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Where in Hudson is this? for July 2

By Liz Murphy | destination hudson Published: July 2, 2014 12:00 AM
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An unassuming building, the little brick house sitting in front of and just to the north of the police station caused quite a stir in Hudson back in the late 1970s, as an impassioned group of Hudson Heritage Association members worked to save it from the wrecking ball.

This was the last of the well-houses sitting over wells on the old Village well-fields. Built sometime in the 1920s, it has a tapestried brick exterior and slate roof that characterized many buildings of that era. Hudson resident Tim DiMichele remembers at least four well houses in the old Village well-fields - the area between South Oviatt, Ravenna Street and Maple Drive. First mention of saving this structure appears in the HHA minutes in May 1978, shortly before the well-fields were scheduled to be razed, filled in and landscaped in preparation for building the new Safety Center and Police Station.

One source says that at least 10 wells in the area were filled with sand. Several dedicated members of Hudson Heritage Association led the charge to save the structure as one of the remaining outbuildings left in Hudson. Money was raised through donations and fund raisers. In an old file I found that $50 was donated as a result of a "successful and enjoyable Street Dance on Saturday, Sept. 2," sponsored by the Hudson Historic District Association.

There was much debate over a new location for the building - original plans were to have it by the newly formed Barlow Ponds, and another possibility was in the Barlow Community Center parking lot to serve as an information and ticket booth. While the debate went on, a sign was affixed to the well-house, warning bulldozer operators not to demolish it. Several people remember it being put on a truck and taken up the street, but I couldn't find anyone with details. From November 1978 to well into 1979 the building sat on I-beams mid-move, waiting for the ground to thaw so concrete footers and a floor could be installed.

Once the move was final, there remained the question of what to do with the cute little building. Finally, in June 1983, it was leased for $1 per year to the Hudson Players, who used it for set and costume storage. Since then (and well before any organized recycling effort) it was used as a collection center for aluminum cans to benefit burn victims. The City has now taken over responsibility for the building.

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