Each week, Destination Hudson presents a photograph of something in Hudson along with an interesting fact about our town. Our hope is that you will enjoy the facts about your hometown, and if you don't know where the photograph was taken, you'll go find out.
The answers will be printed in the Hudson Hub-Times and posted on Destination Hudson's Facebook page. The covered bridge in last week's picture is easy to spot - it has a bright red roof - and is located directly across Terex Road from the Shawnee Trail Tree Farm (my favorite place to get a Christmas tree).
If you never really thought about what Hudson was like as a frontier town, imagine the area when David Hudson first arrived as a mass of forest and bogs. Giant century-old trees had to be felled by hand in order to build cabins and dirt roads.
Remnants of the Ottawas, Chippewas and Senecas (including Seneca Chief Stigmanish) lingered in the area despite the treaty which moved the majority west. Very early in the 1800s, they took to stopping often at Heman Oviatt's cabin about a mile south of the Village near an old Indian trail. A lively trade developed. Oviatt set up a distillery on his farm and paid the tribesmen for furs and pelts with whiskey -- a coonskin earned half a pint, up the scale to four quarts for a good bearskin. When he built a crude log cabin on Main Street (the Cleveland Road) and moved his thriving trading business there, Heman Oviatt became the first store owner in Hudson. He traded the furs in Pittsburgh for shawls, calico, thread, needles and pins, all much appreciated by the early villagers. Hudson pioneer annals indicate that although the Indians were generally peaceable, when they were under the influence of whiskey, there were numerous incidents of harassment of women and children in lonely cabins. Unlike Hudson today, cabins were often built in the center of a person's plot of land, and hence, out of sight from each other in the forest.