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Hudson is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, with a total population of 19,063 as of the 2010 census. Before its incorporation as a town in 1866, Hudson was a neighborhood and unincorporated village of Marlborough, Massachusetts, and was known as Feltonville. From around 1850 until the last shoe factory burned down in 1968,[1] Hudson was known as a "shoe town". At one point, the town had 17 shoe factories,[1][2] many of them powered by the Assabet River, which runs through town. Because of the many factories in Hudson, immigrants were attracted to the town. Today, most people are of either Portuguese or Irish descent, with a smaller percentage of people being of French, Italian, English, or Scots-Irish descent. Hudson is served by the Hudson Public Schools district.

Hudson, Massachusetts
Wood Square
Wood Square
Official seal of Hudson, Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°23′30″N 71°34′00″W / 42.39167°N 71.56667°W / 42.39167; -71.56667Coordinates: 42°23′30″N 71°34′00″W / 42.39167°N 71.56667°W / 42.39167; -71.56667
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1699
Incorporated 1866
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Executive Assistant Thomas Moses
 • Board of Selectmen Joseph Durant
Scott R. Duplisea
Fred P. Lucy II
James D. Quinn
John Parent
 • Total 11.8 sq mi (30.7 km2)
 • Land 11.5 sq mi (29.8 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)
Elevation 263 ft (80 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 19,063
 • Density 1,702.6/sq mi (657.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01749
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-31540



In 1650, the area that would become Hudson was part of the Indian Plantation for the Praying Indians. The Praying Indians were evicted from their plantation during King Philip's War, and most did not return after the war.[2]

The first European settlement of the Hudson area occurred in 1699 when settler John Barnes, who had been granted an acre of the Ockookangansett Indian plantation the year before, built a gristmill on the Assabet River on land that would one day be part of Hudson.[1] By 1701, Barnes had also built a sawmill and bridge across the Assabet. Over the next century, Hudson grew slowly.[2]

Hudson was part of the town (now city) of Marlborough and was known as Feltonville for part of that time until its incorporation as a separate municipality in 1866. As early as June 1743 Hudson-area residents petitioned to break away from Marlborough and become a separate town, claiming the journey to attend Marlborough's town meeting was "vastly fatiguing."[1][2] Their petition was denied by the Massachusetts General Court. Men from the present Hudson area fought with the Minutemen on April 19, 1775.[1][2]

In the 1850s, Feltonville received its first railroads.[1][2] The town of Hudson had two train stations, originally operated by the Central Massachusetts Railroad Company and later by Boston & Maine, until both of them were closed in 1965. This allowed the development of larger factories, some of the first in the country to use steam power and sewing machines. By 1860, Feltonville had 17 shoe and shoe-related factories, which attracted immigrants from Ireland and French Canada.

Feltonville residents fought during the Civil War for the Union as Massachusetts recruits. Twenty-five of those men died doing so. Two houses, including the Goodale Homestead on Chestnut Street (Hudson's oldest building, dating from 1702) and the Curley home on Brigham Street (formerly known as the Rice Farm), have been cited as way-stations on the Underground Railroad.[2][3] Both properties remain in existence as of 2017.

In 1865, Feltonville residents once again petitioned to become a separate town. They cited the difficulty of attending town meeting, as their predecessors had in 1743, and also noted that Marlborough's high school was too far for most Feltonville children to practicably attend. This petition was approved by the Massachusetts General Court on March 19, 1866. The new town was named Hudson after Congressman Charles Hudson, who donated $500 to the new town for a public library, on the condition the town be named after him.[2][3] Congressman Hudson's affinity for the new town stemmed from his birth and childhood residence in the Feltonville neighborhood.

Apsley Rubber Company in 1911
Wood Square in 1907

Over the next twenty years, Hudson grew as several industries settled in town. Two woolen mills, an elastic-webbing plant, a piano case factory, and a factory for waterproofing fabrics by rubber coating were constructed. Private banks, five schools, a poor farm, and the town hall (still in use as of 2017) were also built during this time.[2][3] The population hovered around 5,500 residents, most of whom lived in modest houses with small backyard garden plots. The town maintained five volunteer fire companies, one of which manned the Eureka Hand Pump, a record-setting pump that could shoot a 1.5-inch (38 mm) stream of water 229 feet (70 m).[2][3]

On July 4, 1894, a fire started by two boys playing with firecrackers burned down 40 buildings and 5 acres (20,000 m2) of central Hudson. Nobody was hurt, but the damages were estimated at $400,000 (1894 dollars).[2][3] The town was substantially rebuilt within a year or two.

By 1900, Hudson's population reached about 7,500 residents, and the town had built a power plant. Many houses were wired for electricity, and to this day Hudson produces its own power. Electric trolley lines were built that connected Hudson with the towns of Leominster, Concord, and Marlborough, though these only remained in existence until the late 1920s.[2][3] The factories in town continued to grow, attracting immigrants from England, Germany, Portugal, Lithuania, Poland, Greece, Albania, and Italy. These immigrants usually lived in boarding houses near their places of employment. By 1928, 19 languages were spoken by the workers of the Firestone-Apsley Rubber Company. Today, the majority of Hudson residents are of Irish or Portuguese descent, with lesser populations of Brazilian, Italian, French, French Canadian, English, Scots-Irish, Greek, and Polish descent. About one-third of Hudson residents are Portuguese or are of Portuguese descent.[2] Most people of Portuguese descent in Hudson are from the Azorean island of Santa Maria, with a smaller amount from the island of São Miguel or from the Trás-os-Montes region of mainland Portugal. The Portuguese community in Hudson maintains the Hudson Portuguese Club,[4] which was established in the mid-1910s and has outlived many other area ethnic clubs. In 2003 the Hudson Portuguese Club replaced its original Port Street clubhouse with a multi-million-dollar function hall and restaurant built at the same location. Recent immigrants to Hudson arrive mainly from Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and other South American countries, as well as Asia and Europe.[2]

Hudson's population remained about the same until after World War II, when developers purchased some farms that surrounded the town center. The new houses that were built on this land more than doubled Hudson's population.[3] Since the 1990s high-technology companies built plants in Hudson, notably the semiconductor fabrication factory built by Digital Equipment Corporation and now owned by Intel. Although the population of Hudson is now about 20,000, the town continues the traditional town meeting form of government.[2]

Former namesEdit

Before becoming a separate incorporated town, Hudson was a neighborhood and unincorporated village within the town (now city) of Marlborough, Massachusetts and was known as Feltonville. The name was derived from that of Silas Felton (1776-1828), who operated a dry goods store in the hamlet from 1801 onward and served many years as a Marlborough selectman, town clerk, town assessor, and postmaster.[2][3] Today, Felton remains immortalized in the Silas Felton Hudson Historic District and two Hudson street names: Felton Street and Feltonville Road.

Hudson has had other previous names:

  • From 1656 until 1700, present-day Hudson and the surrounding area was known as the Indian Plantation or the Cow Commons.[5]
  • From 1700 to 1800,[5] the settlement was known as The Mills.[2]
  • From 1800 to 1828,[5] the settlement was called New City.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.8 square miles (30.7rere km²), of which 11.5 square miles (29.8 km²) is land and 0.3 square mile (0.9 km²) (2.87%) is water.

The Assabet River runs prominently through most of Hudson. The river arises from wetlands in Westborough and flows northeast 34 miles (55 km), starting at an elevation of 320 feet (98 m) and descending through the towns of Northborough, Marlborough, Berlin, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, Acton, and finally Concord, where it merges with the Sudbury River to form the Concord River, at an elevation of 100 ft (30 m). The dam in Hudson is one of nine historic mill or flood control dams on the Assabet River. The back of the Hudson Public Library parking lot provides access to launch canoes and kayaks. Downstream is the dam, but upstream provides miles of flat water. There is another canoe and kayak launch farther upstream behind Hudson High School, accessible via an unpaved parking lot on Chapin Street.

