Hudson Massachusetts, 1890

Hudson is an attractive, enterprising and progressive town in the western side of Middlesex County, 28 miles directly west of Boston, on the Massachusetts Central Railroad. Through the midst of the town passes also the Marlborough Branch of the Fitchburg Railroad. The township is wedge-shaped with the thinner edge eastward. Its boundaries on the north are Bolton and Stow; on the east, Sudbury; on the south, Marlborough; and on the west, Berlin. The assessed area is 6,780 acres.

There are nearly 2,000 acres of forest, consisting largely of walnut, chestnut, elm and pine. Mount Assabet, near the centre nearly 200 feet in height, is a favorite resort.

In general, only the borders of the town are hilly, with a nearly level valley along the Assabet River, which runs from southwest to northeast through the centre, then eastward along the northern side. Two considerable brooks come down from Bolton to this stream near the centre; and, farther east, Fort-meadow Brook enters it from Marlborough. White Pond, covering 46 acres, is a delightful sheet of water in the extreme eastern section of the town.

Coolidgeville, Gravesville and Wilkinsville are small villages. Hudson is the chief village, the post-office and the railway centre. It is well laid out, with well-kept streets and numerous shade trees. While there are few grand residences, the houses are generally neat and tasteful, with frequent lawns and flowers everywhere.

The 120 farms of this town, in the last census year, yielded products to the value of $94,523. The principal industries are the manufacture of shoes, shoe lasts and dies, leather, gossamer rubber wooden toys, various cast-iron articles, and lumber. The product of the tanneries, as reported in 1885, was valued at $197,592; and that of the several stove factories (employing nearly 1,000 persons) at $1,846,961. The value of all goods made was $2,247,773. The superiority of the shoe shops and machinery here is indicated by the fact that the Boston manufacturers and merchants took the Japanese embassy to Hudson to see the best system of shoe manufacture. The population of the town is 3,968; which finds shelter in 766 dwelling-houses. The valuation in 1888 was $2,226,011; with a tax-rate of $17 on $1,000.

The schools are graded, and are provided with six school buildings valued, with the high school library and other appurtenances at nearly $30,000. The town-hall is a fine building of brick and granite, and contains a hall affording seats for 1,000 persons, the town offices, the public library of about 5,000 volumes, and the national bank. There is also a savings bank, whose deposits at the close of last year, amounted to $482,648. The newspapers are the "Enterprise "and the "Pioneer," issued weekly. The Baptist, Methodist, Unitarian and Roman Catholic church edifices are clustered in the central village; and their different congregations live in most amicable relations with each other. The temperance sentiment is strong in the town, and the prohibitory law has been rigidly enforced.

This town was formerly parts of Marlborough and Bolton, the principal village then bearing the name of "Feltonville." It was set off and incorporated March 19, 1866; being named in honor of Hon. Charles Hudson.

pp. 388-389 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890