Parks and Recreation Work – Nashua NH

Nashua, NH

Site Type:
Parks and Recreation, Forestry and Agriculture, Tennis Courts, Stadiums, Swimming Pools, Pest Control

New Deal Agencies:
Work Relief Programs, Works Progress Administration (WPA), Civil Works Administration (CWA), Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)





Mayor Alvin Lucier in his inaugural address listed 4 major projects done in cooperation with Federal Relief agencies.
This project was designed to further develop the Artillery Pond project and includes some building. This would bring nearer to realization a well thought out plan for the development of an area particularly well suited by nature for a recreational center. It also includes work to be done at the South Common and at the swimming pool at Field’s Grove.


Mayor Lucier in his annual report wrote: “No less than seven Federal programs have directly affected our
people. During the twelve months just concluded, we have had C. W. A., Federal Reemployment Office, F.E.R.A., C. C. C, Transient Shelter, Direct Relief Assistance through a State Relief Set-up, and a local employment project, about which I will speak later, inspired by the P. W. A.
The following is a list of some twenty-three projects completed in whole or in part by C. W. A. and F. E. R. A. funds, to an amount of many thousands of dollars:
Municipal Swimming Pool.
Tennis Courts South Common.
Artillery Pond.
Alds Street Playground
Greeley Park Driveway.
For a great many years, there has been considerable discussion about the feasibility of developing an athletic field at the so-called Artillery Pond. This area is delightfully designed by nature as an ideal recreational center. Under C. W. A. much was done on foundation work F. E. R. A. developed it to a point where a playing surface begins to outline itself. By the generous and thoughtful gift of the late Charles S. Holman, funds will soon be available for a memorial gate and grandstand and field house facilities. We must see that this development continues along, with the hope that perhaps in the fall of 1935 games may be played there.

Superintendent of Parks
Many improvements were made on our parks this year through the efforts of the various government relief agencies. The most outstanding of these is the Artillery Pond development, where first under the Civil Works Administration, and later under the N. H. Emergency Relief Administration, a large amount of filling and grading was done in preparation for the laying out of a modern athletic field.
At Greeley park a small group of C. W. A. workers trimmed trees in the oak grove, removing dead and broken branches, thereby improving the general appearance of the trees and eliminating the danger of branches falling on passers by.out 20 acres or two thirds of the grove was thus treated. Late in the year with E. R. A. workers and the co-operation of the Board of Public Works, a one way drive was constructed from Manchester Street by the lily pond and cascades to connect with the main parkway. At the South Common a special appropriation enabled us to build a set of bleachers on the Lake Street side of the baseball grounds, 210 feet long and four tiers high, to correspond with a set already built cm the Chestnut Street side.
The Recreation Commission made use of C. W. A. funds to build six additional tennis courts at South Common.

Recreation Commission
Improvements were made at the pool with C. W. A. funds. The pool itself was dredged, enlarged and retaining walls built along both sides. Diving facilities were improved. A small pool was built for smaller children. Also a plot of ground was seeded. These improvements increased the attendance at the pool considerably over that of the previous year, and met with the hearty approval of the swimming public.
New tennis courts were started at South Common with C. W. A. funds. Land was graded, retaining walls built and the wire fence installed. The playing surface was not laid due to the lack of funds. The other courts in the city were well patronized.


Superintendant of Parks
A W. P. A. project has provided a crew of 20 men for Park beautification during the month of December, and the work will be continued in 1936. These men have been employed at Greeley Park grading a section of
roadside east of the Daniel Webster highway, and thinning and pruning the grove on the banks of the Merrimack river. I believe this covers in a general way the work done during the past year. No major improvements were attempted because of the necessity of economizing whenever possible. Respectfully submitted, WILLIAM R. KIRKPATRICK


For a great many years what we familiarly know as old Artillery Pond has been recognized as the most suitable location for a recreational and athletic center. Much planning was done and hopes were ever high that suitable use would be made of the North Common
and the land immediately adjacent to it. Under the Civil Works Administration, slow but definite work was done looking toward a future opportunity to put into operation many of the plans which had been made. Through a gift of the late Charles Holman, the City
has been provided with a fine beginning to a great stadium, which will be enclosed. There will also be a memorial gateway and, at the proper time, the field will be suitably dedicated in honor of the man who made the completion of this project possible.

Report of the Board of Public Works
During the year, through the help of the Holman Trust Fund and in cooperation with the W. P. A. the City was able to erect a modern stadium that will be a credit to our City. This stadium is built of steel, brick and cement. Over two hundred tons of steel, three hundred
twenty-five thousand bricks, six thousand bags of cement, three hundred tons of crushed stones, two carloads of cast stones, three hundred fifty tons of sand, fifteen thousand feet of form lumber, forty casks of lump lime, one hundred bags of hydrated lime and over five
thousand dollars for electrical wiring, plumbing and heating contracts went into the construction of this stadium. It will have a seating capacity of three thousand five hundred persons. Most of the outside
work is done. Inside the building, a boiler room, two ladies’ rest rooms, two men’s rooms, two locker rooms with shower remain to be erected. In addition to the above we hope to be able to erect permanent bleachers one hundred ninety feet long having a capacity of over two thousand on the west side of the field. On the planning field the baseball diamond has been completed. The balance of the field has been rough graded and a portion has been covered with loam and seeded. The entire field has been enclosed with a steel fence of chain links two thousand feet long and six feet high. Barbed wires have been added to make the fence seven feet high. During 1937 the tasks of grading balance of field will be undertaken. A one-quarter mile track is to be graded and cindered and the football
field laid out. We expect that Nashua will have here an athletic field to be proud of.

Superintendant of Parks
A W. P. A. project for park beautification allotted us a crew of from twelve to twenty men who worked with us the entire year, the project ending December 28, 1936. We were permitted to place two of our regular employees on the W. P. A. payroll as non-relief workers,
thus reducing our own payroll by $1,800.00. With these workers we trimmed all the trees on Greeley Park, North Common, Deschenes Oval, Monument Square and several other small plots under the jurisdiction of this department. All dead, diseased, interfering and unsymmetical branches were removed, improving the appearance and health of the trees and lessening the danger of branches falling on persons underneath. In some cases we treated and filled cavities, installed braces and fertilized the trees. I estimate that about 12,000 trees were cared for. We also removed about 300 trees, either dead, dying or standing so close as to prevent proper development of remaining trees.
We graded, loamed and seeded several small areas on the east side of Concord Street and near the lily pond at Greeley Park. We extended our water system east of Concord Street, laying about 700 feet of cement-lined pipe, putting City water into our workshop, garage and nursery.
With the use of trucks from the Board of Public Works, we moved the bleachers from South Common to Textile Field and drew over 100 loads of loam from Greeley Park to resurface the baseball field. We also removed twenty-one large hard pine trees from the outfield, putting the whole field in good condition. The backstop and some of the bleachers from the Elm Street diamond
at South Common were moved and erected at the Atherton Avenue Playground and a baseball diamond was laid out for the Recreation Commission.
All these undertakings were accomplished by the use of W. P. A. workers and we also made use of them at times to assist in our regular work, especially in the care of the nursery.

Recreation Commission
Late in the summer two new courts were started at South Common under the W. P. A,, but were not finished before winter. The clay courts at North Common were put in shape by members of the National Youth Movement.


Holman Stadium Commission, appointed by Mayor Alvin A. Lucier and including George M. French, Edward H. Labine, Dr. Norman W. Crisp, Fred H. Dobens and Peter V. Chestnulevich, organized in August, 1937, with Edward H. Labine as chairman and Fred H. Dobens as clerk. The Commission had no funds for the first year and all work at the stadium was done through funds from a general bond issue for W. P. A. work in the city and with W. P. A. labor. The stadium was formally dedicated with appropriate exercises on September 23, 1937, and at that time George M. French turned the keys of the property over to Mayor Alvin A. Lucier who accepted in behalf of the City and who in turn presented the keys to Chairman Labine. Representatives from the State W. P. A. office were also present.


A crew was engaged during the year in grading, loaming and seeding the grounds. Several roadways were laid out and paved. Many other improvements were made at the request of the Commission.
Concord Street was widened opposite the Park to a three lane highway. A sidewalk with grass plot and cement curb was constructed along the east side of Concord Street. The drainage was improved.

