Hudson, Massachusetts Town Information
Hudson is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States.
Before its incorporation as a town in 1866, Hudson was a neighborhood and unincorporated village within the town of Marlborough, Massachusetts, and was known as Feltonville, and before that, known as Eastborough. From around 1850 until the last shoe factory burned down in 1968, Hudson was known as a "shoe town". At one point, the town had 17 shoe factories, many of them powered by the Assabet River, which runs through town. Because of the many factories in Hudson, immigrants were attracted to the town. Today, most people are of either Portuguese or Irish descent, with a smaller percentage of people being of French, Italian, English, or Scots-Irish descent. Hudson is served by the Hudson Public Schools district.
In 1650, the area that would become Hudson was part of the Indian Plantation for the Praying Indians. The Praying Indians were evicted from their plantation during King Philip's War, and most did not return even after the war ended.
The first European settlement of the Hudson area occurred in 1699 when settler John Barnes, who had been granted an acre of the Ockookangansett Indian plantation the year before, built a gristmill on the Assabet River on land that would one day be part of Hudson. By 1701, Barnes had also built a sawmill on the river and had built a bridge across it. Over the next century, Hudson grew slowly.
Hudson was part of the town of Marlborough and was known as Feltonville for part of that time, until its incorporation as a separate municipality in 1866. As early as June 1743 Hudson-area residents petitioned to break away from Marlborough and become a separate town, but this petition was denied by the Massachusetts General Court. Men from the present Hudson area fought with the Minutemen on April 19, 1775.
In the 1850s, Feltonville received its first railroads. The town of Hudson had two train stations, originally operated by the Central Massachusetts Railroad Company and later by Boston & Maine, until both of them were closed in 1965. This 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, as Massachusetts recruits fought during the Civil War for the Union, with twenty-five men dying doing so. Two houses, including 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 way-stations on the Underground Railroad.
In 1865, Hudson-area residents again petitioned for Feltonville to become a separate town. This petition was approved by the Massachusetts General Court on March 19, 1866. The new town was named Hudson after Charles Hudson, who donated $500 to the new town for it to build a library, on the condition that the newly incorporated town be named after him.
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 built, as well as banks, five schools, a poor farm, and the town hall that is still in use today. The population hovered around 5,500 residents, most of whom lived in small houses with small backyard garden plots. The town maintained five volunteer fire companies, 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).
On July 4, 1894, a fire started by two boys playing with firecrackers disastrously burned down 40 buildings and 5 acres (20,000 m2) of central Hudson. Nobody was hurt, but the damages were estimated at $400,000 (1894 dollars). The town was substantially rebuilt within a year or two.
By 1900, Hudson's population reached about 7,500 residents, and the town had built a power plant, so some houses were wired for electricity. Electric trolley lines were built that connected Hudson with the towns of Leominster, Concord, and Marlborough. 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. By 1928, 19 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 Italian, French, English, Scots-Irish, and Greek 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, who, in 2001, rebuilt a state-of-the-art clubhouse. The Hudson Portuguese Club was established in the mid-1910s and has outlived several other ethnic clubs, such as the town's long-gone Italian Club. Recent immigrants to Hudson arrive mainly from Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and other South American countries, as well as Asia, and Europe.
Hudson's population remained about the same until after World War II, when developers purchased some farms that surrounded the town center. The new houses that were built on this land more than doubled Hudson's population. Recently, high-technology companies have built plants, notably the semiconductor fabrication factory that Digital Equipment Corporation built (now owned by Intel). Although the population of Hudson is now about 20,000, the town continues traditional town meeting form of government.
Feltonville was the name of what is today the town of Hudson, Massachusetts. Before becoming a separate incorporated town, Hudson was a neighborhood and unincorporated village within the town of Marlborough, Massachusetts, known as Feltonville. The name was derived from the name of Silas Felton (1776-1828), who operated a dry goods store in the hamlet from 1801 onward, served many years as selectman, town clerk, town assessor, and in 1828 became the first postmaster. The name was used from 1828 until the town was incorporated as Hudson in 1866. Today, the Felton name is found in the Silas Felton Hudson Historic District and two street names: Felton Street and Feltonville Road.
Hudson has had other, earlier names:
- 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 The Mills.
- From 1800 to 1828, the settlement was called New City.
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 mile (0.9 km²) (2.87%) is water.
The Assabet River flows through the town. On the border with Stow is Lake Boon, once a popular vacation spot but now a primarily residential neighborhood. On the border with Marlborough is Fort Meadow Reservoir, which at one time provided drinking water to both Hudson and Marlborough.
Hudson is bordered by five other towns:
Bolton and Stow on the north, Marlborough on the south, Sudbury on the east, and Berlin on the west.
The neighborhood and unincorporated village of Gleasondale straddles both Hudson and Stow.
As of the census of 2000, 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.
