Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview 1975 Rachel McHugh
11-born in Somerville, husband born in Lowell
13-came to Chelmsford in 1929, "right in the middle of the Depression"
17-wanted to get into the country, Belmont was growing fast and taxes were getting higher
24-population in Chelmsford when they moved was 5,000
26-grew to 8,000 by 1945, one serviceman for every eight people in Chelmsford
33-school children walked down Pine Hill Road to Rte. 110 for school bus; 42 children were transported to South Chelmsford; there students from South boarded the bus heading for McFarlin
45-there was only one bus
49-Pine Hill road was only a little narrow street it has since been widened three times
62-"Chelmsford grew awfully fast", from 1845 to 1975 the population increased by almost 30,000
66-Chelmaford was an attractive "nice town"
71-post WWII industry
77-"Chelmsford is the nicest town north of Boston"
81-effect of Depression on Chelmsford
84-entire county and world was hit, ordinary working people didn't lose so much as the wealthy people that did have money "And they weren't used to being ordinary, it was much harder for them" we sailed right through it in someway or another
95-the children were interested in 4-H, kept chickens
100-husband had no work when they first moved to Chelmsford; for five years the family did not have a pay envelope, "We came from a big house and we sold wedding presents, silver, insurance policies
108-his folks helped out some,"and we learned to be farmers"
110-"I love the outdoors,my husband was always a city man, but the boys loved it
114-they had a big garden, "We raised vegetables,we canned, we learned how"
127-Town Politics, very interesting when it was new
134-Town Meetings used to be on Saturday, "I remember taking my young son, going down there and fighting all day, everybody would bring their lunch
139-"It was like a picnic to me, from out of town. But it wasn't to the folks who lived here all their lives. It was really a serious matter"
143-there were the same issues that come up today,only on a bigger scale
150-traveled cross country, felt it was much better than a college education, values worth of a "trip through your own country
167-children associated with North people in school
186-after moving to Chelmsford, contacted Massachusetts Agricultural Bureau for information "we weren't farmers"
188-at the time the rest of the neighborhood was setting hens the McHugh's were the first to start an egg business
193-when the old ice houses in South Chelmsford were torn down, McHughs got the lumber to build a hen house
206-the schools were wonderful, "We always had Grade A schools
230-Chelmsford has changed so fast, you'd really have to take notes to keep up with it
233-street conditions, they were paved but very narrow
245-there were terrible snow storms, "We would be landlocked for days
251-during the Depression the WPA widened the street
256-historic Dutton House, corner of Pine Hill, near highway built during the 1700's, now owned by the Parlee Family. It is probably the oldest house in town
275-Fire Dept., back of Town Hall
209-Social life was connected with the school for the most part
292-the whole town turned out for occasions
296-the High School and Churches were really social centers
298-activities such as plays l band concerts, students night with dancing after
313-new arrivals in Chelmsford were young college people, starting out with small families
317-lakes, all people in town could go to any lake but as the town grew, neighborhood restrictions were imposed
339-outsiders used to leave too much litter behind

End of interview
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