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Hudson, Massachusetts

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Hudson, Massachusetts

Hudson, Massachusetts
Wood Square
Wood Square
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1699
Incorporated 1866
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Executive Assistant Thomas Moses
 • Board of Selectmen Joseph Durant
Scott R. Duplisea
Fred P. Lucy II
James D. Quinn
James Vereault
 • 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)
Population (2010)
 • Total 19,063
 • Density 1,702.6/sq mi (657.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01749
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-31540
GNIS feature ID 0618226
Website .org.townofhudsonwww

Hudson is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States.

Before its incorporation as a town in 1866, Hudson was a suburb of the neighboring Marlborough, Massachusetts, and was known as Feltonville. And before that Eastborough. From around 1850 until the last shoe factory burned down in 1968,[1] Hudson was known as a "shoe town." At one point, the town had 17 shoe factories,[1][2] 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.

For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Hudson, please see the article Hudson (CDP), Massachusetts.


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.[2]

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.[1] 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.[2]

Hudson was part of Marlborough and was known as Feltonville for part of that time, until its incorporation in 1866.

As early as June 1743[1][2] 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.[1][2]

In the 1850s, Feltonville received its first railroads.[1][2] 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 fought during the Civil War for the Union side. Twenty-five men died doing so. Many houses, including the Goodale House on Chestnut Street (Hudson's oldest building, dating from 1702) and the Curley home on Brigham Street (formerly known as the Rice Farm), were stations on the Underground Railroad.[2][3]

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.[2][3]

Apsley Rubber Company in 1911
Wood Square in 1907

Over the next twenty years, Hudson grew as many 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.[2][3] The population hovered around 5,500 residents, most of whom lived in small homes with little 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).[2][3]

Disaster struck on July 4, 1894, when a fire started by two boys playing with firecrackers burnt down 40 buildings and 5 acres (20,000 m2) of central Hudson. Nobody was hurt, but the cost of damages was estimated at $400,000 (1894 dollars).[2][3] Nevertheless, the town was rebuilt within a year or so.

By 1900, Hudson's population had reached about 7,500 residents, and the town had built its own power plant, so some homes were wired for electricity. Electric trolley lines were built that connected Hudson with the towns of Leominster, Concord, and Marlborough.[2][3] 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 either of Irish or Portuguese descent, with smaller populations of those of Italian, French, English, Scots-Irish, and Greek descent. About one-third of Hudson residents are Portuguese or are of Portuguese descent.[2] Specifically, 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,[1] which now has a newly rebuilt, state-of-the-art clubhouse. The Hudson Portuguese Club was established in the mid-1910s and has outlived 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, Asia, and Europe.[2]

Hudson's population remained about the same until after World War II, when developers started to buy out some farms that rimmed and still do rim the town. The new houses that were built on this land more than doubled Hudson's population.[3] Recently, high-technology companies have built plants and factories in Hudson, such as Digital Equipment Corporation (now owned by Intel). Although the population of Hudson is now about 20,000, the town still maintains the traditional town meeting form of government.[2]

Former names

Feltonville was the name of what is today the town of Hudson, Massachusetts. Before becoming a separate incorporated town, Hudson was a suburb of Marlborough, Massachusetts; this suburb was known as Feltonville. The name is derived from the name of the Felton store, owned by Silas Felton, that was built in the early 19th century.[2][3] The name was used from 1828 until the town was incorporated as Hudson in 1866. Today, Feltonville is not used to refer to the town of Hudson in any way, but there are two streets that reference the name: 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.[4]
  • From 1700 to 1800,[4] the settlement was known as The Mills.[2]
  • From 1800 to 1828,[4] the settlement was called New City.[2]
  • During the 60's - 70's, Hudson was commonly known as Bone City, or Bonetown


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.

Adjacent towns

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 village of Gleasondale is in both Hudson and Stow.


As of the census[13] 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.


