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Hudson, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Wood Square
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°23′30″N 71°34′00″W / 42.39167°N 71.5666667°W / 42.39167; -71.5666667
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1699
Incorporated 1866
 - Type Open town meeting
 - Executive Assistant Paul Blazar
 - Board of Selectmen Joseph Durant
Carl Leeber
Antonio Loura
Santino "Sonny" Parente
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 (2007)
 - Total 19,580
 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

Hudson is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,113 at the 2000 census, and estimated to have reached about 19,580 in 2007. The town is located in central Massachusetts, about a 40 minute drive, or about 40 miles (64 km) [1], west of Boston, and about a 20 minutes' drive, or about 16.5 miles (26.6 km) [2], northeast of Worcester.

Before its incorporation as a town in 1866, Hudson was a suburb of the neighboring Marlborough, Massachusetts, and was known as Feltonville. 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 (as Hudson was then called), 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 childhood resident 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
Hudson Public Library in 1907, a Carnegie library opened in 1905

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]

Then, 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 boardinghouses 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[3], 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 the 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: Feltonville is the former 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 Feltonville is derived from the name of the Felton store, a store owned by a man by the name of Silas Felton, that was built in the suburb in the early 1800s.[2][3] The name was used for the suburb from 1828 until the town was incorporated as Hudson in 1866. Today, the name Feltonville is no longer used to refer to the town of Hudson in any way, but there are still two streets in town that reference the name Feltonville: Felton Street and Feltonville Road.

Hudson has also had other, earlier former 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]


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) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) of it (2.87%) is water.

The Assabet River runs 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[5] 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/sq mi (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.


County government: Middlesex County
Clerk of Courts: Michael A. Sullivan
District Attorney: Gerard T. Leone, Jr.
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 government
State Representative(s): Rep. Kate Hogan (D)
State Senator(s): Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Marilyn M. Petitto-Devaney (Third District)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): Niki Tsongas (D-5th District)
U.S. Senators: John Kerry (D), Scott Brown (R)

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.[6] 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, Carl Leeber, Antonio Loura, Santino "Sonny" Parente, and James Vereault.[7] 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 State Legislature, 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. John Kerry and Sen. Scott Brown in the Senate.


Felton Street School in 1912, now converted into condominiums

Hudson students have the choice of three school districts they can attend, two public and one private. The two public school districts are Hudson Public Schools[4], 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 11 towns of Marlborough, Hudson, Maynard, Berlin, Boylston, West Boylston, Clinton, Shrewsbury, Westborough, Northborough, and Southborough. The private school district is Saint Michael's Schools, a Catholic district run by Saint Michael's Parish. 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 Saint Michael's Schools district does not have a set superintendent. Instead, Saint Michael's Parish pastor Rev. Ron Calhoun serves as administrator for the school under the district.

Public schools

  • John F. Kennedy Middle School, popularly known as JFK, is a public middle (or junior high) school that serves grades 6 through 7. It was built in the early 1960s and was named after then recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy. The principal is Brian Daniels and the vice principal is Matthew Gaffny.[5]
  • Carmela A. Farley Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 5. 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.[8] The principal is Sharon MacDonald.[6]
  • Joseph L. Mulready Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 5 (Mulready also has a kindergarten class). It was originally named the Cox Street School after the street it is located on, but was renamed after former Hudson superintendent Joseph L. Mulready.[8] The principal is Charlene Cook. [7]
  • Forest Avenue Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 5 (Forest Ave also has a preschool class). It was completed in 1975 and is named after Forest Avenue, the street it is located on. The principal is David Champigny.[8]
  • 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 John H. Stapelfeld and the assistant principals are Daniel McAnespie and Joshua Otlin.[9]
  • Cora Hubert Kindergarten Center is a public kindergarten center. It occupies the former New Broad Street School building,[8] which was built in 1924 and converted into the kindergarten in 1976, and it is now named after Hudson educator Cora Hubert. The principal is Mary McCarthy, who is also the director of the District's Community Service Learning programs. [10]
  • Note: Some Hudson students attend Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, a public regional vocational high school that serves grades 9 through 12. The school was opened in 1973, and was named after the Assabet Valley that was formed by the Assabet River, as it is where the district's towns are located in. The principal of the school is Mr. Mark Hollick .[11]

Private schools

  • Saint Michael's School is 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 is administered by Saint Michael's Catholic Parish. The school will now be moved to the former Hudson Catholic High School building.[12] The principal is Patricia Delaney.[13]
  • 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 Saint Michael's Catholic Parish. The principal was Caroline Flynn and the assistant principal was Mark Wentworth at the time the school was closed. It was announced only about a month before the end of the 2008-09 school year by the parish 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.[14] The HCHS building will now be used as the Saint Micheal's School building, which remained open. [15]


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[16]. St. Michael's Church, also known as St. Mike's, has been in existence since 1869,[9] with the present building having been built in 1889.[9] The current pastor is Rev. Ron Calhoun, and the parochial vicar is Rev. Steven Poitras.
  • Saint Luke's Episcopal Church[17]. St. Luke's Church was completed in 1913,[9] and the current rector is Rev. T. James Kodera.
  • First United Methodist Church of Hudson[18]. The current Methodist Church in town was completed in 1913[9] after the first one, which was located across the street from the Unitarian Church, burnt down in 1911.[9] The current pastor is Rev. Doug Robinson-Johnson.
  • Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson[19]. The Unitarian Church is technically older than the town itself; it was built in 1861.[9] The current minister is Rev. Stephen M. Shick.
  • Grace Baptist (Southern Baptist) Church[20]. The newest church in Hudson,[9] 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.
  • First Federated Church (Baptist/Congregational)[21]. The First Federated Church was built in the 1960s.[9] The current pastor of the First Federated Church is Rev. James (Jay) E. Mulligan III.
  • Hudson Seventh-day Adventist Church[22]. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was also built in the 1960s.
  • Hudson also has a Buddhist meeting group affiliated with the SGI.[23]

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[9]

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. However, Hudson 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 residents

Former Governor Paul Cellucci

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Sister City

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  • 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 978-0-7385-284-1. 
  • The Hudson Historical Society (1976). Hudson Bicentennial Scrapbook. Private publication. 

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

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