10 October 2012

My Genealogy Journey to Hudson, NY, Part 4

When I first started to plan my trip to Hudson I found that there were no motels of any description to be found. To stay in Hudson means, for the most part, staying in a bed-and-breakfast establishment, most of which were more expensive than I'd anticipated. Then I found the Front Street Guest House. Not inexpensive, but a tad less dear than the others I'd queried. But really, the main excitement was its location at 20 South Front Street, Hudson, just two doors down from the Wilsons in 1903.[1]

I anticipated awe at being able to feel the aura of their presence 109 years later. Of course, if one has been following my Hudson posts, one already knows that the likelihood of finding a intact Wilson home is slim. And I was once again presented with an empty lot.
24 S. Front Street, Hudson & the 1810 house next door

But the location was, indeed, interesting. The Front Street Guest House actually takes in both 20 and 22 S. Front Street and I was staying in a room on the second floor of number 22 (at the corner of S. Front and Union). So, my grandfather's lot was right across Union, essentially next door.

The house immediately to the east of the lot on Union was busy with workmen walking in and out. A woman sat in a chair outside on the sidewalk. I asked her if they were restoring the home. She said, "No, stabilizing." The building dated to 1810. She told me that she'd seen a map that indicated a small home on the empty lot next door where my grandfather had lived.

Map from 1903 Hudson City Directory
View on S. Front Street looking north. The gray-white building in the background is the 20-22 S. Front Street. The fence is the location of 24 S. Front. The brick building this side of the fenced property had been recently renovated. Rooms were for rent.

Byrne Fone, in his book about Hudson architecture, states that during the 1950s-1970s "The entire area below Promenade Hill [partially covered in the map, above, with the red arrows], which included some of Hudson's earliest houses, was demolished... replaced with bland contemporary structures."[2] On page 174 he included an aerial photograph that shows the buildings (as well as the ones in the photograph, above) prior to the demolition on the west side of Front Street. One can barely make out a small building at 24 S. Front.

The bland buildings cited by Fone, across from 24 S. Front Street

1. J.H. Lant Hudson City, Claverack and Stottville Directory for 1903 (Hudson, NY: Bryan Printing Co., 1903), page 154 , Family History Library microfilm 1,759,798.
2. Fone, Byrne. Historic Hudson: An Architectural Portrait. Hensonville: Black Dome Press Corp, 2005. Page 171.


  1. What do you know about that brick buildings history?

  2. I'm afraid not much. During my visit to Hudson I unfortunately did not have time to go to the recorders/assessors offices and look at property or building history. I'll have to do that on my next visit. Do you know anything about those buildings?


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