On the border with Stow is Lake Boon, a popular vacation spot prior to the widespread adoption of the automobile but now a primarily residential neighborhood. On the border with Marlborough is Fort Meadow Reservoir, which at one time provided drinking water to both Hudson and Marlborough.

Adjacent townsEdit

Hudson is bordered by five other towns: Bolton and Stow on the north, Marlborough on the south, Sudbury on the east, and Berlin on the west.


The neighborhood and unincorporated village of Gleasondale straddles Hudson and Stow.


As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 18,113 people, 6,990 households, and 4,844 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,574.4 people per square mile (608.1/km²). There were 7,168 housing units at an average density of 623.0 per square mile (240.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.12% White, 0.91% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 1.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.06% of the population.

There were 6,990 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,549, and the median income for a family was $70,145. Males had a median income of $45,504 versus $35,207 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,679. About 2.7% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.


County government: Middlesex County
Clerk of Courts: Michael A. Sullivan
District Attorney: Gerard T. Leone, Jr.
Register of Deeds: Richard P. Howe, Jr. (North at Lowell)
Eugene C. Brune (South at Cambridge)
Register of Probate: Tara E. DeCristofaro
County Sheriff: James DiPaola
State government
State Representative(s): Rep. Kate Hogan (D)
State Senator(s): Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Marilyn M. Petitto-Devaney (Third District)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): Niki Tsongas (D-5th District)
U.S. Senators: Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)

Local governmentEdit

Hudson Town Hall, built in 1872

The town of Hudson has an open town meeting form of government, like most New England towns. The current executive assistant, who is an official appointed by the Board of Selectmen responsible for the day-to-day administrative affairs of the town and who functions with authority delegated to the office by the town charter and bylaws, is Thomas Moses.[15] The Board of Selectmen is a group of publicly elected officials who are the executive authority of the town. There are five positions on the Hudson Board of Selectman, currently filled by Joseph Durant, Scott R. Duplisea, John M. Parent, Fred P. Lucy II, and James D. Quinn.[16] The selectmen elect from among their membership the positions of chairman, vice-chairman, and clerk of the Board.

Technically, the county government was abolished in 1997, and former county agencies, institutions, etc., reverted to the control of the state government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, certain county government positions, such as District Attorney and Sheriff, do still function, except they are under the state government instead of a county government.


Felton Street School in 1912, now converted into condominiums

Hudson's local public school district is Hudson Public Schools,[17] a district open to Hudson residents and through school choice to any area students. The superintendent of Hudson Public Schools is Dr. Jodi Fortuna. Prior to the ninth grade Hudson students may choose to attend the Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District, which is open to students from the towns of Marlborough, Hudson, Maynard, Berlin, Boylston, West Boylston, Clinton, Shrewsbury, Westborough, Northborough, and Southborough. The superintendent of Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District is Mary Jo Nawrocki.

A former private Catholic school district known as Saint Michael's Schools and administered by Saint Michael's Catholic Parish closed in 2011.

