Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reviewing the Year Past: 1913--Part 1

In the first days of 1914, the Hudson Evening Register published, over the course of several days, a "General Review of Many of the Important Developments" that had taken place in Hudson during the previous year, 1913. The review, which began on January 2, 1914, provides a compelling snapshot of Hudson a century ago. Over the next few days, Gossips will reproduce this review, with illustrations and annotations to help readers relate the developments of a century ago to today.

Improvements, Commercial and Labor Conditions.

A general review of the improvements, labor conditions, commercial developments, introduction of new enterprises, financial situations, etc., arising in this municipality during 1913, indicate but one thing--a year of prosperity and progress, of which this city is perfectly justified in being proud. Despite an apparent slackening in some industrial lines throughout the country, Hudson is more than holding its own, and present circumstances denote another prosperous year for 1914.

The improvements made here during the past twelve months were many and appropriate in almost every respect. The city is in a position to boast of one of the best street lighting systems in the State for a municipality of its size, installed last fall by the Albany Southern Railway company. This system thus far is meeting with entire satisfaction, apparently, and is receiving numerous compliments from various towns along the Hudson valley. Then, too, lower Warren and South Front streets were repaved, adding much to the general appearance of the city, and the installation of a new town clock in the tower of the Presbyterian church tended to put a better effect upon the city at large. Various parks were considerably improved, and there was plenty of repairing and relaying of sidewalks, especially in the lower part of the town. The relaying of a new track for the local streetcar was completed; the fire alarm improved somewhat, while numerous business houses were overhauled, repainted and placed in better condition.

Real estate transfers, constructional work for dwellings, etc., experienced a "boom" somewhat during the year, more constructional work occurring than during the preceding twelve months, it is understood. This is another evidence of satisfactory conditions existing.

The wheels of industry revolved very successfully. The Union Mills, the Swansdown mill, the Hudson Fibre company, C. H. Van Deusen Co., the Granite companies, the Gifford-Wood plant, the Railway Steel Spring company, the C. H. Evans & Sons, etc., together with the two big cement plants just over the city line in the town of Greenport, operated practically the entire twelve months, paying good wages, employing hands to their full capacity and operating extra to fill the large number of orders. These manufacturing institutions furnished food, clothing and exisence [sic] to almost half of Hudson's population.

Gifford-Wood Company
Among the new enterprises was the incorporating of the Mechanical Handler company, which is erecting a big plant near the B. & A. railroad, along the State road, south of the Albany Southern car barn. Then there was the mapping cut of the new building lot sites, and an addition to the Gifford-Wood plant started. A movement was started to make Hudson head of sea-going navigation on the Hudson river, and the construction of a new high school building begun. Then, too, a Civic league was organized, which is doing excellent work toward the welfare of the municipality. Another ice company has displayed itself, and is now erecting a large house down town.

New high school building--401 State Street
Merchants report good business during the year, and the number of business houses have steadily increased. We print a retrospect of the past twelve months in Hudson, showing most of the important changes, improvements, etc., that took place, which were as follows:

Thomas Ford opened fish market in Diamond building on North Fourth street. [The Diamond building, where liquor and meat had previously been sold, was located at 22-24 North Fourth Street, on the southeast corner of Fourth and Columbia.]

Organization of Suffrage club with Miss Eloise Payne chairman. [Eloise Payne was a schoolteacher and lived at 38 South Fifth Street.]

Russo & Parker, State road contractors, moved in new apartments at 119 Warren street, building formerly occupied by Leggieri brothers, barbers. [(p.m.) Wine Bar now occupies 119 Warren Street.]

Earl Heermance received wireless license in the radio service.

Service of noon-day meals at Hudson High schools inaugurated.

Concrete floor and other improvements to interior W. L. Speed's hardware store on Columbia street. [William L. Speed sold carriages, harnesses, stoves, farm tools, and dairy goods at 725 Columbia Street, in a building that no longer exists.]

Latest model of dust collectors placed on kilns of New York & New England Cement plant. 

New town clock placed in tower of Presbyterian church.

Photograph of 401 State Street from Historic Hudson's Rowles Studio Collection

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