Last week's Destination Hudson article addressed America's southernmost Hudson as located in Texas. This week we'll explore the farthest north and the most eastern of the 17 communities named Hudson. Maine's Hudson was first settled as Jackson Plantation in 1800. In 1825 the area became known as Kirkland and was incorporated as a town. In 1855 the town's name was changed to Hudson, in honor of Hudson, Massachusetts.
Located in Penobscot County in central Maine, Hudson is along what was once the stagecoach line that ran from Bangor to Bradford. The town is 16 miles northwest of Bangor, Maine's capital city.
Hudson, Maine is governed by a five-member Board of Selectmen, who are elected to three-year terms. The Town Clerk administers day-to-day operations. Town Hall occupies the former elementary school. Hudson students are now part of a five-community 1,200 student school district. All educational facilities are located in nearby Corinth. In the 1880s Hudson supported seven public schoolhouses although the population numbered just 659. The town's sole constable provides police services, while volunteers man the fire department.
Today, there are an estimated 1,484 residents comprising approximately 600 households. The average age in Hudson, Maine is 43.7 versus the national average of 37.4 years. The town's median household income is $49,900, slightly below the national average. By 1970, the town's population had shrunk to just 482. Since then Hudson experienced strong growth with the population peaking at 1,536 in 2010.
Hudson is a rural community covering an area of more than 40 square miles. Its topography is flat, with the town being only 144 feet above sea level. The Parks and Recreation Board sponsors sporting activities at the Nichols Sports Complex. On the south end of Hudson is the 7-1/2 mile long Pushaw Lake. Shared with two bordering communities, the lake is surrounded by seasonal and year-around residences, plus numerous campgrounds. There is no library in town, and the nearest hospital is in Bangor.
Hudson's first post office opened in 1825. The first phone was installed in 1905, but for decades 8 to 10 person party lines were the norm. Full phone service was not established until 1974. The first electrical service wasn't installed until 1939. Electrical service was finally extended to all parts of Hudson until 1969.
Hudson's Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that historically was the town's main contributor and organizer of community events. However, in recent years membership has declined and the Grange has been reduced to providing financial support to local causes.
Landmark structures in Hudson include the Town Hall, the two-bay fire station, and Rogers Market. Rogers is an old-fashion country store, located at Hudson's main intersection, of Routes 221 and 43. The Market is one of few retail establishments in Hudson, Maine.
Information regarding the Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge is available at the Visitor Center located at 27 E. Main St. or online at destinationhudson.com.