A Village Is Born

The history of Hudson and her parks can be traced back to when the state of present day Ohio was “owned” by England. In 1662, King Charles II confirmed, by charter, that the newly established Connecticut Colony owned a large territory of land west of the Allegheny Mountains in the New World. The land granted was located between the 41st and 42nd parallels of N. latitude ( the width of Connecticut’s borders) and extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans! King Charles II was known as the “Merry Monarch” and, apparently, merrily promised the same land to various other colonies and groups of people. Where we live and play today was already being argued over before the new world settlers had even seen it. For nearly 20 years, the far reaching narrow strip of promised land would be caught up in a political game of musical chairs with Connecticut heatedly competing for the prize of unrefuted ownership.

When the American Revolution ended in 1783, the newly liberated colonies decided to end the conflict of who owned distant western territories by surrendering any claims they had to the new federal government. Connecticut Colony agreed but with the exception that they be allowed to keep a 120 mile strip of land in reserve. The reserved land was nestled in between the borders of today’s Pennsylvania and NE Ohio. Congress agreed to Connecticut’s terms in 1786 and the Connecticut Western Reserve was established. Connecticut Colony had finally won at least a portion of the land  originally promised in the charter 0f 1662!

The Connecticut General Assembly would soon discover that exploring and surveying their slice of the western frontier would be more expensive and difficult than they realized. After several unsuccessful attempts, it was decided that The Western Reserve would be sold.  Connecticut would give up the right to govern the territory but they would benefit from the sale by placing the proceeds in a trust for the Connecticut school system.

In 1795 Connecticut sold the lands of Western Reserve to the Connecticut Land Company  who promptly sent General Moses Cleaveland  out with a group of explorers to survey and divide the purchased territory for future sale and settlement. The land was divided into a grid of 25 square mile parcels that were numbered by range and town. Each parcel would be sold for around $12,900 in a land lottery.

At this same time, 39 year old David Hudson was feeling the tug of western exploration. Hudson was a husband, father and prosperous farmer in Goshen, Connecticut but was feeling restless and wanted to be part of the exciting land lottery. He recruited five fellow investors to join him in purchasing a lottery opportunity. They drew the 16,000 acre township labeled Range 10, Town 4. In 1779 Hudson set off with a small group of colonists to claim and survey their new purchase!

The journey was difficult and dangerous but in June of 1799 David Hudson and company finally found Range 10, Town 4! An outpost was constructed and the land parcel was divided into 100 lots each consisting of 160 acres. In 1802 the township was officially named Hudson.The growing community of courageous pioneers began to clear and settle their new home on the western frontier. The story of this once untouched ancient land had begun a new chapter and a village was born!