Public schoolsEdit

  • David J. Quinn Middle School, named after David J. Quinn, a former principal, is a public middle (or junior high) school that serves grades 5 through 7. It was built in 2013. The principal is Jason Webster and the vice principal is Matt Gaffny.[18]
  • Carmela A. Farley Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 4 (and preschool and kindergarten classes). It was built in the 1950s and was named after long-time Hudson educator Carmela A. Farley. The building has also served as the high school and the middle school.[19] The principal is Melissa Provost.[20]
  • Joseph L. Mulready Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 4 (and a kindergarten class). It was originally named the Cox Street School after the street it is on but was renamed after former Hudson superintendent Joseph L. Mulready.[19] The principal is Kelly Whitman.[21]
  • Forest Avenue Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves grades 1 through 4 (and a preschool class). It was completed in 1975 and is named after Forest Avenue, the street it is on. The principal is David Champigny.[22]
  • Cora Hubert Kindergarten Center is a former kindergarten at the intersection of Broad Street and Giasson Street. The school was closed in 2012 after the town decided to implement full-day kindergarten classes, which the existing building could not accommodate. Kindergarten students now attend class at the elementary schools. The building is currently owned by CHAPS, a local after-school program for elementary and middle school students. Hubert Kindergarten was built on the site of the former Broad Street School, where Cora Hubert served as a fifth-grade teacher and principal.
  • John F. Kennedy Middle School (JFK) was a former middle school that served grades 6 and 7. It was built in the 1960s and demolished in August 2013 due to various problems related to its advanced age. Where the school once stood is now the parking lot of Quinn Middle School, which replaced JFK.
  • Hudson High School, or HHS, is a public high school that serves grades 8 through 12 (HHS also has a preschool class). The new multimillion-dollar building was finished in 2004, the same year the old building—which was built in the early 1970s—was demolished. The principal is Brian Reagan and the assistant principal is Daniel McAnespie.[23]
  • Some Hudson students attend Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, a public regional vocational high school that serves grades 9 through 12. It was opened in 1973 and was named after the Assabet Valley that was formed by the Assabet River, where the district's towns are. The principal is Mark Hollick.[1]

Private schoolsEdit

  • Saint Michael's School was a private Catholic primary school that served grades 1 through 8 as well as kindergarten. The original building was built around 1918, when the school was founded, and the school was administered by Saint Michael's Catholic Parish. When Hudson Catholic High School closed in 2009, Saint Michael's School moved to the former HCHS building. In May 2011 the parish announced the school would close at the end of the school year.[24] The original St. Michael's School building stood empty for a few years before the parish demolished it to expand its existing parking lot.
  • Hudson Catholic High School (HCHS) was a private Catholic high school that served grades 9 through 12. It was completed in 1959 and was administered by Saint Michael's Catholic Parish. The principal was Caroline Flynn and the assistant principal was Mark Wentworth at the school's closure. The parish announced only about a month before the end of the 2008–09 school year that the school would be closed by the Boston Archdiocese due to lack of enrollment—and, as a consequence, funds—for the 2009–2010 school year.[25] The HCHS building was then used as the Saint Michael's School building, which itself closed in May 2011, and has since been demolished. The parish sold the former HCHS lot, on which now stands a Rite Aid pharmacy.[26]
Hudson Public Library in 1907, a Carnegie library opened in 1905


The first public library in Hudson opened in 1867 thanks to the financial assistance of Charles Hudson.[27][28] The current Hudson Public Library (HPL) building is a Carnegie library originally built in 1905. It was expanded in the 1960s and renovated in the early 2000s. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Hudson spent 1.19% ($614,743) of its budget on its public library—some $31 per person.[29]


Road transportationEdit

Here are the highways that run through Hudson:

Air transportationEdit

Hudson has no airport of its own. The closest airport of any type is Marlboro Airport in Marlborough, the closest with scheduled flights is Worcester Regional Airport in Worcester and the closest with international service is Logan International Airport in Boston.


