Recently, a reader let me borrow what had been her grandfather's copy of the 1920 Official Automobile Blue Book for New York State and Canada. Unlike Kelley Blue Book, this one didn't tell the value of cars. Rather it was the "Standard Road Guide of America"--a handbook for tourists. In the 1920s, of course, the introduction of the assembly line by Henry Ford was making cars more affordable, and touring the country in one's own automobile was within the reach of more people.
In the guide book, Hudson is featured as a destination in the Poughkeepsie Section. There is a map of Hudson, a description meant to inspire interest and attract people to Hudson, and some ads--one for the Worth Hotel, one for Wm. Petry's Hudson Garage, and one placed by the Hudson Chamber of Commerce.
Hudson (pop. 12,000, alt. 96 ft.), commanding a fine view of the Hudson river and the Catskill mountains, situated on the east bank of the river, is a city marked by many incidents of early history and offers many points of interest to the tourist and visitor.
Henry Hudson landed at the spot which is now the city of Hudson from his ship the Half Moon in 1609. Leaving his vessel here he ascended the river in canoes. Hudson was then and is today, the natural head of navigation. A light house marks the landing point.
Hudson was at first known as Claverack Landing and was settled by Nantucket whalers in 1785. For many years it was a prominent whaling port. It is the third oldest city in the state and many of the early landmarks are still in existence. It is the county seat of Columbia county which has a population of 43,000.
Hudson is a road center and improved highways lead in every direction. A ferry connects with the west bank of the Hudson. Motorists visiting Hudson are advised to leave the main route of travel and going down Warren street, follow the main business thorofare to the end of Promenade Hill where one of the best views of the Hudson river and Catskill mountains to be found anywhere in the section is available.
From Mount Ray where the city reservoirs are located, the Berkshires, the Catskills and the White mountains are visible. A magnificent view of the Hudson, north and south stretches away and the boundary lines of four states can be counted.
Industrially Hudson is prominent because of its two large cement plants, knitting mills manufacturing underwear, ice and elevating conveyors, ship equipment, and other industries of a varied nature.