Sunday, July 18, 2021

Dispelling a Myth

Call me a killjoy, but, although I appreciate a good legend, there are some that are just too farfetched. Someone on Facebook this morning shared the "fun fact" that Diamond Street, the original name for Columbia Street, was so named for Legs Diamond, a.k.a. Gentleman Jack, the notorious gangster of the Prohibition Era.

This is not true. Although Diamond is known to have visited Hudson on several occasions, very likely frequenting the establishments on Diamond Street, Hudson's red light district, the city did not name the street after him. This 1873 Beers Atlas map of Hudson's Second Ward clearly shows that the street just north of and running parallel to Warren Street was called Diamond Street at that time.

This was 1873. Legs Diamond wasn't born until 1897.

If you are curious about Chapel Street, which appears on the map just north of and parallel to Diamond Street, it was obliterated in 1974 during Urban Renewal, to build Bliss Towers, Columbia Apartments, and Schuyler Court.


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