moved to Newburyport, MA. This Derry Road home is no longer there as it was torn down to make way for a commercial building.
In 1954 Robert Allen Sr and his wife Violet (Doherty) Andrew purchased the home on 190 Central from the Bradlee family. At the time of the purchase they were living at 6 Library Street in Hudson and Robert (Bob) was a machinist working at OK Tool in Milford, NH. After moving to Central Street Bob and Violet later establish Robert A. Andrew Real Estate. For this purpose Bob purchased a narrow strip of land from his neighbor Merrill Ives. Merrill Ives was the son-in-law of Herman and Ethel McCoy. This land was used for a second driveway and parking area for the real estate business.
Robert and Violet’s family consisted of a daughter Doris and a son Robert, Jr. Doris was born in January 1927; she married Henry (Hank) Nixon. Hank had a military Career and after leaving the service sold real estate for MacRitchie Realty. Hank passed in 1980 and Doris in 2006; they are buried in the Andrew’s lot in Westview Cemetery. Robert Jr. was born in April 1934; he married Mary S. Graves and the couple celebrated 60 years of marriage. He passed away in Northwood, NH in July 2015.
Violet passed in May 1967. Following her death Bob married Dorothy (Bresnahan) Beland. This couple purchased a home on Griffin Road in Hudson; however Bob did not sell the Central Street home. The couple divorced and Bob returned to his home on Central Street. Bob married Marion Dingle in 1973 and they lived at 190 Central Street until he passed in March 1983. They are buried in the family lot in Westview. Both Violet and Bob were members of the Nashua Board of Realtors.
By will the property passed to Robert Jr. In 1984 it was sold to Richard and Terry Jean. It is presently owned by Paul and Diane Goulet as a two family home with two driveways. The drive for the right side exits onto Central Street; the one for the left exits onto Burnham Road.
The first photo of 190 Central was taken C 1958 when the real estate office was first established. This photo was taken from the Burnham Road side.The second photo, taken from Central Street, shows us the same building C 2017 as a two family home. Thanks to Carol Flewelling for sharing her Doherty family history and to Don Smith for his research on the families of 190 Central.
In reality the Jasper Farm Stand on Derry Road, opposite Connies, was not a restaurant. The stand did offer B B Q chicken, dairy products, and farm fresh eggs! A place which few of us remember!!
By the late 1950’s the State of New Hampshire had re-routed Route 102 (Derry Road) just north of the Hills House to proceed north through parts of Litchfield, then back into Hudson, then forward to Londonderry and Derry. Before that time Route 102 followed what is now Old Derry Road; past Jasper Farms, Nadeau Farm, the Hudson speedway and on to Londonderry and Derry. This new highway removed much of the traffic from Old Derry Road; at the same time the new highway created business and retail opportunities on previously undeveloped land.
In March 1960 Jasper Farms under the management of Robert Jasper purchased 5 1/4 acres of land on the new highway opposite what is now Connie’s Plaza. Shortly after, in an effort to expand local retail presence and take advantage of the new highway, Jasper Farms open their farm stand at what is now 296 Derry Road. By looking at our first photo we see one could purchase farm fresh eggs, Bar B Q chicken, ready to cook chicken, as well as some Hoods dairy products.
This retail store did not survive for long. By June 1968 the 5 1/4 acre parcel was sold to Bernie and Phyllis McArdle. Bernie established his Home Decorating Center where he sold wallpaper, paint, and provided paint contracting services.
As time went on the property was subdivided and the building expanded to accommodate two businesses. The building has been used for R + S Supply by Bob St Onge, K + M Trailer Sales by The Kierstead Family, and One Stop Auto Parts. By February 1981 it was purchased by Gerald Desrocher for D’s Auto Body; a business which continues to this day under the management of his son, Scott.
Our first photo is compliments of the Jasper Family and the second was taken by the author. Both photos are part of the Historical Society Collection.
My interest in the June Arbor Tea Room started when the society received some 1931 photos from Gayle Zelonis of a family event which occurred at the tea room. Along with the photos came the question: “Where Was It Located”? This led to research using city directories (1928-1934), census records, vital records, Registry of Deeds, cemetery records, and old editions of The Nashua Telegraph, The results give us this week’s story!
The June Arbor Tea Room was operated for just a few years around 1931 by Mrs. June W. Taylor at her residence on Central Street . She offered receptions for weddings, anniversaries, etc. as well as serving meals for organizations which scheduled their meetings at the tea room. One such organization was the Giddings Fellowship, the Men’s group of the Hudson Community Church. Edna June Wallace was born in Nashua about 1880, her parents were Alonzo Stewart and Mary F. (Maynard) Wallace. She married John Taylor, a native of VT, in November 1909. By 1920 they had divorced. June and her 6 year old son Wallace made their home with her parents in Nashua and later with them in Hudson.
Alonzo Stewart Wallace was born in Bristol, ME, a son of David and Margaret Wallace. He was a self made man in every sense of the word. His early education was from district school and later the high school in Bristol. After that he attended Lincoln Academy at New Castle, ME. For this education he walked 10 miles from his home on Monday and returned home on Friday. He took with him food for the five days. During the summer months, to help with family expenses, he took to the sea as a sailor.
After graduation from the academy he taught at the Maine Conference Seminary; holding a number of positions from teacher, to principal, and superintendent. As he had an interest in anatomy he studied at and received his medical degree from Dartmouth College in 1874. He married Mary F. Maynard in 1876 and they moved to Nashua, NH in 1888 where he began a 35 year medical career; retiring from active practice to his home in Hudson about 1923.
Dr. Wallace passed away at his home in Hudson April 1930, he was 83 years of age; his wife Mary had pre-deceased him by about 1 year. He had been a member of many organizations and medical societies. He had an active role in establishing Nashua Memorial Hospital. At the time of his passing he was survived by two daughters and a son. His daughter Edith M. Wallace was engaged in biological research in CA; his son Dr. Arthur Wallace was a physician in Nashua; and daughter Mrs. June Taylor of Hudson with whom he made his home.
The Wallace home on Central Street in Hudson was purchased by Mrs. Mary F. Wallace in October 1923 from Rufus Winn; a portion of the property Rufus received from his father John about 1876. The house was likely built about 1910. After her parents had passed, June W. Taylor and her family continued to live there Until June 1937. At that time June and her sister Edith sold the property to Paul and Isabel Hill. In December 1955 the property was sold to Leo and Janice Bergeron. The Bergerons owned the property only a few years; transferring it in August 1957 to her aunt, Mrs. Maude Priske.
Maude Harwood was born October 1884 in Nashua, a daughter to Walter J. and Thea (Hanson) Harwood. She had been a Hudson resident since her early childhood. Maude graduated from Nashua High in 1905 and then from the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing in 1908. She received further training in maternity care at a New York hospital and in physiotherapy at Harvard Medical School. In June 1911 Maude Harwood married John Priske in Hudson; but, after 20 plus years of marriage they divorced.
Maude Priske was a pioneer in the field of public health. She was the first school nurse in this state for rural communities which included Litchfield, Pelham, Hudson, Hollis, Milford, and Merrimack. She served as a school nurse until 1921 when she joined the Nashua Community Council to supervise the nursing phase of this new organization. She retired from the council in 1953. Following her retirement she operated an antique shop, “The Liddens”, in Hudson. Initially this was located at her summer residence on Wason Road; her winter residence being on Chase Street. She purchased the 59 Central Street home from her niece and husband, Leo and Janice Bergeron in 1955. She moved her antique shop “The Liddens” to her new home. Here she enjoyed her hobbies of antiques, rug hooking, cooking, and helping others. Maude (Harwood) Priske passed July 1974 and is buried in the Harwood lot at Sunnyside Cemetery on Central Street.
Since 1975 when the 59 Central Street home was sold by Maude’s estate to Gordon Tate, the property has been owned by Maurice and Evelyn Viens, Robert and Dianne Haywood, and is now a three family residence owned byClegg Real Estate.
These 1931 photos of the Tea Room are a part of the collection of the Historical Society; a donation from Gayle Zelonis. The first photo shows the front of the June Arbor Tea Room from across Central Street. The second is taken from the side and shows the back of the building and lawn area.
Let’s meet at Connie’s!! A widely popular spot for Hudson and Litchfield folks is shown in this 1977 photo. As you enter the building you had Connie’s Country Store and Restaurant on your right and the Garden Center and Green House on the left. By the late 1950’s the State of New Hampshire re-routed Route 102 (Derry Road), just north of the Hills House, to proceed north through parts of Litchfield, then back into Hudson, then forward to Londonderry and Derry. Before this time Route 102 followed the route of what is now Old Derry Road. The construction of this New Derry Highway extended traffic onto much previously undeveloped land in Litchfield and Hudson.
