Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hudson and Providence

The Centennial Gazette, published on April 9, 1885, to mark Hudson's first 100 years, had this to say about the founding of our city.
The enterprise out of which thus grew the city of Hudson is popularly supposed to have originated in Nantucket. This is only partially correct. Full investigation gives to the city of Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, largely the credit for the energy which conceived and directed it, and the wealth which so greatly tended to give it success. Nantucket, from its isolated position, had endured great privations and suffered great losses during the war of the Revolution. It had lost nearly all of its shipping in capture by British privateers, had suffered greatly in all of its business interests, and the return of peace found its population impoverished, a large portion of it compelled and anxious to seek a new home. They were ready to gather up the remnant of their means and go out from the peaceful island they loved, but they needed leaders. These they found in Thomas Jenkins and others, wealthy residents and merchants of Providence, who had years before left Nantucket and, engaging in commercial pursuits, had amassed fortunes in the former place and were now not only able but glad to aid their less fortunate kinsman and friends.
I was reminded of this early connection between Providence and Hudson when several readers alerted me to an article that appeared today in the business section of GOLOCALProv, a local news publication in Providence, Rhode Island. In it, Hudson is depicted as a model of success that Providence might emulate: "Hudson, NY: Successful, Small-Scale Revival--Can Providence Learn From It?" 

Some noteworthy quotes from the article:
Hudson illustrates how history and high-end tourism can rescue a city.
Might Hudson give us some clues about how to get jobs without industry? Can a city of antique shops really compete? A New York Times study of 926 metro areas during the pandemic showed that Hudson had the biggest rate of in-migration in the United States. Most of those newcomers were New Yorkers drawn by Hudson's cultural reputation. 
The article doesn't get everything right. Speaking of the revival that began in the late 1980s, spurred by the antique dealers, the article states: "As with Providence, Hudson had been spared urban renewal, so there was a abundance of architecturally distinguished homes and commercial buildings that were incredibly affordable." We who live here know that part about being spared urban renewal is far from true.


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