The town of Hudson has an open town meeting form of government, like most New England towns. The current executive assistant, who is an appointed official and is 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 by the Board of Selectmen and by town bylaws, is Thomas Moses. The Board of Selectmen is a group of elected officials who are the elected executive authority of the town, which also appoints the Executive Assistant. There are five positions on the Hudson Board of Selectman, 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.
County, state, and federal government
Technically, the county government was abolished in 1997, and former county agencies, institutions, etc., reverted to the control of the state government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, certain county government positions, such as District Attorney and Sheriff, do still function, except they are under the state government instead of a county government.
In the Massachusetts General Court, Hudson is represented by Rep. Kate Hogan and Sen. Jamie Eldridge.
In the United States Congress, Hudson is represented by Rep. Niki Tsongas in the House of Representatives, and by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Ed Markey in the Senate.
Hudson students have two public districts they can attend. The public school are Hudson Public Schools, a district open to any Hudson residents and through so-called "school choice" to any area students, and Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District, which is open to students from the towns of Marlborough, Hudson, Maynard, Berlin, Boylston, West Boylston, Clinton, Shrewsbury, Westborough, Northborough, and Southborough. The superintendent of Hudson Public Schools is Dr. Jodi Fortuna. The superintendent of Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District is Mary Jo Nawrocki.
The private school was St. Michael's Schools, a Catholic district run by St. Michael's parish. The St. Michael's district did not have a set superintendent. Instead, St. Michael's parish pastor Rev. Ron Calhoun served as school administrator.
- David J. Quinn Middle School, named after David J. Quinn, a former principal, is a public middle (or junior high) school that serves grades 5 through 7. It was built in 2013. The principal is Jason Webster and the vice principal is Matt Gaffny.
- Carmela A. Farley Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 4 (and preschool and kindergarten classes). It was built in the 1950s and was named after long-time Hudson educator Carmela A. Farley. The building has also served as the high school and the middle school. The principal is Sharon MacDonald.
- Joseph L. Mulready Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 4 (and a kindergarten class). It was originally named the Cox Street School after the street it is on but was renamed after former Hudson superintendent Joseph L. Mulready. The principal is Kelly Whitman.
- Forest Avenue Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 4 (and a preschool class). It was completed in 1975 and is named after Forest Avenue, the street it is on. The principal is David Champigny.
- Cora Hubert Kindergarten Center is a former kindergarten at the intersection of Broad Street and Giasson Street. The kindergarten was closed in 2012 and kindergarten students will now attend at Camela A. Farley Elementary School. It is now abandoned and is never used. The school was built on the site of the old Broad Street elementary school where Cora Hubert was the principal and 5th grade teacher.
- John F. Kennedy Middle School (JFK) is a former middle school that served grades 6 and 7. It was torn down and bulldozed during Summer 2013 due to complaints including smells, water leaking from the ceiling and dirty walls and lockers. Where the school once stood is now the parking lot of Quinn Middle School, which replaced JFK. The demolishing was finished in August 2013.
- Hudson High School, or HHS, is a public high school that serves grades 8 through 12 (HHS also has a preschool class). The new multimillion-dollar building was finished in 2004—the same year the old building, which was built in the early 1970s, was demolished. The principal is Brian Reagan and the assistant principals are Daniel McAnespie and Joshua Otlin.
- Some Hudson students attend Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, a public regional vocational high school that serves grades 9 through 12. It was opened in 1973 and was named after the Assabet Valley that was formed by the Assabet River, where the district's towns are. The principal is Mark Hollick.
- St. Michael's School was a private Catholic primary school that serves grades 1 through 8 as well as kindergarten. The original building was built around 1918, when the school was founded, and the school was administered by Saint Michael's Catholic Parish. The school was in the former Hudson Catholic High School building. In May 2011 the church announced the School would close at the end of the school year; it has since been closed.
- Hudson Catholic High School, or HCHS, was a private Catholic high school that served grades 9 through 12. It was completed in 1959 and was administered by St. Michael's Catholic Parish. The principal was Caroline Flynn and the assistant principal was Mark Wentworth at the time the school closed. The parish announced only about a month before the end of the 2008–09 school year that the school would be closed by the Boston Archdiocese due to lack of enrollment for the 2009–2010 school year and, as a consequence, funds. The HCHS building was used as the St. Michael's School building, which closed in May 2011.
The Hudson public library first opened in 1867. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Hudson spent 1.19% ($614,743) of its budget on its public library—some $31 per person.
Here are the highways that run through Hudson:
- Interstate 495
- Interstate 290
- Massachusetts Route 85
- Massachusetts Route 62
Hudson has no airport of its own. The closest airport of any type is Marlboro Airport in Marlborough, the closest with scheduled flights is Worcester Regional Airport in Worcester and the closest with international service is Logan International Airport in Boston.
Hudson has been a candidate of bus transportation, along with Milford.
Houses of worship
- Saint Michael's Roman Catholic Church . St. Michael's Church, also known as St. Mike's, has been in existence since 1869, with the present building having been built in 1889. The current pastor is Rev. Ron Calhoun, and the Xaverian assistant is Rev. Anthony Lalli.
