Hudson -- The past can be haunting, historical -- and even scandalous.
Hudson Library and Historical Archivist Gwen Mayer took residents on a tour of Hudson's scandalous past on April 24, as part of a series of tours on the city's history the library is offering this year.
The Scandals of Hudson, the first tour this year, focused on past criminal activities, from bank embezzlement to murder.
Mayer led a tour group along downtown streets for more than an hour, pausing on the sidewalk in front of homes with scandals.
Without giving away the tour's secrets, scandals mentioned involved bank embezzlements and a doctor performing illegal operations. Two residents were sentenced to prison for selling liquor out of a home, and it wasn't during prohibition. Hudson was home to a large Irish Catholic population in the mid-1800s when the railroad was built. They started St. Mary Church on Railroad Street, which is now Maple Street.
Learn what crime a resident on Railroad Street committed to earn the title of the "hardest character to ever disgrace our town."
Mayer also shared the story of a murder from the mid 19th century involving St. Mary Church, Western Reserve Academy and two maids.
Those on the tour were encouraged to ask questions and discovered where the train tracks crossed the middle of town, the location of the marker for President Abraham Lincoln's brief stop in Hudson and the meanings behind street names.
Another little known fact included a "gross" factor. After the fire in 1892, when a large section of Main Street was destroyed, businesses shared space with those left standing, Mayer said. The butcher shared space with Johnson Romito Funeral Home.
For the rest of the scandalous stories, join a tour group.
Upcoming tour dates
Hudson Library and Historical Society is offering five different tours of the city's history, including the Underground Railroad, Kit Homes, Architectural History, Spooky Hudson and Scandals of Hudson.
Library Archivist Gwen Mayer will conduct two tours a month, each starting at 6:45 p.m. in front of the library.
More Scandals of Hudson tours will be May 21, June 12, July 10 at 2 p.m., and Sept. 2.
Other tours include the Underground Railroad scheduled for May 7, June 16 at 2 p.m., July 7 and Sept. 25; the Kit Homes tour are scheduled for June 2 and Aug. 11; the Architectural History tours are scheduled for Aug. 4 and Oct. 8; and Spooky Hudson tours will be July 30 and Oct. 28.
A new tour, Disasters of Hudson, has been added on Saturdays and will be June 21 at 2 p.m. and Aug. 2 at 2 p.m.
All tours depart at 6:45 p.m. unless otherwise stated and are weather dependent.
Those who would like to join the tour should pre-register in person or online at www.hudsonlibrary.org. The number is limited to 30, but the library keeps a waiting list and will call if anyone cancels.
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing