This morning, I was invited to view and photograph an 1858 map of Columbia County, which I believe came from the collection of the late Columbia County historian Margaret Schram, author of Hudson's Merchants and Whalers: The Rise and Fall of a River Port, 1783-1850. The map is huge and sadly deteriorated, but I took photographs of its more interesting (i.e., Hudson related) details and share those photographs with you now.
As was typical of maps of the era, this one features images of significant buildings and places as insets. One of these insets shows the Hudson Iron Works, which was a fairly new enterprise in 1858. The first blast from its furnaces occurred on November 28, 1851.
Charles C. Alger was the designer of the Hudson Iron Works and one of the company's original trustees. His house, which still stands at Allen and Second streets, is featured in another of the insets on the map.
The third Hudson building featured on the map is the Badgley Hotel, which the caption notes was formerly (from 1837 to 1850) known as Hudson House. A few years after this map was created, the name of the hotel would change again, to Worth House, in honor of Hudson's most celebrated native son, General William Jenkins Worth.
Another of the map insets gives the 1855 population statistics for Columbia County. (From 1825 to 1925, New York State did its own decennial census in the years ending with 5.)
In 1855, when Hudson was in one of its bust periods--the era of whaling and seafaring was over, and the new age of industry enabled by the railroads and steamboats was just gearing up--the population of Hudson was 6,720--almost exactly what it was in the 2010 census: 6,713.
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