- Saint Luke's Episcopal Church . St. Luke's Church was completed in 1913, and the current rector is Rev. T. James Kodera.
- First United Methodist Church of Hudson . The current Methodist Church in town was completed in 1913 after the first one, which was located across the street from the Unitarian Church, burnt down in 1911. The current pastor is Pastor Rosanne Roberts
- Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson . The Unitarian Church is technically older than the town itself; it was built in 1861. The current minister is Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann.
- Grace Baptist (Southern Baptist) Church . Grace Baptist was built in 1986 and the congregation has grown from an original 25 to a current 1,200 members. The current (senior) pastor is Rev. Marc Pena.
- Carmel Marthoma Church. The newest church in Hudson, the Carmel Marthoma Church was constructed in 2001, but the congregation traces its beginnings to the early 1970s as a prayer fellowship, meeting in the greater Boston area.
- First Federated Church (Baptist/Congregational). The First Federated Church was built in the 1960s. The current pastor of the First Federated Church is Rev. James (Jay) E. Mulligan III.
- Hudson Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was also built in the 1960s.
- Hudson also has a Buddhist meeting group affiliated with the SGI.
Churches no longer in use
- Christ the King Roman Catholic Church (merged with Saint Michael's Church in 1994 to form one parish) As the parish had been suppressed in 1994 it was determined by the pastor, Fr. Walter A. Carreiro, with the Parish Pastoral Council to suspend the church building's use for worship. At the same time the St. Michael Early Childhood Center, located in a building on the same property, was relocated to Saint Michael School. The church was closed at the same time as other churches in the Boston Archdiocese were being closed to respond to the shortage of vocations and not to help pay the sex abuse lawsuits, as is often misreported. Christ the King was not closed by the Archdiocese and proceeds of its subsequent sale reverted directly to Saint Michael parish. http://www.rcab.org/Parish_Reconfiguration/closures.html/
- Union Church of All Faiths, possibly the smallest church in the US, built by the Rev. Louis W. West
A very small fraction of the town's population is Jewish and Orthodox, but there is not yet a synagogue or an Orthodox church in Hudson. Hudson nevertheless has an important role in the formation of the Albanian Orthodox Church due to the 1906 Hudson incident in which an Albanian national was refused burial by a Greek Orthodox priest from Hudson.
- Lewis Dewart Apsley – Founder of Apsley Rubber Company; U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts from 1893 to 1897
- Paul Cellucci – Former Governor of Massachusetts, from 1997 to 2001; and former U.S. Ambassador to Canada, from 2001 to 2005
- William D. Coolidge – Physicist who invented an improved X-ray tube, developed the tungsten filament for the incandescent light bulb, was vice-president of General Electric, and was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1975
- Tony Frias – Professional soccer player; has played for the New England Revolution, C.S. Marítimo, and S.C. Lusitânia
- Charles Precourt – Retired U.S. astronaut
- Wilbert Robinson – Born in Bolton but raised in Hudson; was a catcher for various Major League Baseball teams known best for being manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1914 to 1931; inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945
- Paul Ryan – Born in Somerville, MA; long-time Hudson resident until his death in 2016; Comic artist on Fantastic Four and The Phantom
- Thomas P. Salmon – Former Governor of Vermont, from 1973 to 1977; born in Cleveland, Ohio, raised in Stow, attended Hudson High School
- William C. Sullivan – Former head of the FBI intelligence operations
- Burton Kendall Wheeler – Former U.S. Senator from Montana, from 1923 to 1947
- Nuno Bettencourt – Rock musician; lead guitarist for the band Extreme
- Kevin Figueiredo – Rock drummer; drummer for the band Extreme
- Hugo Ferreira – Rock musician; singer-songwriter for the band Tantric
- Evan Markopoulos – Professional wrestler of TNA Gut Check fame.
- List of mill towns in Massachusetts
- Halprin, Lewis; The Hudson Historical Society (2001) [First published 1999]. Images of America: Hudson. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-0073-9.
- Halprin, Lewis; The Hudson Historical Society (2008). Postcard History Series: Hudson. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-6284-1.
- The Hudson Historical Society (1976). Hudson Bicentennial Scrapbook. Private publication.
- Verdone, William L., and Lewis Halprin. (2005). Images of America: Hudson's National Guard Militia. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-4456-6.
- Halprin, Lewis, and Alan Kattelle. (1998). Images of America: Lake Boon. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-1292-2.
- 1871 Atlas of Massachusetts. by Wall & Gray. Map of Massachusetts. Map of Middlesex County.
- History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 1 (A-H), Volume 2 (L-W) compiled by Samuel Adams Drake, published 1879–1880. 572 and 505 pages. Hudson article by Charles Hudson in volume 1 pages 496–505.
- Town of Hudson
- Hudson Public Library
- Town Profile on Massachusetts State Website
- 1870s Map of Hudson, 1 of 2
- 1870s Map of Hudson, 2 of 2
- Hudson, MA at Google Maps