Local government

Hudson Town Hall, built in 1872

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 management of the town and who functions as a sort of mayor, is Paul Blazar.[14] The Board of Selectmen is a group of elected officials who are the primary lawmakers of the town, as well as being the group that appoints the Executive Assistant. There are five positions on the Hudson Board of Selectman, currently filled by Joseph Durant, James Vereault, Christopher P. Yates, Fred P. Lucy II, and James D. Quinn.[15] Between themselves, the five selectmen rotate the positions of chairman, vice-chairman, and clerk.

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. Mo Cowan in the Senate.


Felton Street School in 1912, now converted into condominiums

Hudson students have two public districts they can attend. The public school are Hudson Public Schools,[16] 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. Kevin M. Lyons. 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.

Public schools

  • 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 Brian Daniels and the vice principal is Matthew Gaffny.[17]
  • 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.[18] The principal is Sharon MacDonald.[19]
  • 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.[18] The principal is Charlene Cook.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • 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.
  • 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 multi-million-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.[22]
  • 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.[2]

Private schools

  • 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;[23] 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.[24] The HCHS building was used as the St. Michael's School building, which closed in May 2011.[25]
Hudson Public Library in 1907, a Carnegie library opened in 1905


The Hudson public library first opened in 1867.[26][27] In fiscal year 2008, the town of Hudson spent 1.19% ($614,743) of its budget on its public library—some $31 per person.[28]


Road transportation

Here are the highways that run through Hudson:

Air transportation

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.

Bus transportation

Hudson has been a candidate of bus transportation, along with Milford.


Houses of worship

Unitarian Church, built in 1861
Methodist-Episcopal Church after 1911 fire; it was replaced in 1913
  • Saint Michael's Roman Catholic Church [3]. St. Michael's Church, also known as St. Mike's, has been in existence since 1869,[29] with the present building having been built in 1889.[29] The current pastor is Rev. Ron Calhoun, and the parochial vicar is Rev. Steven Poitras.
  • Saint Luke's Episcopal Church [4]. St. Luke's Church was completed in 1913,[29] and the current rector is Rev. T. James Kodera.
  • First United Methodist Church of Hudson [5]. The current Methodist Church in town was completed in 1913[29] after the first one, which was located across the street from the Unitarian Church, burnt down in 1911.[29] The current pastor is Rev. Doug Robinson-Johnson.
  • Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson [6]. The Unitarian Church is technically older than the town itself; it was built in 1861.[29] The current minister is Rev. Stephen M. Shick.
  • Grace Baptist (Southern Baptist) Church [7].[29] 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. Dr. David Bennett.
  • Carmel Marthoma Church.[30] 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)[8]. The First Federated Church was built in the 1960s.[29] The current pastor the First Federated Church is Rev. James (Jay) E. Mulligan III.
  • Hudson Seventh-day Adventist Church[9]. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was also built in the 1960s.
  • Hudson also has a Buddhist meeting group affiliated with the SGI.[10]

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.
  • Union Church of All Faiths, possibly the smallest church in the US, built by the Rev. Louis W. West[29]

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.

Notable people

Former Governor Paul Cellucci


  1. ^ a b c d e f Halprin 2001: 7
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Halprin 2008: 7–10
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Halprin 2001: 8
  4. ^ a b c The Hudson Historical Society 1976
  5. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  14. ^ "Executive Assistant". Town Departments. Town of Hudson. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Board of Selectmen". Town Departments. Town of Hudson. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  16. ^ Hudson Public Schools - Achievement and Character. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b Halprin 2001: 85–94
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Jeff Malachowski (May 13, 2011). "St. Michael School in Hudson to close". 
  24. ^ Hudson Catholic High School closing - Articles of Faith. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  25. ^ Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  26. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891. Google books
  27. ^ Retrieved November 8, 2010
  28. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What’s Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports. Retrieved August 4, 2010
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i Halprin 2001: 76–84
  30. ^
  31. ^ "APSLEY, Lewis Dewart". Members of Congress: Massachusetts. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Revolution Signs Midfielder Tony Frias III".  
  33. ^ "Charles J. Precourt—Biographical Data".  
  34. ^ "WHEELER, Burton Kendall".  


Further reading

  • 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.

External links

  • 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
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