Hudson, New York

Coordinates: 42°15′0″N 73°47′23″W / 42.25000°N 73.78972°W / 42.25000; -73.78972
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Warren Street in Hudson
Warren Street in Hudson
Etymology: From Henry Hudson
The Friendly City
Location of Hudson, New York
Location of Hudson, New York
Location of New York in the United States
Location of New York in the United States
Coordinates: 42°15′0″N 73°47′23″W / 42.25000°N 73.78972°W / 42.25000; -73.78972
CountryUnited States United States
StateNew York (state) New York
County Columbia
 • MayorKamal Johnson (D)
  • President:
  • Tom DePietro (D)
  • Ward 1:
  • Art Frick (D)Margaret Morris (D)
  • Ward 2:
  • Mohammed Rony (D)
  • Dewan Sarowar (D)
  • Ward 3:
  • Ryan Wallace (D)
  • Amber Harris (D)
  • Ward 4:
  • Malachi Walker (D)
  • Theo Anthony (D)
  • Ward 5:
  • Dominic Merante (D)
  • Vicky Daskaloudi (D)
 • Total2.33 sq mi (6.03 km2)
 • Land2.16 sq mi (5.59 km2)
 • Water0.17 sq mi (0.45 km2)
100 ft (30 m)
Highest elevation
420 ft (130 m)
 • Total5,894
 • Density2,731.23/sq mi (1,054.60/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes518
FIPS code36-021-35969
FIPS code36-35969
GNIS feature ID0953386
Wikimedia CommonsHudson, New York

Hudson is a city in Columbia County, New York, United States.[2] At the 2020 census, it had a population of 5,894.[3] On the east side of the Hudson River, 120 miles (190 km) from the Atlantic Ocean, it was named after the river's explorer Henry Hudson.


The native Mahican people had occupied this territory for hundreds of years before Dutch colonists began to settle here in the 17th century,[4] calling it "Claverack Landing". In 1662, some of the Dutch bought this area of land from the Mahican. It was originally part of the Town of Claverack.

In 1783, the area was settled largely by Quaker New England whalers and merchants hailing primarily from the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, led by Thomas and Seth Jenkins. They capitalized on Hudson being at the head of navigation on the Hudson River and developed it as a busy port. Hudson was chartered as a city in 1785. The self-described "Proprietors" laid out a city grid. By 1786, the city had several fine wharves, warehouses, a spermaceti-works and fifteen hundred residents.[5]

In 1794 John Alsop of the New York City shipping and commission agents Alsop & Hicks relocated to Hudson for a brief time. He continued to maintain a part interest in the firm and brought in customers from the Hudson area, including: Thomas Jenkins & Sons, Seth Jenkins, and the Paddock family, among others. After Alsop's death in November 1794, his partner, Isaac Hicks, began to focus more of his efforts towards increasing his sale of whale products-especially oil and spermaceti candles.[6] Hudson grew rapidly as an active port and came within one vote of being named by the state legislature as the capital of New York state, losing to Albany, an historic center of trade from the 17th century.[7]

Hudson grew rapidly, and by 1790 was the 24th-largest city in the United States.[8] In 1820, it had a population of 5,310 and ranked as the fourth-largest city in New York, after New York City, Albany and Brooklyn.[9] Construction of the Erie Canal in 1824 drew development west in the state, stimulating development of cities related to Great Lakes trade, such as Rochester and Buffalo, although the Hudson River continued to be important to commerce.

The renowned case of People v. Croswell began in Hudson when Harry Croswell published on September 9, 1802, an attack on Thomas Jefferson in the Federalist paper The Wasp. The state's Democratic-Republican attorney General Ambrose Spencer indicted Croswell for a seditious libel. The case eventually wound up with Alexander Hamilton defending Crosswell before the New York Supreme court in Albany in 1804. Crosswell lost, apparently due the influence of anti-Federalist Justice Morgan Lewis. However, enough state assemblymen had observed the trial that in 1805 they changed the state law on libel.[10]

During the 19th century, considerable industry was developed in Hudson, and the city became known as a factory town. It attracted new waves of immigrants and migrants to industrial jobs. Wealthy factory owners and merchants built fine houses in the Victorian period. Hudson obtained a new charter in 1895. It reached its peak of population in 1930, with 12,337 residents.

The Hudson sesquicentennial commemorative half dollar was issued in 1935. It had one of the smallest mintages for a type issued by the US Mint.

In 1935, to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the city, the United States Mint issued the Hudson Half Dollar. The coin is one of the rarest ever minted by the United States Government, with only 10,008 coins struck. On the front of the coin is an image of Henry Hudson's ship the Half Moon, and on the reverse is the seal of the city. Local legend has it that coin was minted on the direct order of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to thank the Hudson City Democratic Committee for being the first to endorse him for state senator and governor.

In the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, Hudson became notorious as a center of vice, especially gambling and prostitution.[11] The former Diamond Street is today Columbia Street. At the peak of the vice industry, Hudson boasted more than 50 bars. These rackets were mostly broken up in 1951, after surprise raids of Hudson brothels by New York state troopers under orders from Governor Thomas E. Dewey netted several local policemen, among other customers.[11]

In 2020, HudsonUP,[12] a Universal basic income pilot was launched in Hudson by The Spark of Hudson[13] community center together with Humanity Forward Foundation.[14]

Land use controversy[edit]

From late 1998 until spring 2005, a land-use conflict took place when St. Lawrence Cement (SLC), a subsidiary of Swiss multinational Holderbank (since renamed Holcim), then one of the world's largest cement companies, proposed to build a cement-manufacturing plant. The massive coal-fired plant project would have occupied more than 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) in the city of Hudson and the town of Greenport. Supporters cited the project for jobs and stimulating other growth. Sustained grassroots opposition to the project was led by business owner Peter Jung[15] and journalist Sam Pratt,[16][17] co-founders of Friends of Hudson (FOH).[18] Opponents argued the proposed project violated state environmental regulations and would adversely affect the river, shoreline, and related habitats.

The controversy gained national attention from news outlets such as CNN and The New York Times, as well as media outlets in Canada and Switzerland. The project was withdrawn after New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels determined that the company's plans were inconsistent with New York State's 24 coastal policies.[19] Opponents of the cement project described the ruling as "a colossal relief", and supporters, including the Business Council of New York State, denounced it as "flawed in its logic".[20] Nearly 14,000 public comments were received by the State's Division of Coastal Resources (87% of them opposed to the project), a record for that agency.[21]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.6 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 7.38%, is water.[3]

Hudson is located 120 miles (190 km) from New York Harbor, at the head of navigation on the Hudson River, on what originally was a spit of land jutting into the Hudson River between the South Bay and North Bay. Both bays have been largely filled in. Across the Hudson River lies the town of Athens in Greene County; a ferry connected the two municipalities during much of the 19th century. Between them lies Middle Ground Flats, a former sandbar that grew due to both natural silting and also from dumping the spoils of dredging; today it is inhabited by deer and a few occupants of quasi-legal summer shanties. The Town of Greenport borders the other three sides of the city.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[22]
Fire station in Hudson

As of the census[23] of 2010, there were 6,713 people, 2,766 households, and 1,368 families residing in the city. The population was estimated at 6,648 Hudson (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau in 2013. These numbers include the approximately 360 residents of the local Hudson Correctional Facility.

Population declines since the late 20th century may be attributable[according to whom?] to demographic trends in which retirees, young couples, childless couples, singles, and weekenders have been gradually replacing larger families in the city. They have converted apartment buildings to single-family homes, and the number of unoccupied homes and rate of tax delinquency have declined.[original research?]

The population density was 3,110.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,201.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.0% (55.5% Non-Hispanic) White, 25.0% African American, 0.4% Native American, 7.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.2% of the population.

There were 2,766 households, out of which 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.6% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.5% were non-families. 40.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.5% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,117, and the median income for a family was $37,400. Males had a median income of $26,274 versus $22,598 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,353. About 23.0% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.


Hudson City Hall
Hudson Area Library

The city has a mayor-council form of elected government. Since the 1990s, nine mayors have served: William Allen, Dolly Allen, Richard Scalera, Kenneth Cranna, Richard Tracy, William Hallenbeck, Tiffany Martin Hamilton, Rick Rector, and Kamal Johnson. This period has been marked by unusual levels of friction between elected officials and residents, as the demographics and economics of the city have shifted. The Common Council consists of ten members elected from five districts, and a Council President elected citywide, as is the Treasurer.[24]

LGBTQ community[edit]

In the early 21st century, Hudson has become a destination for LGBTQ people. In 2010, Hudson High School openly gay seniors, Timothy Howard and Charlie Ferrusi, made national history when they won prom king and queen.[25] During the same year, Hudson hosted its first LGBTQ pride parade,[26] attended by several hundred people. Lil' Deb's Oasis is a restaurant in the city that hosts queer events and is an LGBTQ gathering space.[27]


After a steep economic decline in the 1960s and '70s, following the loss of jobs due to restructuring in the manufacturing sector, the city has undergone a significant revival. The economy has shifted to one based on tourism, services and related retail.

Attracted by its quality architecture, a group of antiques dealers opened shops on the city's main thoroughfare, Warren Street, in the mid-1980s. Among these were the Hudson Antiques Center, founded by Alain Pioton, and the English Antiques Center. In the early 21st century, the city has nearly seventy shops now, represented by the Hudson Antiques Dealers Association (HADA). The business revival stimulated tourism and attracted residents, some taking second homes in the city. It has become known for its active arts scene, restaurants, art galleries and nightlife, in addition to the antique shops.[28]


Amtrak's Hudson station

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Hudson via the Hudson station.

Columbia County Public Transportation provides local service and commuter service to Albany.[29]

Local news sources[edit]


Warren Street in downtown Hudson

Hudson is home to the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) Museum of Firefighting, one of the largest fire service-centered museums in the world. It is on the grounds of the FASNY Firemen's home, the first nursing home for firemen in the country.[30]

The Hudson Music Festival was an annual event established in 2011 and was New York's largest free music festival. The fourth annual Hudson Music Festival took place August 8, 9 & 10, 2014 and showcased 100 acts.[31][32][33]

Hudson Hall, an arts venue and organization, is located on Warren Street in the center of the city. It is New York's oldest operating theater.[34]

Time & Space Limited, a not-for-profit arts organization serves the City of Hudson and the Hudson River Valley Region. It shows a wide selection of independent movies.[35]

A farmers market takes place on Saturdays, offering a variety of fresh organic products from the Hudson Valley area. The market is conducted outdoors in the warm season and indoor in the wintertime.

Olde York Farm is a woman-owned and family-operated distillery sourcing Hudson Valley foraged and farmed ingredients to make seasonal batch spirits.[36] The farm consists of land growing apples for apple based spirits, land for growing grain, and a black walnut tree grove on site at the distillery. The property is part of the historic Jacob Rutsen van Rensselaer House and Mill complex. Rensselaer also had his own distillery and cooperage circa 1805. Today the distillery and cooperage reside in Rensselaer's former carriage house. Barrels are handmade on site to age bourbon, whiskey, and brandy.

Many local restaurants use fresh meat, eggs, herbs, and produce from local farms and agrarian groups.[37]

National Register of Historic Properties listings[edit]

With hundreds of properties listed or eligible to be listed in the State and National registers of historic places, Hudson has been called the "finest dictionary of American architecture in New York State".[38][page needed] The vast majority of properties listed within the Hudson Historic District are considered to be contributing, attesting to their quality.[38]

These properties include the Dr. Oliver Bronson House and Estate and Dr. Oliver Bronson House and Stables (both for Dr. Oliver Bronson), Henry A. and Evanlina Dubois House, Cornelius H. Evans House, Front Street-Parade Hill-Lower Warren Street Historic District, Houses at 37–47 North Fifth Street, Hudson Almshouse, Hudson Historic District, Hudson/Athens Lighthouse, Rossman-Prospect Avenue Historic District, United States Post Office, William Henry Ludlow House, Elisha Williams House, Oliver Wiswall House, and Van Salsbergen House.[39]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Hudson city, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  4. ^ "Native North American Tribes - Mahicans (Mohicans)". Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  5. ^ Fenoff, Pat. "A History of Hudson", City of Hudson
  6. ^ Davison, Robert (1964). Isaac Hicks: New York Merchant and Quaker (1767-1820). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 57.
  7. ^ Margaret B. Schram, Hudson's Merchants and Whalers: The Rise and Fall of a River Port, 1783-1850, Black Dome Printing, 2004
  8. ^ "Population of the 24 Urban Places: 1790". Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  9. ^ "Population of the 61 Urban Places: 1820", U.S. Bureau of the Census
  10. ^ Kent, James (1826). "Commentaries on American Law 2:12–22". University of Chicago.
  11. ^ a b Bruce Edward Hall, Diamond Street: The Story of the Little Town with the Big Red Light District, Black Dome Printing, 1994
  12. ^ "Andrew Yang Universal Basic Income Cases Experiment Upstate New York". Business Insider. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "Universal basic income pilot program to launch in Hudson". May 11, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  14. ^ "Some New Yorkers to get 500 per month for 5 years from Andrew Yang Foundation". May 11, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  15. ^ Public Broadcasting System (PBS), from Two Square Miles documentary: "Jung co-founded Friends of Hudson and served as president of the organization throughout most of its six-year battle with St. Lawrence Cement."
  16. ^ Public Broadcasting System (PBS): "Pratt is the devoted co-founder and executive director of Friends of Hudson, the grassroots organization that has helped score a series of against-the-odds environmental and political victories in the Hudson Valley, including the fight against the St. Lawrence Cement plant proposal."
  17. ^ The Independent newspaper[permanent dead link] (Hillsdale, NY): "Opposition leader Sam Pratt, executive director of Friends of Hudson, welcomed the decision." NOTE: Newspaper is now defunct, but this article is archived at
  18. ^ Detailed chronology of cement plant controversy, Stop the Plant website
  19. ^ The Business Review (April 25, 2005). "Secretary of state rejects St. Lawrence Cement plant on Hudson". American City Business Journals. Retrieved October 30, 2011. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  20. ^ BCNYS (April 21, 2005). "Council Sharply Criticizes the Pataki Administration's Decision on the Proposed St. Lawrence Cement Plant". The Business Council of New York State. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  21. ^ Friends of Hudson (March 28, 2005). "87% Of Commenters Oppose Cement Plant". Friends Of Hudson. Retrieved October 30, 2011.=
  22. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  23. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  24. ^ Hudson City Charter - Article II - § C2-1. Officers and salaries.
  25. ^ Grondahl, Paul (June 12, 2010). "School's acceptance a crowning moment - Gay Hudson seniors named king and queen of prom in open vote of classmates". Times Union.
  26. ^ "THE FIRST ANNUAL HUDSON GAY PRIDE PARADE". Rural Intelligence. June 21, 2010.
  27. ^ Sontag, Elazar (June 2, 2021). "How a Small Town Restaurant in Upstate New York Became a Life Raft for Queer Artists and Cooks". Eater.
  28. ^ Smith, Gene. "America on the Hudson Archived 2006-01-27 at the Wayback Machine", American Heritage, April/May 2004.
  29. ^ "Public Transportation". COLUMBIA COUNTY, NY. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  30. ^ "Sites | Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area". Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  31. ^ "Hudson Music Fest | 3 Days of Music all over Hudson, NY". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  32. ^ "Hudson Music Festival: Keeping the Beat in the Friendly City". Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014.]
  33. ^ "Hudson gets ready for annual music fest - Columbia-Greene Media: News". Archived from the original on September 28, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  34. ^ Norder, Akum (May 23, 2018). "Hudson's evolution, from whalers to weekenders". Times Union. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  35. ^ Smith, Dinitia (January 18, 2001). "Art From a River;s Past (and Its Present)". New York Times. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  36. ^ "Hudson Valley History Repeats Itself with Imaginative Flair at Olde York Farm Distillery and Cooperage". Kingston NY Happenings. August 22, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  37. ^ "Restaurants". Letterbox Farm Collective. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  38. ^ a b Byrne Fone, Historic Hudson: An Architectural Portrait, Black Dome Press, 2005
  39. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  40. ^ John Ashbery
  41. ^ Amy Griffinl. "Basilica Hudson a new temple of contemporary art", Times Union, July 24, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  42. ^ Peter Aaron. "Melissa Auf der Maur: Girl from the North Country", Chronogram, March 1, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  43. ^ Armstrong, Mary Angeles (April 1, 2020). "Space 428: Choreographer Jonah Bokaer's Church of Dance in Hudson - Chronogram: Home & Garden » House Profiles". Chronogram. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  44. ^ "J.D. Cannon, 83, Dies; Actor on McCloud",; accessed March 13, 2016.
  45. ^ Smith, Roberta (July 29, 2010). "Nicolas Carone, Abstract Expressionist, Dies at 93". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  46. ^ "Urban Exodus | Dave Cole & Jennifer Kahrs | Hudson, New York". urban-exodus. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  47. ^ Fineman, Mia (April 8, 2007). "Travels Abroad Lead to Journeys Within". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  48. ^ Mendolia, Victor (July 13, 2011). "Tom Davis discusses the city of Hudson and buying a house in Livingston in 1985 with Al Franken. (audio)". Wave Farm - WGXC. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  49. ^ Cutter, William Richard; Adams, William Frederick (1951). Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts. Vol. II. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 894. OCLC 1547995.
  50. ^ Clayton, Adam (November 13, 2013). "Ginsberg's owner brings her 'Farmhouse Rules' to Food Network - Columbia-Greene Media: News". Chatham Courier. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  51. ^ Kronthaler, Helmut (2009). Tegethoff, Wolf; Savoy, Bénédicte; Beyer, Andreas (eds.). "Geary, Kevin". Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon Online / Artists of the World Online. K. G. Saur. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  52. ^ Bryce, Jill (February 11, 2011). "Gillibrand Buys Home Outside Troy". Times Union. Albany: Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  53. ^ Corona, Victor (2017). Night Class: A Downtown Memoir. Soft Skull Press. ISBN 978-1593766740.
  54. ^ Egan, Maura (October 24, 2017). "How Upstate New York Became The Coolest Fall Destination". Travel and Leisure.
  55. ^ Nieman Culpepper, Carrie (September 5, 2010). "Hudson, N.Y.: Where Bands Feel at Home". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  56. ^ Waldman, Scott (January 6, 2012). "Hudson grows as a musician-friendly town". Times Union. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  57. ^ Two Square Miles
  58. ^ "Video: Our Town: Hudson | Watch Our Town Online | WMHT Educational Telecommunications Video". Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.

External links[edit]