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 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. While some manufacturing remains in Hudson, the town is now primarily residential. Hudson is served by the Hudson Public Schools district.
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|
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 after the war. 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 and bridge across the Assabet.
The settlement was part of the town (now city) of Marlborough Over time, it came to be known as Feltonville. As early as June 1743, area residents 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. 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 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 fought during the Civil War. Twenty-five of those men died 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. Both properties remain in existence as of 2018.
In 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. The new town was named Hudson after Congressman Charles Hudson, who had been born and raised in the Feltonville neighborhood. Though the naming has sometimes been interpreted as a quid pro quo in exchange for his donation to the library, in fact, his gift came after he received the news of the honor. According to the 1880 Middlesex Co. history, once the town was established, a committee was appointed "to inform Charles Hudson, of Lexington, that the new town was named Hudson as a compliment to him." Upon receiving the news, he sent a "flattering and highly satisfactory letter" to the committee in which he "spoke very approvingly of the enterprise of the town and treated of the value of a free public library." He concluded with an offer of $500 in matching funds towards the construction of a free public library, which the citizens voted on and approved.
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 town hall (still in use as of 2017) 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 that connected 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, 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 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 the mid-1910s 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 at the same location.
Hudson's population hovered around 8,000 from the 1920s to the 1950s, when developers purchased some farms that surrounded the town center. The new houses built on this land helped double Hudson's population to 16,000 by 1970. Since the 1990s high-technology companies built plants in Hudson, notably the semiconductor fabrication factory built by Digital Equipment Corporation and now owned by Intel. Although the population of Hudson is now about 20,000, the town continues the traditional town meeting form of government.
Before becoming a separate incorporated town, Hudson was a neighborhood and unincorporated village within the town (now city) of Marlborough, Massachusetts. 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 or Feltonville. The last name was derived 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 (30.7rere 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 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) and descending 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 ft (30 m). The dam in central Hudson is one of nine historic mill or flood control dams on the Assabet River. 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 Milham 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 portion of Gleasondale. A significant portion of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (opened in 2005) is located in Hudson.
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 at one time provided drinking water to both 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.
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.
As of 2017 the population was 19,994. Hudson racial makeup was 92.6%, white alone, 1.3% of Black or African American alone,Hispanic or Latino 6.7%, Asian 2.7%, Two or more races 2.5% Native American 0.1%. foreign born persons percent 2013-2017 16.8% Veterans 2013-2017 1,047.Female 50.7 persons under 18 19.8% and under 5 years old 5.1%
Income and poverty'2013-2017 Median household income (in 2017 dollars),$83,765 persons in poverty 5.9%, persons without heath insurance under 65, 4.9% Household 2013-2017 7,708. Persons over 65 18.0%.Owner occupied unit rate 2013-2017 75.2%
Education90.3% High School or higher, 39.8% Bachelor's or higher. Households with broadband internet subscription, percent 2013-2017 86.3% https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/hudsontownmiddlesexcountymassachusetts#
|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:||James DiPaola|
|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 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.
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.
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 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 2018. The library is a member of the C/W MARS regional library consortium and catalog, which 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.
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.
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|* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.|
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
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