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Fond memories from Ferry Street in Hudson

By RUTH PARKER - Remember Hudson When... | Jun 13, 2020

As I travel down Ferry Street toward Library Park, I am impressed by the display of American flags on the park. Each flag represents an individual and each individual has their own story of service as a veteran or first responder.

This display brings to my mind these May 30, 1949, photos of the Memorial Day parade on Ferry Street on route to Library Park. These photos have not one, but two stories to tell, the first being the Sherman Tank and Army vehicles heading down Ferry Street; the second is the story behind the houses we see in the background.

In 1949, Hudson’s Memorial Day observations were held over two days. The activities were under the direction of American Legion Post No. 48 with Roger L. Boucher as chairman of the Memorial Day Committee. On Sunday, May 29, the Legion and Auxilliary attended Mass at St. John The Evangelist Church. In the afternoon, Post members joined with veterans’ organizations from Nashua and parishioners of St. Patrick’s Church Parish in the dedication of The War Memorial at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Hudson.

On Monday morning, May 30, the parade assembled on First Street with the line of march proceeding to Ferry Street and down the hill to Library Park, assembling for the activities there. The parade included a police escort, parade marshall, a number of modified Sherman Tanks, Army vehicles and representatives from veterans’ and service organizations from Hudson and Nashua.

According to newspaper write-ups the next day, there were actually six such tanks included in the Hudson parade. At Library Park, Harry Salvail Past Post Commander, was the master of ceremonies. The guest speaker of the day was Elliot A. Carter of Nashua. Wreaths were placed on three markers in honor of those who gave their lives for their country during previous wars.

Monday afternoon, the American Legion participated in the Memorial Day program in Litchfield, where a tablet was unveiled in honor of the war dead of Litchfield. The Sherman tanks, at least five of them, proceeded to Nashua to participate in the Memorial Day parade through the streets there.

The second story is that of the houses along Ferry Street we see in the background, what is now 44 and 46 Ferry St. In the mid- to late-1940s and into the 1950s, there was a large increase in traffic along Ferry Street; automobiles and gas were more available and individuals were traveling to Nashua for employment. During this time, there were a number of small mom and pop enterprises opening up. Of course, we remember the 20th century and before that and Sal’s Market. There also were the smaller variety stores like Bradley’s Market at the corner of Library and Ferry. Even further up the street, at what is now 44 Ferry, was a small variety store operated by Herbert and Mary Shepherd.

If you lived in that area and/or attended Webster School or Hudson Junior High School, you may have memories of your own.

George Abbott remembers going across the field between School Street and Ferry Street to buy snacks from “Mamie” Shepherd on his lunch hour during junior high. Neil Cunningham, who lived further down on Ferry Street, remembers his mom sending him to “Mamies” for a loaf of bread. Carol (Whittemore) and David Flewelling remember going there for candy and ice cream.

Mary ‘Mamie’ (Perkins) and Herbert Shephard lived in what is now 44 Ferry St. from about 1946 until Herbert passed in 1961.Mary continued to live there until 1972. Herbert had been employed as a bus driver, a railroad worker and a grocer. Mary operated a grocery or a variety store there in the mid- to late-1940s. Mary lived her final years in Milford with family. 44 Ferry Street is now a private residence.

These photos are from the collection housed by the Hudson Historical Society, courtesy of Paul Whittemore.

My thanks to Carol Flewelling for her assistance with the research.

Ruth Parker is a lifelong resident of Hudson with family ties that date back to the colonial days. Her work, shared via the Hudson Historical Society, will be featured bi-weekly in The Sunday Telegraph.

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