Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Executive Assistant||Thomas Moses|
|• Board of Selectmen||Joseph Durant|
Scott R. Duplisea
Fred P. Lucy II
James D. Quinn
|• Total||11.8 sq mi (30.7 km2)|
|• Land||11.5 sq mi (29.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)|
|Elevation||263 ft (80 m)|
|• Density||1,702.6/sq mi (657.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||351 / 978|
Hudson is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, with a total population of 19,063 as of the 2010 census. Before its incorporation as a town in 1866, Hudson was a neighborhood and unincorporated village of Marlborough, Massachusetts, and was known as Feltonville. From around 1850 until the last shoe factory burned down in 1968, Hudson was a mill town specializing in the production of shoes and related products. At one point the town had 17 shoe factories, many of them powered by the Assabet River, which runs through town. The many factories in Hudson attracted immigrants from Canada and Europe. Today most residents are of either Portuguese or Irish descent, with a smaller percentage being of French, Italian, English, or Scots-Irish descent. While some manufacturing remains in Hudson, the town is now primarily residential. Hudson is served by the Hudson Public Schools district.
Indigenous people lived in what became central Massachusetts for thousands of years prior to European settlement. Indigenous oral histories, archeological evidence, and European settler documents attest to historic settlements of the Nipmuc people in present-day Hudson and the surrounding area.
In 1650, the area that would become Hudson and Marlborough was part of the Ockookangansett Indian Plantation for the Praying Indians. During King Philip's War, English settlers forcibly evicted the Indians from their plantation, imprisoning and killing many of them; most survivors did not return after the conflict. The first recorded European settlement of the Hudson area occurred in 1698 when settler John Barnes was granted 1 acre (0.40 ha) of the Indian plantation. Barnes built a gristmill on the Assabet River's north bank on land that would one day be part of Hudson. In 1699 Barnes sold his gristmill to Joseph Howe, who built a sawmill and bridge across the Assabet. The area became known as Howe's Mills, or simply The Mills, throughout the 1700s.
The settlement was originally part of the town of Marlborough. In June 1743, area residents Samuel Witt, John Hapgood, and others petitioned to break away from Marlborough and become a separate town, claiming the journey to attend Marlborough's town meeting was "vastly fatiguing." Their petition was denied by the Massachusetts General Court. Samuel Witt later served on committees of correspondence during the 1760s. At least nine men from the area fought with the Minutemen on April 19, 1775, as they harassed British troops along the route to Boston.
In the 1850s, Feltonville received its first railroads. There were two Feltonville train stations, originally operated by the Central Massachusetts Railroad Company and later by Boston & Maine, until both were closed in 1965. Railroads allowed the development of larger factories, some of the first in the country to use steam power and sewing machines. By 1860, Feltonville had 17 shoe and shoe-related factories, which attracted immigrants from Ireland and French Canada.
Feltonville residents fought for the Union during the American Civil War. Twenty-five of those men died doing so. Two existing houses – the Goodale Homestead on Chestnut Street (Hudson's oldest building, dating from 1702) and the Curley home on Brigham Street (formerly known as the Rice Farm) – have been cited as waystations on the Underground Railroad.
In May 1865, Feltonville residents once again petitioned to become a separate town. They cited the difficulty of attending town meeting, as their predecessors had in 1743, and also noted that Marlborough's high school was too far for most Feltonville children to practicably attend. This petition was approved by the Massachusetts General Court on March 19, 1866. A committee suggested naming the new town Hudson after Congressman Charles Hudson, who was born and raised in the Feltonville neighborhood. By his own account, in response to this honor, Charles Hudson offered to donate $500 towards establishing a free public library. Town citizens gratefully voted to accept Congressman Hudson's gift.
Over the next twenty years, Hudson grew as several industries settled in town. Two woolen mills, an elastic-webbing plant, a piano case factory, and a factory for waterproofing fabrics by rubber coating were constructed. Private banks, five schools, a poor farm, and the curent town hall were also built during this time. The population hovered around 4,000 residents, most of whom lived in modest houses with small backyard gardens. Some of Hudson's wealthier citizens built elaborate Queen Anne Victorian mansions, and many of them still exist. One of the finest is the 1895 Col. Adelbert Mossman House on Park Street, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town maintained five volunteer fire companies during the 1880s and 1890s, one of which manned the Eureka Hand Pump, a record-setting pump that could shoot a 1.5-inch (38 mm) stream of water 229 feet (70 m). Despite this glut of fire companies, on July 4, 1894, two boys playing with firecrackers started a fire that burned down 40 buildings and 5 acres (20,000 m2) of central Hudson. Nobody was hurt, but the damages were estimated at $400,000 in 1894 (the equivalent of approximately $11.1 million in 2018). The town was substantially rebuilt within a year or two.
By 1900, Hudson's population reached about 5,500 residents and the town had built a power plant on Cherry Street. Many houses were wired for electricity, and to this day Hudson produces its own power under the auspices of the Hudson Light and Power Department, a non-profit municipal utility owned by the town. Electric trolley lines were built connecting Hudson with the towns of Leominster, Concord, and Marlborough, though these only remained in existence until the late 1920s. The factories in town continued to grow, attracting immigrants from England, Germany, Portugal, Lithuania, Poland, Greece, Albania, and Italy. These immigrants usually lived in boarding houses near their places of employment. In 1928, nineteen languages were spoken by the workers of the Firestone-Apsley Rubber Company.
Today, the majority of Hudson residents are of Irish or Portuguese descent, with lesser populations of Brazilian, Italian, French, French Canadian, English, Scots-Irish, Greek, and Polish descent. About one-third of Hudson residents are Portuguese or are of Portuguese descent. Most people of Portuguese descent in Hudson are from the Azorean island of Santa Maria, with a smaller amount from the island of São Miguel or from the Trás-os-Montes region of mainland Portugal. The Portuguese community in Hudson maintains the Hudson Portuguese Club, which was established in 1919 and has outlived many other area ethnic clubs. In 2003 the Hudson Portuguese Club replaced its original Port Street clubhouse with a function hall and restaurant built on the same site.
Hudson's population hovered around 8,000 from the 1920s to the 1950s, when developers purchased some farms surrounding the town center. The new houses built on this land helped double Hudson's population to 16,000 by 1970.
During the 1990s high-technology companies built plants in Hudson, most notably the semiconductor factory built by Digital Equipment Corporation. Just before Digital folded in 1998, Intel bought this facility. Under Intel's ownership, the plant continued producing silicon chips and wafers.
At the height of the Great Recession in the late 2000s, Hudson lost many local businesses. Particularly affected were the downtown commercial district and industrial establishments. Further bad news came in 2013 when Intel, Hudson's largest employer and charitable donor, announced it would close its Hudson semiconductor factory and layoff 700 employees by 2014. Initially Intel tried to find a buyer for the facility, but when none came forward by 2015, Intel announced it would demolish the plant. However, Intel's campus in Hudson includes an 850-person microprocessor research and development facility that did not close, and remains operational as of 2019.
Since the mid-2010s Hudson's commercial downtown has witnessed an economic revitalization, with previously empty storefronts finding tenants. This is partly thanks to the town's increasing role as a regional culinary destination, including for craft beer. Hudson's craft beer scene arguably began in 1980 when the Horseshoe Pub & Restaurant opened. Horseshoe established itself as a beer lovers’ haven with an 80-beer tap line and Oktoberfest celebrations. In 2012, the Hudson Rotary Club, Horseshoe Pub, and other local businesses organized the first Spirit of Hudson Food and Brewfest to showcase local restaurants and breweries. Since then, the event has evolved into a large food and beer fest featuring dozens of restaurants and breweries, from tiny local producers to internationally known craft beer stalwarts such as Harpoon and Stone Brewing. The first microbrewery in Hudson, Medusa Brewing Company, opened downtown in 2015. A second – Groud Effect Brewing Company – followed in 2018.
Although Hudson's population is now about 20,000, the town maintains the traditional town meeting form of government. Some light manufacturing and agricultural uses remain in the eastern end of town, a vestige of Hudson's dual agrarian and industrial history. However, today Hudson is a mostly suburban bedroom community with many residents commuting to Boston or Worcester.
Before becoming a separate incorporated town in 1866, Hudson was a neighborhood and unincorporated village within the town – now city – of Marlborough, and had various names during that time.
From 1656 until 1700, present-day Hudson and the surrounding area was known as the Indian Plantation or the Cow Commons. From 1700 to 1800, the settlement was known as Howe's Mills or The Mills, evidencing its early industrial history. From 1800 to 1828, the settlement was called New City, for reasons not entirely clear but perhaps related to increased population and industrialization. From 1828 until incorporation in 1866, the village was called Feltonville. The name Feltonville derives from that of Silas Felton (1776–1828), who operated a dry goods store in the hamlet from 1801 onward and served many years as a Marlborough selectman, town clerk, town assessor, and postmaster. Today, Felton remains immortalized in the Silas Felton Hudson Historic District and two Hudson street names: Felton Street and Feltonville Road.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.8 square miles (30.7 km²), of which 11.5 square miles (29.8 km²) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) (2.87%) is water.
The Assabet River runs prominently through most of Hudson. The river arises from wetlands in Westborough and flows northeast 34 miles (55 km), starting at an elevation of 320 feet (98 m). It descends through the towns of Northborough, Marlborough, Berlin, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, Acton, and finally Concord, where it merges with the Sudbury River to form the Concord River, at an elevation of 100 feet (30 m). The dam in central Hudson is one of nine historic mill or flood control dams on the Assabet River. A portion of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is located in Hudson.
There are various public access points to the Assabet River in Hudson. The back of the Hudson Public Library parking lot provides access to launch canoes and kayaks. Downstream is the dam, but upstream provides miles of flat water—depending on the season, as far southeast as the dam at Millham Brook in Marlborough. Another canoe and kayak launch exists farther upstream behind Hudson High School, accessible via an unpaved parking lot on Chapin Street. There is also boat access downstream of the dam at Main Street Landing, accessible from the paved Assabet River Rail Trail parking lot on Main Street, and providing a few miles of paddling northeast until the mill dam in the Stow section of Gleasondale.
On the border with Stow is Lake Boon, a popular vacation spot prior to the widespread adoption of the automobile but now a primarily residential neighborhood.
On the border with Marlborough is Fort Meadow Reservoir, which once provided drinking water to Hudson and Marlborough. The Town of Hudson owns and maintains Centennial Beach on the shores of Fort Meadow Reservoir. It is open to residents and non-residents for the cost of a daily or season pass, typically from June to August.
The neighborhood and unincorporated village of Gleasondale straddles Hudson and Stow.
|* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.|
As of the 2000 census, there were 18,113 people, 6,990 households, and 4,844 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,574.4 people per square mile (608.1/km²). There were 7,168 housing units at an average density of 623.0 per square mile (240.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.12% White, 0.91% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 1.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.06% of the population.
There were 6,990 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $58,549, and the median income for a family was $70,145. Males had a median income of $45,504 versus $35,207 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,679. About 2.7% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2017 Census Bureau estimates, Hudson's population increased to 19,994. The town's racial makeup was 92.6% white, 1.3% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.7% Asian, and 2.5% from two or more races, with Hispanic or Latino people of any race making up 6.7% of the population.
According to 2017 Census Bureau estimates, 90.3% of Hudson residents graduated high school or higher, while 39.8% have a bachelor's degree or higher. The Census Bureau estimated that in the five-year period between 2013 and 2017, 86.3% of Hudson households had a broadband internet subscription.
|Clerk of Courts:||Michael A. Sullivan|
|District Attorney:||Marian T. Ryan|
|Register of Deeds:||Richard P. Howe Jr. (North at Lowell)|
Eugene C. Brune (South at Cambridge)
|Register of Probate:||Tara E. DeCristofaro|
|County Sheriff:||Peter Koutoujian|
|State Representative(s):||Rep. Kate Hogan (D)|
|State Senator(s):||Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D)|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Marilyn M. Petitto-Devaney (Third District)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||Lori Trahan (D-3rd District)|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
The Town of Hudson has an open town meeting form of government, like most New England towns. The current executive assistant, who is an official appointed by the board of selectmen responsible for the day-to-day administrative affairs of the town and who functions with authority delegated to the office by the town charter and bylaws, is Thomas Moses. The Board of Selectmen is a group of publicly elected officials who are the executive authority of the town. There are five positions on the Hudson Board of Selectmen, currently filled by Joseph Durant, Scott R. Duplisea, John M. Parent, Fred P. Lucy II, and James D. Quinn. The selectmen elect from among their membership the positions of chairman, vice-chairman, and clerk of the board.