In 1959 Connie and Amadee “Midee” Desmarais purchased property at the corner of Derry and Cutler Roads and went into business. In the early years they had a fruit and vegetable stand and soon expanded to include a variety of products, food, and services. In 1965 fire destroyed the Desmarais home and business. Connie’s was rebuilt as shown in this week’s photo.
The Desmarais family operated Connie’s for over 25 years until 1985 when they considered retirement and sold the business; only to be ‘called’ out of retirement. This occured not just once, but twice!! They finally sold again in 2002.
Still known to some as Connie’s Plaza this site at 297 Derry Road is now home to Rocco’s Pizza, Klemm’s Bakery, Findeisen’s Ice Cream, Second Look Consignment, Rhino Tax preparer, and Moonlight nails. Photo from the Historical Society Collection.
In 1960 as you traveled eastward from Nashua into Hudson on the concrete Taylor Falls Bridge you would have the impression you had entered a blighted and economically depressed area. The bridge itself was sagging and straining the reinforcements. The load limit was reduced to prolong it’s life. You entered the Hudson business district. The businesses included a large chain grocery supermarket, a combined variety and pharmacy, two small restaurants, several small businesses, a multitude of rental apartments buildings, and a number of single family homes. The area was dominated by wooden structures dating back a century or more. As the future of this area had been in limbo due to the prolonged planning for a new bridge, many of these buildings were in need of repair.
Once the bridge plans became clear the “revitalization” of the bridge area began. Demolition of buildings was done by both private (business) and public enterprises. Some properties were purchased by the state for the bridge itself or for access roads to the bridge. Private enterprises purchased older properties with the vision of a commercial opportunity once the bridge project was completed. This “revitalization” began in 1964 and by 1970 all of the old landmarks had fallen to the bulldozer. With new bridges and access routes the area had the appearance of a growing and progressive community.
One such home which disappeared from the landscape was this victorian home on Ferry Street near the intersection with Baker Street. Yes! Baker Street did flow into Ferry Street near the intersection of Derry and Ferry. This fine Victorian home was built in 1887 by George Gilman Andrews on land he had previousiy purchased from Kimball Webster. Our first photo shows the Andrews House from the side. Ferry Street is on the left.
A Hudson native, George Gilman was born tin 1847 to Gilman and Sophia J. (Senter) Andrews . Their family homestead was located at what is now 53 Old Derry Road. George and Anabel Follansbee of Manchester were married in 1870. They had one daughter, Maude, born 1871. George was one of Hudson’s more prominent businessmen; postmaster, merchant, former town clerk, selectman, and representative. He succeeded Nathan Webster in the operation of his store in Post Office Square.
On Sunday afternoon September 7, 1903 George and Anabel were passengers on an electric car (trolley) making a return trip from Canobie Lake to Hudson. Perhaps they had taken a Sunday afternoon excursion to the park. Their westbound car crashed with another car coming from Nashua. As a result of the serious accident George was killed. His wife, Anabel, who was seated adjacent to him in the car, was seriously injured and was transported to the Lowell Hospital. She was in dangerous condition but within 24 hours showed sign of improvement. After a long recovery she ultimately regained health to be comfortable but was never entirely well again. With our second photo Anabel (Mrs George) Andrews is greeting guests in her dining room.
Anabel and her daughter Maude continued to live in this home following the accident. Mrs. Andrews passed in 1930 at the age of 81; a well known and respected resident of Hudson. Her daughter, Maude continued to live at this address until she passed in 1963 at the age of 92. Despite her advanced years Maude took a keen interest in town affairs. She had served as librarian early on when the library was located in the Baker Block on Central Street.
At some point prior to 1948 the Andrews home and attached barn on Ferry Street was converted to a multi-family. In 1948 Maude sold the property to Hudson resident Winthrop Hannaford. This sale took place subject to the following; Maude had the option to lease the ell (her living quarters) for $50 per month for the duration of her natural life. Also, there could be no alterations or additions to the building except to the foundations. Garages could be erected in the read for use by occupants of the building.
In 1955, eight years after Maude’s passing, the property was sold to Oswald H and Adrienne H. Boilard and in 1967 it was transferred to Gerald and Patricia Boilard. By June 1970 the property was sold to the Humble Oil Company. In September of that year the house was demolished to make room for a new three-bay service station to by operated by Carl Roberts and known as Carl’s Esso. A photo of this demolishion appeared in the Hudson News, September 30, 1970.
Many of us remember Carl’s Esso with the tiger mascot perched on the building roof. It is now the site of the Gulf station. Photos are from the collection of the Hudson Historical Society.