Houses of worshipEdit

Unitarian Church, built in 1861
Methodist-Episcopal Church after 1911 fire; it was replaced in 1913
  • Saint Michael's Roman Catholic Church [2]. St. Michael's Church, also known as St. Mike's, has existed as a congregation since 1869,[30] with its present building built in 1889.[30] The current pastor is Rev. Ron Calhoun, and the Xaverian assistant is Rev. Anthony Lalli.
  • Saint Luke's Episcopal Church [3]. St. Luke's Church was completed in 1913,[30] and the current rector is Rev. T. James Kodera.
  • First United Methodist Church of Hudson [4]. The current Methodist Church in town was completed in 1913[30] after the first one, which was located across the street from the Unitarian Church, burnt down in 1911.[30] The current pastor is Rosanne Roberts.
  • Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson [5]. The Unitarian Church is technically older than the town itself; it was built in 1861.[30] The current minister is Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann.
  • Grace Baptist (Southern Baptist) Church [6].[30] Grace Baptist was built in 1986 and the congregation has grown from an original 25 to a current 1,200 members. The current (senior) pastor is Rev. Marc Pena.
  • Carmel Marthoma Church.[31] The newest church in Hudson, the Carmel Marthoma Church was constructed in 2001, but the congregation traces its beginnings to the early 1970s as a prayer fellowship, meeting in the greater Boston area.
  • First Federated Church (Baptist/Congregational)[7]. The First Federated Church was built in the 1960s.[30] The current pastor of the First Federated Church is Rev. James (Jay) E. Mulligan III.
  • Hudson Seventh-day Adventist Church[8]. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was also built in the 1960s.
  • Hudson also has a Buddhist meeting group affiliated with the SGI.[9][permanent dead link]

Churches no longer in useEdit

  • Christ the King Roman Catholic Church (merged with Saint Michael's Church in 1994 to form one parish). As the parish had been suppressed in 1994 it was determined by the pastor, Fr. Walter A. Carreiro, with the Parish Pastoral Council to suspend the church building's use for worship. At the same time the St. Michael Early Childhood Center, located in a building on the same property, was relocated to Saint Michael School. The church was closed at the same time as other churches in the Boston Archdiocese were being closed to respond to the shortage of vocations and not to help pay the sex abuse lawsuits, as is often misreported. Christ the King was not closed by the Archdiocese and proceeds of its subsequent sale to the Tighe-Hamilton Funeral Home reverted directly to Saint Michael Parish.[10] The building still exists as a memorial service chapel for Tighe-Hamilton Funeral Home.
  • Union Church of All Faiths, possibly the smallest church in the United States, built by the Rev. Louis W. West[30]

A very small fraction of the town's population is Jewish and Orthodox, but there is not yet a synagogue or an Orthodox church in Hudson. Hudson nevertheless has an important role in the formation of the Albanian Orthodox Church due to the 1906 Hudson incident in which an Albanian national was refused burial by a Greek Orthodox priest from Hudson.

Notable peopleEdit

Former Governor Paul Cellucci

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Halprin 2001: 7
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Halprin 2008: 7–10
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Halprin 2001: 8
  4. ^ Hudson Portuguese Club (web site),
  5. ^ a b c The Hudson Historical Society 1976
  6. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 7, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "Executive Assistant". Town Departments. Town of Hudson. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Board of Selectmen". Town Departments. Town of Hudson. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ Hudson Public Schools - Achievement and Character Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b Halprin 2001: 85–94
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Jeff Malachowski (May 13, 2011). "St. Michael School in Hudson to close". 
  25. ^ Hudson Catholic High School closing - Articles of Faith. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  26. ^ Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  27. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891. Google books
  28. ^ Retrieved November 8, 2010 Archived January 26, 2013, at
  29. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What’s Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports Archived January 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved August 4, 2010
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i Halprin 2001: 76–84
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  32. ^ "APSLEY, Lewis Dewart". Members of Congress: Massachusetts. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  33. ^ a b Jon Wiederhorn (December 30, 2003). "Tantric's Pain, Pal Nuno Bettencourt Help Create 'Hey Now'". MTV. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  34. ^ Evans Drumheads. "Kevin Figueiredo, Artist Detail". Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Revolution Signs Midfielder Tony Frias III". New England Revolution. April 13, 2003. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  36. ^ "Charles J. Precourt—Biographical Data". NASA; Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  37. ^ "WHEELER, Burton Kendall". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. U.S. Congress. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 


  • Halprin, Lewis; The Hudson Historical Society (2001) [First published 1999]. Images of America: Hudson. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-0073-9. 
  • Halprin, Lewis; The Hudson Historical Society (2008). Postcard History Series: Hudson. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-6284-1. 
  • The Hudson Historical Society (1976). Hudson Bicentennial Scrapbook. Private publication. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit