Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Happening in Hudson 150 Years Ago

Today's exploration in the Hudson Evening Register for March 7, 1873, yielded something truly interesting: a news item documenting the construction of three Second Empire style houses in Hudson, two on Willard Place and one on Allen Street.

The home of William H. Traver, located at 1 Willard Place, and the home of Frederick Jessup, located at 2 Willard Place, are shown in this photograph, taken in the 1890s.

This photograph, from the same era, shows 2 Willard Place, the home of Frederick Jessup.

Both houses were purchased by St. Mary's Catholic Church in 1916. The original plan was to construct a new church building on the site (at that time, St. Mary's Catholic Church was located at South Third and Montgomery streets), but that never happened. Instead, sometime in the 1950s, the two houses were demolished to construct the St. Mary's Academy building, which was completed in 1956 and survives today.

Photo: Sedat Pakay

Of the "three of the finest mansions in the city" under construction in March 1873, only one survives: the home of E. P. H. Capron, the owner of Capron Water Wheel Company, located at 326 Allen Street.

Photo: Zillow


  1. St. Mary’s also purchased a third property in the 1970s? and demolished it to make a play area for elementary students. It’s now the empty lot next to Parish Hall on Willard.

    1. Whatever that building was, it wouldn't have been one of the original Willard Place mansions. Only 1 and 2 are missing. The rest--3 through 8--are still there.