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Learning about America's 17 Hudsons -- Kentucky

Published: April 16, 2017 12:03 AM
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Only one of the communities included in the Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge is unincorporated, meaning it lacks a local government. Hudson, Kentucky, is 57 miles southwest of Louisville in rural Breckenridge County. The area has been known as Hudson since 1810 and was long been served by the Hudson Post Office, zip code 40145.

Within the zip code area are 786 residents residing in 229 households. Their median age is 30.1 years. 58 percent of Hudson adults have completed high school and 10 percent have college degrees. The cost of living is 15 percent below the national average, primarily due to the area's affordable housing. The average home value is $82,000.

Government-related services are delivered through the county government. Breckenridge County covers an area of 567 square miles. Its population totals 20,000. Hardinsburg, the county seat and location of the nearest medical facility is 17 miles northwest of Hudson. Educational services are provided through the Breckenridge County School District. Custer Elementary School in Custer is 6 miles from Hudson. The middle and high schools are in Harned, 12 miles away.

The area was settled by Joseph Hudson in 1810. He claimed land and named the area Hudson. His original log homestead still exists. The sixth generation of the Hudson family continues to own the land that Joseph first claimed 207 years ago. Among other early settlers was Doctor George Legrand. He the first medical doctor in Breckenridge County, and brought several slaves with him when he moved to Hudson.

During the Civil War four Hudsonites fought for the Union Army. All survived. During that conflict, every home in Hudson was plundered by Confederate guerillas. After the war Mac Jauncy built a gristmill along the Calimese Creek so that his fellow residents could grind their own meal. Another resident, Riley Johnson, operated a distillery producing 100 percent proof government bonded whiskey. Locals claimed "a sizeable amount of that (whiskey) was consumed here in the community." The distillery operated until the 1919 Volstead Act outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

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The first Hudson school, a log building, was constructed in 1840. Two subsequent structures were replaced. A fourth schoolhouse, constructed in 1924, had one room and once served 58 students in all eight elementary grades. That school was shuttered in 1957, replaced by the Custer School, which continues to educate K through 5 students.

Hudson lacks a defined center, but along Kentucky Highway 401 near Legrande Road is the Hudson Grocery & Hardware store. Close by is the Community Church, and the Masonic Lodge F.&A.M. 262. The W. H. Tucker General Store, that dated back to 1930, has closed. It had contained the Hudson Post Office. Postal responsibilities were shifted to the Harned, Kentucky although the 40145 zip code for Hudson has been maintained.

Destination Hudson operates the Hudson Visitor Center and Gift Shop that is located in historic Town Hall at 27 E. Main St. Along with Hudson's Restaurant and the Hudson Hub-Times the three organizations sponsor the Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge. Information about the Challenge is available at the Visitor Center or online at destinationhudson.com.

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