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|
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." 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.