Thursday, December 1, 2016

Much Ado About House Numbers

Last week, Gossips published a post, based on evidence found in 1851 issues of the Hudson Daily Star, about Hudson's idiosyncratic way of not using actual addresses to indicate the location of businesses and homes: "Our Ever Quirky Little City." This prompted a reader to send me an email informing me that in the 1851 Hudson City Directory, a facsimile of which was published in 1985, "all the residential and business listings include house numbers." She concluded, "Hard to believe that in a planned city, numbering houses would be overlooked, but easy to believe it [i.e., describing location by reference to well-known houses or businesses] was just the local manner of speaking."

Responding to the email, I suggested that the problem in 1851 was not that properties did not have numbers but that the owners of those properties didn't bother to display the numbers on the buildings. A letter to the editor published in the Star on May 30, 1851, offers evidence that this was indeed the case.


1 comment:

  1. The Warren St. building numbers were originally numbered consecutively from Front to the Eastern end of Warren.
    In 1888? the numbered addresses for Warren were changed to reflect the block location. Front to First were of two digits, First to Second started with 100, Second to Third started with 200, and so on to the 900 numbers.
    The Hudson City Directories of 1888/1889 list both the "old" and "new" addresses for Warren St.