Each week, Destination Hudson will present a photograph of something in Hudson, along with an interesting fact about our town. We hope that you will enjoy the facts about your hometown, and if you don't know where the photograph was taken, you'll go find out. The answers will be printed in the Hudson Hub-Times, and posted on Destination Hudson's Facebook page and at the Visitor Center. Our bi-weekly winner was Donna Gilles, who received a $25 gift card to Rosewood Grill.
Last week's photograph was of one of two special lights that have been on the Clocktower for many years. (Special thanks to Boston Meeker, whose photograph inspired this column). The lights were used before the police had radio-dispatched cars. I wasn't able to pin down actual dates that this system started and ended, but it was definitely operating in the mid-to-late '40s. If a call for police assistance came in to the answering service (the telephone operator on the third floor of the bank building), she would flip a switch and the lights would come on. The policeman on duty would see them on the Clocktower as he made his rounds through town and contact the switchboard operator to find out where he was needed.
"Hudson's own 'Bat Signal,'" said Philip Leiter.
I did come across an interesting tidbit while trying to track down information on these lights - as a boy, Hudson native Bud Morse would occasionally spend the night sleeping on the couch in the front room of his grandmother's apartment on the second story of what is now The Learned Owl Book Shop. He told me if he woke up in the night to the sound of tire chains going down Main Street, he would know he didn't have school in the morning because of snow. Just as effective as the list of school closings on TV!