Park Commission
Early in September we started improvements on the east side of Concord Street at Greeley Park, as provided for in the Mary P. Harris bequest of $10,000. With the help of a W. P. A. project for park improvement and the cooperation of the Board of Public Works, we have
completed the following work. A six-foot cement sidewalk with a four-foot grass plot and cement curb has been built along the entire frontage, about eleven hundred and fifty feet. Concord Street at this
point was widened, graded, catch basins installed and surfaced with hot top asphalt. Six hundred and ten feet of sewer pipe was laid to connect the catch basins with a trunk line sewer and to extend a culvert. Loam was stripped from a large area and piled while this low
section was filled to a proper grade. Several trees were removed, others trimmed, and some transplanted. The work to be completed next spring will consist of grading, seeding and planting of trees and shrubs.


Report of the Superintendent of Parks
During the winter months we carried on our regular program of repairing and painting all equipment and destroying gipsy moth nests on all City trees. A W. P. A. project started after the 1938 hurricane, was continued. About 30 men were employed trimming and repairing damaged trees and removing the fallen trees. These were salvaged into lumber and firewood. The small branches and debris were burned to reduce the fire hazard. The firewood was distributed to relief cases. About 90 thousand board feet of white pine and 18 thousand feet of oak was sawed into boards and planks. Most of the oak and some of the pine was turned over to the Board of Public Works to be used in repair work. The rest of the lumber was stacked on Greeley Park to season. Some of this was later sold. We furnished the white pine for shelving, etc., in the new City Hall. We also used considerable for forms for the foundation for a new greenhouse and hotbeds, and various repair jobs. A quantity was donated to the Holman Stadium for repairs and alterations. About April 15 work was resumed on the Harris bequest development east of Concord Street. Nearly two acres were loamed over, graded, fertilized and seeded to grass. An asphalt walk was constructed from the street to the Harris memorial tablet on the burying ground knoll. Excavating, filling- and rough grading was done on an additional area which will be completed next spring. Sand for filling was kindly donated by Ex-Mayor Wm. F. Sullivan of the Pennichuck Water Works.
Trees to replace some of those destroyed by the hurricane were planted at Sullivan park, Deschenes oval. Monument square and Greeley park. More trees will be planted next year. On Arbor Day Mayor Lemay planted a sugar maple on Deschenes oval. Another was planted by the American Legion Auxiliary and dedicated to the dead heroes of the World War. They also planted lilacs at Meeting House park, dedicated to the dead heroes. As part of our permanent improvement program, a lean-to greenhouse, 15×30 feet, was built at the south side of our shop-storage building at Greeley park. This will be used to start plants for our various flower beds. A hot water plant was installed to heat both shop and greenhouse. The piping was installed entirely by park and W. P. A. employees thus saving considerable money for the City. Late in October another W. P. A. project was started to complete the repair work on hurricane damaged trees, plant new trees and remove stumps and other evidence of hurricane damage. Good progress has been made to date. Your superintendent supervised the grading and planting of the grounds at the new City Hall. The maple trees and many of the shrubs used were from our own nursery. All of our regular maintenance work was performed without employing additional help. We also provided the foreman for the last W. P. A. project started. Boys from the National Youth Administration, under the direction of Instructor Robert Nute, built us a picnic shelter of the log cabin type, from the smaller logs in the hurricane timber. This is located in Greeley park at the intersection of the drives in the oak grove. They also landscaped the area and built a log fence.

Report of the Holman Stadium Commission
Holman Stadium Commission was abolished by the Aldermen at the start of the new year and its functions are now carried on by the Park Recreation Commission. At the completion of the 1939 calendar year most of the improvements at the field had been completed. The Amherst Street field has been graded, covered with loam and seeded and eventually will be developed into one of the beauty spots in that area. W. P. A. workmen filled, loamed and seeded the area south of the
regular field, near the dump and this will be opened this summer as another playing field. A practice baseball and football field was built to the east of the Holman field. Four tennis courts were erected on Sargent’s Avenue side of the area and these were built by the Board of Public Works with the J. F. McElwain Company furnishing the fence and nets at a cost of $750,
Revenue was large because of the donation by the McElwain Company and because the Commission rented bleachers for the satisfactory sum of $300. The Commission operated during the year without a penny of personal expenses. All payments were handled directly through the office of the City Treasurer and there were no expenses for office maintenance
whatever during the year.

Source notes


Site originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on June 7, 2014.

Location Info

Nashua, NH 03063

Coordinates: 42.768462, -71.47202

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