Skip to content

Hudson History

Hudson was founded in the summer of 1840 by Louis Massey and Peter Bouchea. Massey and Bouchea settled at the mouth of the Willow River,, now the vicinity of our First and St.- Croix Streets.. The 1840's saw a few settlers making their appearance here - Captain John. Page, the Nobles brothers, Dr. Philip Aldrich, Ammah Andrews, Moses Perrin, Colonel James Hughes, Daniel Anderson and others.

The settlement was known as Willow River up until 1848, when the name was changed to Buena Vista. Joel Foster stated that this name was appropriate since the area did, indeed, have a "beautiful view".

The 1850's and 1860's saw a great influx of settlers, and many of today's Hudson citizens are descendants of these early pioneers. The main attraction of this area at that time was the first lumber industry, and as time went on the entire St. Croix Valley was dotted with sawmills of varying importance.

In 1852, A. D. Gray, the first mayor, petitioned to change the name of the city to Hudson, because many travelers had noticed the resemblance of the St. Croix River to New York's Hudson River.

Packet boats, stern and side wheelers, and many other boats were plying the St. Croix during this period. In 1871, with the coming of the railroad to Hudson, the golden age of the riverboat on the St. Croix was past. The railroad gave this region direct rail transportation to the east.

The period of 1870-1890 saw a substantial growth of lumbering and industry. In each succeeding decade, Hudson grew in population, material wealth and beauty. Thus, we have the local setting for many historic sites. The Hudson sawmill (now the site of our marina): was one of 17 lumbering businesses on the St. Croix in 1872. One of the lumber industries is now known as The Andersen Corporation, a major producer of windows.

The St. Croix River is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the United States. In 1972, Congress designated the St. Croix River as a protected scenic riverway, preserving the beauty of the shoreline for generations to come.

Scroll To Top