Saturday, July 28, 2012

Keep the Home Torch Burning

In honor of the London Games, Mayor Bill Hallenbeck had the idea of lighting Hudson's own Olympic torch at the intersection of Columbia, Green, and State streets yesterday. Tom Casey has the story in today's Register-Star: "Let the games begin!"

I always imagined that the Kiwanis Olympic Torch Memorial had been erected to commemorate the Olympic torch passing through Hudson on its way to the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid in 1980, but it had to have predated that event. The memorial was a gift from the Hudson Kiwanis Club, which ceased to exist in 1978. "Inspiration Fountain," which replaced the classic 19th-century fountain in the Public Square, was also a gift of the Kiwanis Club, as part of their 1975 "beautification program."

Update: Since publishing this post, Gossips has learned that the Hudson Kiwanis Club was still active in the 1980s, and the torch could have been and probably was a commemoration of the Olympic torch passing through Hudson for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.


  1. In 1988 my company was a licensee of the US Olympic Committee. The Hudson Kuwanis -- with the best will in the world -- are doubtless breaking a variety of Federal (!) laws by displaying the Olympic rings without permission. The USOC and the IOC are even tougher than the NFL, MLB or Disney when it comes to use of their marks and logos.

    -- Jock Spivy

  2. A few notes.
    The Olympic Torch was erected to honor the games, athletes & to show that Hudson was proud to have the torch pass through its streets.
    Although simple or basic in design, it was made with pride & respect by the skilled manufacturers of the former V&O Press.
    The V&O Press was originally in Brooklyn but moved to Hudson in the late 1800's to its former site on Rt. 66. The company made mechanical stamping presses for facilites throughout the world.
    As to the 7th St fountain, the Kiwanis gift did not have a fence surrounding it. Some say the fence was erected due to kids & adults playing in the water & at times placing soap bubbles, etc. that would exit with the streams.