By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – As Hudson celebrates its 150th anniversary, residents and visitors were challenged to test their knowledge of the town spanning its century-and-a-half history. They attended Trivia Game Night, presented July 18 at the Hudson Public Library with Vertigo Trivia owner and host Dan Barbour. He’s also the young adult librarian at the Shrewsbury Public Library.
Six teams of three to five players heard the game’s modern-day rule: Web searching via cell phones for help was not allowed.
The game began with a warm-up round including mathematical, historical and political questions. Everyone easily figured that the town was incorporated in 1866. Most were aware that Hudson was known as Feltonville in the 1850s and was part of nearby Marlborough.
Few contestants were stumped when asked, “What late prominent Hudson resident served as Massachusetts governor from 1997 to 2001?” Barbour revealed the answer, “Paul Cellucci.”
Then the trivia host was challenged with a question. Sarah Cressy, a trivia team member of the “Several Sesquicentennialists” and co-chair of the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, asked Barbour if he knows Cellucci’s actual first name. A number of Hudsonites replied in unison, “Argeo.”
During a round of quick pics, players tried to identify 10 current images in town. The images included eateries on Main, School, South and Washington streets: Ariba Coffee, Café 641, Horseshoe Pub & Restaurant, Medusa Brewing Company, New City Microcreamery, Old Schoolhouse Pub & Restaurant, Rail Trail Flatbread Co., Sofia Ristorante, Star Ocean and Victor’s 50s Diner. Barbour acknowledged that he learned about some Hudson eateries online at Yelp.
In a round of questions involving numbers, only dedicated history buffs correctly answered the year when a Fourth of July fire caused by three children playing with firecrackers destroyed most of downtown Hudson: 1894. Likewise, only those with a good geographical sense of direction knew the number of communities bordering Hudson: five. Hudson is bordered by Bolton and Stow on the north, Marlborough on the south, Sudbury on the east, and Berlin on the west.
A more challenging question was posed in a round with contestants wagering zero to 10 points: “What property is considered to be the oldest house in Hudson?” Barbour played the song “Feeling Good” as a clue, which might have helped some players determine the correct answer: Goodale House on Chestnut Street. According to the town website, “Dating from the 1600s, it was expanded over time to its present two-story symmetry. This home was a part of the Underground Railroad in the 1800s, sheltering freedom seekers behind a fireplace wall.”
In the final round, contestants wagered zero to 25 points before hearing another challenging historical question. Barbour noted, “Hudson was once nicknamed ‘Shoe Town.’ Coming within two points either way, what was the highest number of shoe factories that existed in Hudson at one time?” Three of the six teams correctly answered 17.
The trivia game also included general questions not specific to Hudson. Bragging rights of the evening’s trivia champs went to the “Four Squares” team.
Earlier in this town’s sesquicentennial year, the Hudson Public Library hosted a reenactment of Andrew Carnegie. By 1903, the library outgrew its location since 1867 in the Town Hall. Carnegie donated $12,500 to Hudson in order to build a new library building. The current library building at Wood Square opened in 1905. A two-story addition was added in 1966, coinciding with the town’s centennial.
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.