Half a century ago, around the time that Urban Renewal reimagined much of Hudson, the city's business owners banded together to form an organization called SPOUT to counteract the effect of the strip malls cropping up in Greenport and bring people and their custom to Hudson. The acronym, meant to acknowledge Hudson's whaling roots, stood for Society to Promote Our Unique Town.
Formed in 1975, SPOUT launched a fairly robust program intended to attract visitors from near and far to Hudson. It was during the SPOUT era that Hudson street signs gained the little whale icon.
Much memorabilia from that era has found its way to the History Room at the Hudson Area Library, and the History Room staff and members of the History Room Committee have assembled it into an exhibition entitled "From Elvis to Action Windows: When SPOUT Brought Hudson Alive." The exhibition opens this Thursday, May 11, at 6:00 p.m., with a reception that includes a talk about the era as well as wine, cheese, and Talbott & Arding whale cookies. Come prepared to spend some money. SPOUT-related merchandise, designed by Kelley Drahushuk and Alan Coon, co-owners of Spotty Dog Books & Ale, and featuring the iconic SPOUT whale logo, will be for sale at the event.
Drahushuk, a member of the History Room Committee and co-curator with Gary Sheffer of the exhibition, describes it as "a great way for people to learn . . . how Hudson of the SPOUT era reflects what was going on in the country at large during the time of urban renewal and the rise of shopping malls and chain retail."
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