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Learning about America's 17 Hudsons

Published: May 28, 2017 12:00 AM

Hudsonites are rightfully proud of its city, with a history of more than two centuries. Much of that history has been preserved and remains visible in its two nationally recognized historic districts.

Hudson is also outstanding in meeting 21st century demands. Most agree that the town is a wonderful place to live, work and shop.

Outstanding schools offer excellent opportunities for our children and we are blessed with a park system that permits us ready access to the great outdoors through a wide array of activities.

The Hudson Library & Histocial Society consistently earns 5-star ratings. Most importantly, Hudson is distinguished by its residents who volunteer in the schools' VIP programs, the fire and emergency medical operations and numerous organizations that serve our community.

While this Hudson is a unique place, it shares the "Hudson" name with 16 other towns across the U.S. "Learning about America's 17 Hudsons" has been the focus of articles published in the Hub, that were written in conjunction with the "Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge."

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The challenge involves visiting all 17 communities that share the Hudson name. Those communities are be found from Maine to Wyoming.

The first individual to complete the challenge will be awarded a $500 shopping spree at the Visitor Center's Gift Shop.

If the winner also visits Hudson's sister city in Germany, Landsberg, the prize package will be increased to $750.

In addition to the 17 villages, towns and cities that share the Hudson name, there are numerous other places known as Hudson. They include unincorporated areas in Florida, two in California, and in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to name a few.

Henry Hudson, the renown 17th century English explorer and namesake of New York's famed Hudson River and Canada's Hudson Bay, lent his name to a number of places in the U.S.

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However, a majority of the municipalities that carry the Hudson name were actually named for initial settlers or benefactors, just as our city was named for David Hudson.

This Hudson's history began in 1799, yet other Hudsons can trace their origins as far back as 1622, such as New York State's Hudson.

People love to compare. Our hometown is the second most populated of the 17 Hudsons, outnumbered only by New Hampshire's 24,584 Hudsonites. In terms of average ages, we're neither the youngest nor oldest of the 17 Hudsons, with Indiana and Michigan respectively being tops in those categories.

Three other Hudsons are larger in physical size, having more than our 25.87 square miles. At 1,066 feet above sea level, we're the sixth highest of the Hudsons, but nowhere near Wyoming or Colorado's Hudsons, which are both more than 5,000 feet above sea level.

Our hometown compares favorably with other Hudson namesake municipalities and with national averages relative to household incomes, home values, educational attainment levels and crime statistics.

Yet, each of the Hudson communities are unique, in large part due to the individuals who helped shape the towns.

Our town would have been very different had it not been for people such as James W. Ellswoth, Ada Cooper Miller, John Brown, Heman Oviatt, or Caroline Baldwin-Babcock.

In the coming weeks the Hub will feature some of the personalities who were instrumental in the shaping of their particular communities and we'll consider the similarities and differences with our sister city in Germany

The Visit 17 Hudson in 2017 Challenge will continue until year-end or earlier should someone claim the prize.

Details are available online at destinationhudson.com or at the Hudson Visitor Center and Gift Shop, which is located in the old Town Hall, at 27 E. Main St.

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