Sunday, September 8, 2013

An Idea Whose Time Seems Not to Have Come

The 1970s must have been an interesting time in Hudson. It was the decade that saw the demolition of the General Worth Hotel, the wholesale bulldozing of the historic buildings around Promenade Hill and much of the Second Ward, the construction of an abundance of subsidized housing, the facade easement program intended to preserve all that was then thought worthy of preservation (the first two blocks of Warren Street, but only the north side of the first block), and Rick Scalera's debut in city politics as a Republican candidate for Fourth Ward alderman.

The trove of old newspaper clippings given to Gossips by Susan Lynn Troy yields another glimpse of Hudson in the 1970s: the plan by a market in Hudson's officially recognized one and a half block historic district to recapture the spirit of Hudson's quaint past by making deliveries with a horse-drawn wagon. This article appeared in the Register-Star on December 1, 1977:
Horse for delivery of groceries
HUDSON--The return of a forgotten mode of delivering groceries is connected with the reported siting [sic] Wednesday of a horse behind the city's 32 Warren St. urban renewal offices.
John Moore of "Whale of a Place" grocery store at First and Warren Sts., confirmed today that he hoped to bring back horse-and-carriage delivery to the streets of the nation's first chartered city next spring.
A white Arabian pony is being kept in a barn behind the urban renewal offices, which are across First St. from the store. Care of the horse, which will pull a 100-year-old restored wagon, is a 4-H project for Moore's daughter, Nici Webber.
There is nothing in the city code that prohibits the keeping of horses in the city.
"Whale of a Place" is the former Liepshutz Market.
Three months later, in March 13, 1978, the Register-Star published this picture of the "white Arabian pony" and two other horses, whose names were Shiek, Timmy, and Polly, in the yard behind 102 Warren Street, now Fred E. Trout & Co.

The plan, as explained in the picture's caption, was to use the horses to pull a delivery cart "as soon as the weather permits," but no evidence could be found about how the plan worked out. Interestingly, there is still nothing in the city code that prohibits the keeping of horses in Hudson.


  1. awesome - always wanted to cruise around town with a horse pulling my shay or sleigh

    1. This is excellent news.
      I could renew my old Hack license for Horse and Buggy ,from my youth in NYC(I never got one for a car to his day)
      I have a carriage house with a work shed and the extension on the side of my house was the original stable and barn from late 18th cent til 1830's.It's an easy fix back ,as nothing much has ever been done ,except a floor and a wall where the barn doors were.The original hardware is still in the shed.Very roomy for two Horses. My yard is plenty big to play around in.I have friends we can go to near by, where they can run around free, on our days off.
      I can go to Saratoga and get two retired trotters, always very inexpensive.They make excellent carriage Horses,are well behaved in public, and saves them from becoming glue. Most of the carriage Horses in NYC were retired trotters from the Meadowlands. My Horse's stable was on the second floor of an original stable house, long gone now, in Old Hell's Kitchen. We had to take the Horses up and down on an open ramp.The scariest part of the day. My house would be a Horse palace, compared to that.
      Then we can be THE most annoying presence on the truck rte,where I live , as I will begin to go shopping at the Big Box Stores ,everyday. I could run a shuttle for my neighbors , who don't drive either. I could go back and forth all day. The TRUCKS would hate that, as much as I hate TRUCKS going back and forth all day and night in front of my house,knocking the tea cups off of the shelves and shaking my poor ancient home to it's foundation.
      That Greenport Bus in Hudson is terrible and it's near impossible to get a cab and return from anywhere, if time matters to you. We could pick up travelers at Amtrak and get in the way of O&G's Gravel TRUCKS. There are so many possibilities....Vincent, please be on the look out for a shay and a sleigh.

    2. hey PA - i have the shay - just needs some restoring - and 4 sleighs - weather permitting - lets make Hudson Amish friendly too !

  2. So there's still hope that the Lone Ranger will come to town?
    Who was that masked man?
    Hi-oh Silver rides again.