Where in Hudson is this? for Jan. 15

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Last week's picture was of one of the buildings in the Evaporator Works, an area of shops and businesses just southeast of the intersection of Route 91 and Ravenna Street, on the banks of Brandywine Creek and next to the Post Office.

The complex is so named because on this site in 1882, Gustave H. Grimm, a German immigrant tinsmith, established the G.H. Grimm Manufacturing Company, one of Hudson's earliest factories. His patented device, the Champion Evaporator, revolutionized maple syrup production with the use of a corrugated pan which increased the efficiency of evaporating liquids. His contributions as an inventor, researcher, and manufacturer established him as a leader in the maple sugar industry. Grimm left Hudson and moved to Vermont in the late 1890s as Vermont was a growing center for the maple industry.

The Hudson branch of Grimm's company, known as Champion Evaporation Co., closed in 1945; the demands of WWII limited the availability of tin needed for the pans. G. H. Grimm's company was the largest producer of maple syrup making equipment for 114 years.

The main building of the Evaporator Works then became a gasket factory, an auto paint and body shop and from 1966 until 1977 the Jastromb Art Furniture Company.

In 1977 Allan M. Sveda purchased the building and property. Using his architectural background, he imagined what sandblasting could do to the rough textures posts, beams and rafters, and restoration began. By 1979 there was space for 20 retail and professional units. The first occupant was a western clothing and tack shop; Mickey's Barbershop, another early occupant, is still there.

When the city offices all moved to Boston Mills Road earlier this year, it opened up considerable space in the Evaporator Works. A growing list of boutiques and small businesses are converging there - I expect increasing excitement in the area as spring approaches.

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