Railroads of Hudson featured in Heritage Association program

Kent Weeklies
Historian Tom Vince
Hudson’s Pennsylvania Railroad depot, photographed 100 years ago in 1920. Despite efforts to save the historic structure, the depot was demolished in 2013.

In many ways, the tracks of Hudson’s history are railroad tracks.

Since 1851, when Hudson became the first town in Summit County to have a railroad connection, trains have carried freight, passengers, booms, busts, even a president-elect, into our historic town.

For its November program, Hudson Heritage Association welcomes preeminent Hudson historian and Western Reserve Academy Archivist Tom Vince, who will present “The Railroads of Hudson.”

Vince’s presentation will be Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the program will be virtual, airing on Hudson Community TV (Channel 1021) and HCTV’s online livestream (www.hudson.oh.us/1081/Watch-HCTV-Channels-Online).

For those who miss the broadcast on Nov. 12, the program will be rebroadcast on HCTV, with programming times listed in the Hudson Hub-Times and the city’s website (https://www.hudson.oh.us/1081/Watch-HCTV-Channels-Online). The program will also be available later on HCTV’s online archives at www.vimeo.com/hudsoncommunitytv.

Vince will discuss the arrival in town of the original Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad (later renamed the Pennsylvania Railroad) and how trains moved people and products in, out and through the town in the decades that followed, including a February 1861 stop in Hudson by President-Elect Abraham Lincoln. He’ll discuss the effort to save Hudson’s historic train depot, which was demolished in 2013.

Vince will also share the story of the Clinton Air Line Railroad, an ambitious project that was never completed, yet gave Hudson one of its most unique – and hidden – landmarks: the Clinton Line Railroad Bridge. He will discuss the potential preservation of the bridge, located off Morse Road, and the challenges that such an effort would face.

“Tom Vince’s presentations are always the highlight of Hudson Heritage Association’s programming calendar,” said Chris Bach, HHA’s President. “For half a century, Tom has had people leaning forward in their seats as he brings our town’s history to life. He is simply the best person to tell the story of the history of railroads in Hudson.”

During his 50 years in Hudson, Vince has dedicated himself to historic preservation and education. In addition to his 25 years as Archivist and Historian at Western Reserve Academy, he has served as director of the Hudson Library and Historical Society, where he was responsible for enlarging the Library Archives with the John Brown Collection from Dr. Clarence S. Gee, the Grace Izant collection of albums and photos taken in all counties of Ohio, and the large David Hudson Collection.

He has served as president of Hudson Heritage Association and has written more than 250 articles about Hudson and its history and has given hundreds of walking tours and presentations. He’s twice been named Hudson’s Citizen of the Year. In 2019, he was one of the inaugural recipients of Hudson Heritage Association’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Hudson.