By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Ellen Busch, 76, a longtime member of the Hudson Historical Society, clearly enjoys spending time with other volunteers at the group’s Hudson Museum, housed in a former woolen mill at 43 Broad St. Fifty-two years ago, Busch said she contacted the society when was researching a graduate school paper on Mary Rowlandson, who in 1676 was kidnapped by Native Americans in Lancaster.
“When I joined the society it was to get info on Mary, not make a lifetime commitment,” she said. “By the way, Mary was fine.”
Busch moved to Hudson from North Billerica in 1963 with her late husband Herbert. She was a fifth-grade teacher at the Cox School, and he was a high school teacher and football coach. Over the years, she has been active in the society, as had her husband. Busch remembers working on the town’s bicentennial scrapbook in 1966. She’s now looking forward to the society’s creation of a medallion to celebrate the town’s sesquicentennial in 2016.
Busch’s story of long-term commitment is echoed by many others who often sit around a large wooden table at the Hudson Museum when its open to the public on Tuesdays from 2 to 4p.m., and the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon (except in the summer).
About 15 years ago, trustee Peggi Sullivan stopped by the museum to get some photos of Hudson’s old train station, which her husband, Dr. Garrett Sullivan, had bought to locate his optometry practice. She remembers paying 25 cents for each picture, and laughingly said, “They put big handcuffs on me. Here I am.”
Back in 1970, corresponding secretary Barbara Nohoumi recalled seeing an ad in the local papers about a meeting at the library. She was interested in old home restorations, and has been involved ever since.
The society has recently elected a new historian, Dave Bonazzoli, 59, whose encyclopedic knowledge of the town is evident. Bonazzoli grew up in Hudson, but now lives in Worcester, and winters in Florida. Several of the society members are former residents of Hudson who now live nearby.
Bonazzoli noted that Hudson was founded on March 19, 1866. According to the society’s website, the town was named after Charles Hudson, who had just donated $500 toward a library. Also, around that time, there were 17 shoe or shoe-related factories in Hudson; the last closed in the late 1960s.
The Hudson Historical Society was founded on March 29, 1916. The organization is committed to keeping alive the history of the town.
Busch commented, “I’d like to see some younger people join the group, but I understand how busy they are.”
Along with the museum, the group presents speakers, has created seven presentations on town history that are available on DVD, and participates in Hudson’s Pumpkinfest, the Hudson Downtown Holliday Stroll, and the Hudson Community Fest in June. Society members Vic Rimkus and Dave Wilkinson have created a 2016 calendar with historic photos that is available for $10 at the Hudson Town Hall and Senior Center.
The members insist there is plenty of room around the big wooden table for more volunteers. For more information or to donate to the society, visit www.hudsonhistoricalsociety.org.