Local History


Hudson Library & Historical Society maintains an extensive local history collection, focusing primarily on Ohio, with particular emphasis on Hudson, Ohio, and Summit County. The local history collection includes:

  • Yearbooks of Hudson High School and Western Reserve Academy
  • Hudson imprints collection (books printed in Hudson)
  • Hudson authors collection
  • John Brown collection – Books, artifacts, manuscripts, and genealogical materials related to John Brown and the anti-slavery movement.
  • Newspapers – Virtually a complete run of Hudson newspapers from 1828 to the present and 19th century area newspapers like the Ravenna Republican and the Summit County Beacon. A searchable index of the newspapers is available in the library.
  • Hudson necrology file – A file of obituaries of Hudson residents.
  • Historic house reports – Research reports of many historic homes in the area documenting the architectural features and ownership history.
  • Hudson telephone and city directories from 1917.
  • County histories of Ohio and surrounding states.
  • Over 100 unique manuscript collections, including the papers and records of Hudson citizens and organizations.

The collection is available to the public during selected library hours. Please call (330) 653-6658 to inquire about hours. See the Historical Society’s policies and procedures [policies & procedures page] for more information about using the collection.


History of Hudson

Hudson is part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, a 120 mile strip in the northeast corner of what is now the State of Ohio. Claimed by Connecticut until 1795, the land in this region was sold to potential pioneers by the Connecticut Land Company through a land lottery. David Hudson and five business partners—Birdsey and Nathaniel Norton, Theodore Parmelee, Stephen Baldwin, and Benjamin Oviatt—purchased land rights to the township designated Range 10, Town 4 in the Western Reserve.
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Underground Railroad in Hudson

When the pioneers came out to Hudson from New England, many brought a hatred of slavery with them. As Congregationalists, they abhorred the concept of owning another human being. Fugitive slaves found a safe if temporary haven in the town David Hudson founded in Ohio’s Western Reserve. The highly illegal activity that we call the Underground Railroad had to be conducted with absolute secrecy: thus we may never know the full extent of the town’s involvement. Hudson is fortunate to have many buildings still standing that have ties to the anti-slavery movement and in particular to the Underground Railroad.
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Hudson Newspaper Index

Subject index to major news items in Hudson, Ohio, newspapers and news sources from 1903 to present day. Publication list: Ex Libris (Bulletin of the Hudson Library & Historical Society), Hudson Herald, Hudson Hub, Hudson Hub Times, Hudson Life, Hudson Monthly, Hudson Observer, Hudson Times, North Summit Times, North Summit Independent, and Yesterday in Hudson.
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