Last week I took the picture of the snow pile right after they had plowed -- and it was still snowing. The piles had shrunk significantly by the time the picture appeared in the Hub, but the clues of the oversized flag and the light poles led many people to correctly guess Acme Plaza (officially Hudson Plaza), taken from the parking lot in front of Morgan Bank.
Fifty years ago the Plaza area looked very different -- it was farmland as far as the eye could see. In the 50s, Robert D. Sr. and his father Gustav Kallstrom purchased the Case Farm, which extended on the south side of 303 from East Case Drive to Westhaven, and started building homes in that area. The Case family farmhouse, originally where the Covenant Church is, was moved just slightly south on East Case and renovated into a two-family dwelling that remains today. Increased development created a need for a bigger grocery store in Hudson, and in the early 60s the Kallstroms built the first building in the plaza. Acme #23, which had been on Main Street in the building currently occupied by Vignettes and Western Reserve School of Cooking , moved and expanded as the anchor tenant of the new building. Dodd's Department Store and a hardware store filled the spaces to the east (today, Radio Shack and PetPeople). When Acme wanted to expand in 1987, Bob Kallstrom Jr., who then owned the hardware store, built a new building in the west part of the Plaza and more than doubled the size of what was then Hudson Ace Hardware . When he sold the store in 2002, the hardware store moved south on 91 and Morgan Bank moved from the Park Place building (corner of 91 and 303) into their current location.
When Acme left Main Street, Jim Searcy, who had been operating Searcy Meats as part of Acme, stayed in place and expanded slightly as an I.G.A. Country Food Center, leaving a grocery on Main Street for those villagers who had become accustomed to walking to the store.
In gathering background information from Bob Kallstrom, I learned enough about Hudson in the 50s and 60s to fill a small booklet. I look forward to sharing it with you in future columns.