Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview 1975 Brad Emerson
22-grandfather was James P. Emerson, lived on Emerson Farm at 11 North Road
30-auctioneer, ran livery stable
35-moved houses around the town with horses, rollers and skids
54-farm was inherited by Brad's father Ted Emerson
59-he was a dairyman
61-Brad was a farmboy until he went to school in 1948
73-around 1951 the barn and cattle burned
85-father was Theodore Emerson
87-he was a Selectman for two terms in the 1940's
93-previously a volunteer firefighter
98-town government"was so much smaller and so much more personal"
103-population was 10,000 so most people knew everyone else
110-today there seems to be more of a "city atmosphere"
111-percentage of attendance at town meetings was greater then than now
128-200 to 300 people was a pretty good turnout then
131-certain issues always dominated town meetings
137-proposal for a Town Manager
144-zoning was introduced during the 1940's
127-rezoning occurred according to a Master Plan during the 1950's
153-new schools with the growth of the Town
173-Planning Board proposed zoning laws which had to be adopted by Town Meeting
179-1960's planning board was more concerned with subdivision development and comtrol
183-spent more time policing than planning
185-Master Plans developed
201-recalls nothing of depression
207-appreciates opportunity to work on a farm
214-North-Center split "has pretty much disappeared"
216-recalls father speaking of bitter feelings between sections
226-possible cause, more distinct economic or class differential back then when Chelmsford was either a farming town or a more sophisticated residential area and North Chelmsford was strictly a mill town
239-even leads in High School plays had to be split between North and Center students, to avoid any conflict
245-heard father talk of Center boys meeting North boys at Drum Hill for Rock fights
248-auctioneering business
252-great grandfather dealt in farm machinery, livestock & horses
254-grandfather, Ralph W.Emerson was the most successful and best known of the four generations of auctioneers specializing in antiques
262-Ted Emerson was into farming and antiques
269-during and after WWII almost every farm within fifty miles was either going out of business, or liquidating stock and machinery
277-during and after the war, people sold their posessions and traveled with everything they could carry
277-during and after the war, there was a great deal of aqationeering activity of liquidating local farms
280-after the farms busihess was in antiques and general liquidation of estates
284-during WWII and after when people moved they would sell possessions here and go with what they could carry, now they take everything with them
289-auctioneering business is entirely different now, "I'm afraid the profession has been prostituted a bit, it isn't the honest legitimate means of doing business it used to be"
295-what is purported to be an auction really isn't, supposed to be a sale to the highest bidder, but all to frequently that is no longer the case; there are strings attatched in many transactions
304-the public is becoming aware of this
307-"It isn't the everyday means of doing business it used to be"
312-Auction Methodology
324-auctioneer must be licensed
337-Real Estate foreclosure
354-day on the farm, 1940's
387-paid by the hour for work at the farm
406-Lowell in the 1940's and 50's
415-population increase, 1950's; Campanelli Builders first to arrive around 1953-54; built Chelmsford Farms I, "slab" houses without cellars
440-then other out of town businessmen arrived; Local man, Robert Hicks built in Chelmsford and Westford
447-by the mid 60's, large tracts had been used up
452-there was always a good market for house sales, Chelmsford has had a reputation for being a very nice suburban community with an excellent school system
458-transient working created by company transfers, word spread rapidly
464-Chelmsford School Dept. one of, first in country to install complete television network
488-has Chelmsford overbuilt schools? perhaps
497-will allow for closing of older schools t and smaller classrooms
505-families are smaller now

End of interview
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