The Massachusetts legislature abolished the Middlesex County government in 1997. Former county agencies and institutions reverted to the control of the state government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Certain county government positions, such as District Attorney and Sheriff, still function under the state government instead of a county government.
Hudson's local public school district is Hudson Public Schools, a district open to Hudson residents and through school choice to any area students. The superintendent of Hudson Public Schools is Dr. Marco C. Rodrigues. Prior to starting ninth grade Hudson students may choose to attend either Hudson High School or Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School.
The first public library in Hudson opened in 1867 thanks to $500 in financial assistance from Charles Hudson and matching funds provided by the nascent town. This first library was a modest reading room in the Brigham Block building and contained 721 books. In 1873 the library moved to a room in the newly-completed Hudson Town Hall. The current Hudson Public Library (HPL) building is a Carnegie library first built in 1905 using a $12,500 donation from Andrew Carnegie. It opened to the public on November 16, 1905.
The original structure was a two-story Beaux-Arts design typical of Carnegie libraries and other American public buildings of the early twentieth century. Despite numerous additions over time the Carnegie building is mostly intact, including its original front entrance and handsome main stair. The town added a third story to the building in 1932 for a total cost of $15,000. Today the third floor serves as a quiet reading room, and also houses the periodicals collection, a community meeting room, and staff offices. In 1966 a two-story Modernist addition was added at the rear of the original building, more than doubling the library's size. The children's department, housed on the library's first floor, was expanded and renovated in 2002. The second floor serves as the adults' and teens' department.
The Hudson Public Library's collection has grown to approximately 65,000 books, periodicals, audio recordings, video recordings, historical records, and other items as of 2019. As part of its collection HPL owns three oil paintings, each a portrait portraying one of the library's major benefactors: Charles Hudson, Lewis Dewart Apsley, and Andrew Carnegie. Apsley funded his own portrait as well as that of Charles Hudson, while the portrait of Carnegie was a 1932 gift from the Carnegie Corporation. These portraits are displayed on the landing of the stair going up to the third floor reading room.
Hudson Public Library is a member of the C/W MARS regional library consortium and catalog. This allows Hudson cardholders to borrow items from other central and western Massachusetts public libraries and gives cardholders from those libraries access to Hudson's collection. In fiscal year 2008, the Town of Hudson spent 1.19% ($614,743) of its budget on its public library—about $31 per person.
The majority of Hudson residents who practice a religion are likely Roman Catholics or Protestants, based on the churches existing in town.
A small portion of town residents are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Orthodox, but there are not currently synagogues, mosques, temples, or Orthodox churches in Hudson. Nevertheless, the town lends its name to the 1907 Hudson Incident – a key event in the Albanian Orthodox Church’s formation – in which an Albanian national died in Hudson and was refused burial rites by area Greek Orthodox priests.
The Portuguese Roman Catholics in Hudson hold annual feasts or festivals honoring and celebrating the Holy Ghost and Our Lady of Fátima, known in Portuguese as Festas do Espírito Santo and Festa da Nossa Senhora de Fátima, respectively. There are three related but distinct festas in Hudson: the Império Mariense, the lmpério Micaelense, and the Lady of Fátima Feast / Festa da Nossa Senhora de Fátima. The oldest of these is the Império Micaelense festival, which traces its origins to 1914. Such festivals are a common religious and sociocultural event in the Azores and in Portuguese communities of Azorean descent throughout the United States, Canada, and Brazil.
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|Wikisource has the text of a 1905 New International Encyclopedia article about Hudson, Massachusetts.|