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Many Hudsonites will be heading south for Spring Break and might consider stopping in North Carolina to visit one of the 17 U.S. municipalities that share the "Hudson" name. Located 481 miles due south of Hudson, Ohio, in the scenic Appalachian foothills of Caldwell County in western North Carolina, the town is an hour's drive west of the junction of I-77 and US421.
Hudson's landmark building is the "HUB," or Hudson Uptown Building, a former elementary school. The HUB is where locals gather to celebrate special events, including the Annual Christmas Show Festival. According to the town's website, "whether your favorite thing is listening to acoustic guitar music, having a sandwich in a small caf, or taking a walk along a scenic greenway, Hudson has something for you." Some have noted that Hudson could be a stand-in for the fictional town of Andy Griffith fame, Mayberry RFD.
Hudson has a population of 3,890. It grew out of a sawmill camp and was incorporated as a town in 1905. Its population was 411 in 1910. The area was thickly wooded and timber was the sole initial attraction. Records indicate that the Sardis, Baptist Church was first organized in the area in 1831. Among the early settlers were Monroe and Johnny Hudson. In 1880, the village was named for the brothers as Hudsonville. The "ville" was dropped in 1889 to avoid confusion with Hendersonville, NC. Monroe served as the village's first postmaster from 1880 until 1889. The first telephone was installed in 1900. In 1904, the Hudson Cotton Mill was established in what was the town's first brick structure. Other businesses soon followed including another mill, a music publishing company and a chair factory that remains in business today. Electricity arrived in 1920. The first paved road was laid in 1925 from nearby Hickory and in 1948 city water was extended to the town's then 240 families.
A volunteer fire department was organized in 1950 and a municipal complex was constructed in 1984 to house all government services. A Town Manager handles day-to-day functions assisted by an elected mayor and five commissioners. The library serves an estimated 1,325 households in the town that encompasses 3.7 square miles.
Annual events include the Butterfly Festival. The festival has been held the first weekend of May for more than 60 years and draws an estimated crowd of 10,000. In early December a Christmas parade marks the start of holiday activities.
While the permanent population is less than 4,000, on most weekdays the town swells to more than 11,000 due to those who work in the town and students who attend the Caldwell Community College. Once known for its furniture industry, Hudson is now home to a number of international businesses.
The Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge is sponsored by Destination Hudson, the Hudson Hub-Times and Hudson's Restaurant. Information about the Challenge is available online at destinationhudson.com or at the Hudson Visitor Center and Gift Shop, located in Town Hall, at 27 E. Main St. The Visitor center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturdays.