April Newsletter
April 11, 2022
Message from the Co-Presidents
Spring is upon us and your Hudson Heritage Association Board of Directors have been active.
1927 Building:
First and foremost is our concern about the fate of the 1927 Building and site. Hudson Heritage Association continues to advocate against the sale of the building and/or site to a private developer. Such plans directly impact the character of Hudson and its adjacent historic district. Further, it runs the risk of adversely affecting property values that help fund our schools. A 2015 publication by the City of Hudson in collaboration with HHA clearly outlines the value of Hudson’s historic districts. These considerations should not be ignored as the HCSD continues its deliberations. The following excerpt was taken from the City of Hudson’s publication The Historic District of Hudson, A Heritage Worth Preserving.
“Over the period of 2000-2015, property values in the Historic District have appreciated at a yearly average of 4.01%, while the rest of the city appreciated at a reduced rate of 1.71%. The data indicates that the Historic District has managed to out-value and out- perform the larger community, as well as Summit County.” 
Demolition of the post-1927 additions was completed in the summer of 2021.
What fate awaits the 1927 Building and site in May?
Other issues surrounding the development proposal include the need to incorporate conservation and/or preservation easements IF a sale occurs in order to protect the property in the future. Without such safeguards in place, we run the risk of virtually anything replacing the school and the front lawn in the future. The fact that the property, originally gifted to the Hudson Rural School District, explicitly stated that the property was to be used for public schoool purposes only adds credence to our argument. Why would we want to violate the covenant and why would we want to relinquish the land? Save it for the community’s and school district’s future!
Arguments claiming the need for additional revenue for the school district seem weak. HCSD bonds are Aa1 rated, an indication of their credit quality and the financial strength of the school district. Per Moody’s Investors Service (May 2021), the mean available fund balances for public school districts across the United States were 23.7% in 2019.  Yet Hudson’s percentage was above 50% for the same period.  With Hudson’s assessed property valuation over $1.2 billion dollars, the additional revenue provided by the proposed condos and townhouses appears to be insignificant. Yet, the cost to the neighborhood’s aesthetic value could be enormous.

We need every concerned citizen to help us in this crusade. With the HCSD’s decision just 3-4 weeks away, your voice matters. To help the community understand the issues, facts and our position surrounding the various options, Hudson Heritage Association will be launching a 1927 Building web page this week. We hope it will be a community resource for your advocacy. Stay tuned!
Park Lane Square Project:
Members of the Park Lane Square Project team presented to the Hudson AHBR on March 9th. The picture window on the east elevation of Peg’s Foundation's building was a topic of discussion. This primary elevation can be seen from Main Street and the historic Village Green. Additional consideration of the design on this elevation was requested by members of the AHBR.
Rendering of the east elevation facing the Village Green by Peninsula Architects.
A proposal was also made to remove and replace up to 100% of the historic Baldwin-Buss House’s siding.  AHBR staff notes cited the Secretary of Interior’s Standards that state “deteriorated historic features will be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature will match the old in design, color, texture and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features will be substantiated by documentary and physical evidence.”  The board agreed to an onsite assessment and later review when more is known about the condition of the siding.

HHA Monthly Program
Hudson Heritage Association will host its next program, open to all members of the community, on Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Barlow Community Center. Nicholas Kent, Associate Head of School from Western Reserve Academy, and his students will be presenting "The Tale of Two Cities – Hudson, Ohio and Ellsworth, Pennsylvania.” Additional details can be found below. HHA will end its program year in May with its annual members meeting. Watch for more details soon.

HHA 60th Anniversary
This month’s feature articles, in celebration of HHA’s 60th Anniversary, reprint a 1992 presentation given by Pat Eldredge about HHA’s Historic Marker Program and highlight the Baldwin-Babcock House (1834), now home to Hudson Community Foundation and our own Hudson Heritage Association. Enjoy the read!
We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming program!
Kathy Russell & Diccon Ong
Hudson Heritage Association
HHA’s April Program: "The Tale of Two Ellsworth Cities" by Nicholas Kent & his WRA Students
Attendees at the April 14 general meeting of Hudson Heritage Association will get a glimpse into a largely unknown facet of the life of Hudson benefactor and native son James Ellsworth when three Western Reserve Academy seniors present the evening’s program: “The Tale of Two Cities – Hudson, Ohio and Ellsworth, Pennsylvania.”

The April 14 meeting is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. at Barlow Community Center. 

Born in Hudson in 1849, James William Ellsworth was the son of Edgar Birge Ellsworth and Mary Holden Dawes Ellsworth. His father ran a general store in the building still located at the corner of Division and East Main Streets facing the Hudson Green.  After attending Western Reserve College (now Western Reserve Academy), James left Hudson to begin a career in business. After a short stint in Cleveland, he moved to Chicago, and soon became a major coal dealer and distributor. In 1892, the Ellsworth Coal Company founded the town of Ellsworth, Pennsylvania, designed to serve as a coal mining operation for the company.

Ellsworth enjoyed enormous financial success in his business endeavors and supported numerous philanthropic undertakings, including support for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Throughout his career, Ellsworth maintained his ties to Hudson. In 1890, Ellsworth converted the family’s farm located on Aurora Street into a country estate called “Evamere,” named after his deceased first wife and the mother of Lincoln Ellsworth and his sister Clare. Although the main house was demolished and the estate subsequently subdivided and sold for housing, remnants of Evamere remain in the estate’s gatehouse and portions of its stone walls, which can be seen on Aurora Street near Hudson Street. 
Hudson Heritage Association Awards Historic Marker to Landfear/Wells House
JoAnn and Mark Vosburgh, current owners of the home located at 5 Baldwin Street, will receive a marker from Hudson Heritage Association at the group’s April 14 general meeting, adding this notable property to the list of those throughout Hudson that have been recognized for their historic and architectural significance. 

The home is being named after the Landfears, the first family to build a permanent house on the site in 1852, and the Welles family, which occupied the home for more than 50 years beginning in 1923. Located on land once owned by David Hudson, the property has passed through the hands of several notable Hudson persons and families with names including Case, Whedon, Hines, Baldwin, Gaylord and Hanson.

Property titles, deeds and tax records show the property was purchased from Harvey Whedon and the house was built by Simon Landfear. Although it is not clear Simon lived in the house, a map from 1856 shows a carriage-making shop owned by “Landfear-Farwell” on the property. It is possible there were multiple buildings on the site at this time, since the lot was much larger before being split decades later. 

Gillett and Gladys Welles purchased 5 Baldwin Street in 1923 and were active in the Hudson community. Gillett was a longtime Village Councilman. The couple also is credited with bringing the Hudson Pinks Dianthus to the attention of the Hudson Garden club early in its history.

The Welles also were the parents of two well-known WRA alumni. Frederick Carder Welles, class of 1927, subsequently graduated from Williams College and served in the Navy, rising to the rank of Lt. Commander. Later, he established a business in San Francisco called Carder Welles Associates Ltd. He was editor of the Reserve Record for two years. Brother Gillett was a member of the class of 1932, and while at WRA was captain of the football team, a six letter man, a founder of the French Club, news editor of the Reserve Record and seriously interested in aviation. After earning his degree from Williams College, he founded the Welles Aircraft Corporation. Later, he founded Welles Supply Company, an industrial supply firm.

Both Welles brothers claimed as their distinguished grandfather Frederick Carder, a renowned designer for Steuben Art Glass, located in Corning, New York. Carder's glass masterpieces were often selected as official gifts by U.S. presidents.
HHA - Celebrating 60 Years of Preservation
Editor's note: Past-president Pat Eldredge wrote this piece in approximately 1992. We appreciate the opportunity to share it on the occasion of HHA's 60th anniversary and thank Pat for her many efforts in support of Hudson Heritage Association. Today, nearly 175 homes/buildings have historic markers.
Markers on Old Homes
By Pat Eldredge

In our two previous talks, we first discussed the founding of Hudson Heritage Association, and second, the formation of an Architectural Board of Review for Hudson Village. In this third talk we thought we’d explain a little about HHA‘s marker program for old houses.

In 1973, Village Council authorized Rebecca Rogers to write an Architectural and Historical Study of Hudson Ohio. This accurate, well-planned book has been of enormous assistance in maintaining Hudson’s character. Rebecca outlined a number of steps that should be taken to preserve and enhance that character. One of the most important of these steps was the idea of documenting the history of the old houses in both the Village and the Township. This would be done by volunteers using primary sources: deeds, tax records, census records, and old letters and newspapers, etc.

A Survey and Research Committee was formed with Laura Cutshall and Judy Dallenbach as the first chairman. Before this committee was organized, information on Hudson’s old buildings was mostly hearsay or from unknown or unreliable sources. A small booklet was written in 1950, with revised editions in 1961 and 1975, called Record of Old Houses of Hudson, Ohio, which gave a brief history of 115 of Hudson’s oldest houses. This was a start and at least identified a lot of the early houses. But its information was sketchy and often erroneous. In 1962 the Garden Club published a small booklet with text by J. Fred Waring, drawings by Ann Burnham and a map by Ginny Ellis which was charming but not comprehensive or even very accurate. Other than these booklets, there wasn’t much that had been written about the old Hudson buildings.

The purpose of the Survey and Research Committee is to find out as much as possible about the history of a building, it’s architectural style and the people who lived there, using primary records as the main source for information. The researcher—either a volunteer on the committee or the owner of the house being researched - then writes up the history. One copy of the history is for the owner, one for the library archives and one for the HHA office files.

The marker always bears the date that the house was built. Sometimes there are two dates if a major renovation took place such as the Johnson-Romito Funeral Home which displays two dates: 1836 when it was built as a classic beauty in the Greek Revival style and 1877 when it had a facelift and was turned into an Italianate grand lady.

As well as the date or dates, the marker usually has the first owner’s name on it. Again, this is a variable as we celebrate an historic person’s name on the marker if that person has lived in the house for some length of time. The John Paul Jones house in New England is such an example, also the Longfellow house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Neither Jones nor Longfellow built the house that carries his name. We have our local example: the I.T. Frary house on Aurora Street. Mr. Frary was a well-known historian and author of Early Homes of Ohio who lived in the house for many years and made some important additions and alterations to it. Also, there is a strong suspicion which has yet to be verified by documentation that the I.T. Frary house is really the Mary Wither’s house that was built in 1850 on College Street and moved to its present site in 1977 to make room for the Straight Cheese Factory—now Hayden Hall. Since all this has yet to be proven, and the first owner of the house at its present site did not actually live there, it seemed fitting to name the house for its most prominent owner – I. T.Frary

To qualify for a marker, a house must have been built before 1910 and not be spoiled by inappropriate later renovations. Finding the documentation to research a Hudson house is considerably easier than in many other communities. The real estate and personal property tax records from 1799 to the early 1900s have been put on microfiche and are available at the HHA office and in the library archives. The Summit County deeds from 1840 to about 1900 are also in the library archives on microfilm. Deeds earlier than 1840 and later than 1900 may be found in Akron at the Recorder’s Office. The library archives also have many other source materials such as census records, old maps, county histories and early chronicles and newspapers.

Along with researching the house on a paper trail, a house inspection is made. We have been very fortunate in having Charles Willits, a highly respected architect and specialist in early Ohio architecture, as our consultant. Charles has generously given his time and his extensive knowledge to HHA and has inspected a great many of the houses that bear markers.

After compiling the tax records, the deeds, all the pertinent information gleaned from other sources, the researcher writes a history of the building and presents a brief report to the HHA membership at a monthly meeting. A metal plate is ordered and later affixed to the HHA wood plaque and then placed on the house in a conspicuous spot.

To date, over 115 buildings carry markers. Many more need to be researched if we are to have a clear picture of what Hudson is all about. We feel it is important to know the history of a property which helps in its preservation and also tells a passerby that the story of the house may be read at either the library or the HHA office.
Hudson's Historic Homes & Buildings
The Baldwin Babcock House, 1834
By Claire Lovas (WRA Class of 2022)
At the southeast corner of Aurora and East Main streets, with an ideal view of the Village Green and the quaint shops along Hudson’s main retail road, sits a light-yellow house with green shutters that holds untold memories dating back to 1834. Upon its eclectic mix of weathered ash, chestnut, oak, and poplar floorboards have walked several generations of Hudsonites.
The house, located at 49 East Main Street, serves as a worthy anchor to a street where there is more history hiding beneath the lush greenery that shades its venerable mix of commercial and residential properties than you might at first imagine. This particular classic Greek Revival home was originally built by Frederick W. Baldwin, a husband, father, and local farmer who was one of Hudson’s earliest pioneers. The main mass of the building is a two-story timber-framed house featuring clapboard wood siding and a sandstone foundation. Attached to it is a southern one-and-a-half-story wing flanked on its western side by a covered porch. The original configuration of the building had the front door positioned on the left side of the temple front two-story section. This door was similar to one in Asher Benjamin’s design book The Practical Carpenter (1830). Indeed, many details found inside the house are similar to Benjamin’s 1833 book Practice of Architecture. (Today the original front door has been replaced by a window, with the main entrance now accessible from the porch to its right. There is also a “coffin door” on the façade of the house facing Aurora Street.)
The Baldwin Babcock House is named in honor of Frederick’s and his wife’s, Salome (Bronson), surviving daughter, Caroline. (She had an older sister, Maria Louisa, who died as an infant.) Caroline was born on December 17th, 1841 in the northeast room of her family’s home. When Caroline was fourteen her family sold the house on East Main Street and moved to a farm located south of town off of Main Street. There she remained through her middle age. Three years after her parents died, at age 43, Caroline married a successful businessman, Parry Babcock, and moved to Cleveland where her new groom both lived and worked. Later, however, as a widow, she would return to her childhood hometown and go on to become an important benefactor to the Hudson Library and Historical Society.
As noted above, in 1855, Caroline’s father sold the family home to Frederick Bunnell.  Existing evidence suggests the Bunnells never moved from their original Aurora Street residence to this newly acquired property. It most likely served as a rental unit.  Indeed, the next several owners of the house seemed to have used it for a similar purpose. Not until 1889 was the house acquired by a family, the Shields, which used it as their primary residence. The Shield family owned the home for thirty years, at which point the youngest Shield daughter, Angie, sold it to Carlota L. Herkness.

When Western Reserve Academy folded in 1903 (only temporarily, as it would turn out) the town’s citizens had lost access to the school’s library, which had served as Hudson’s principal resource for self-education. Caroline Baldwin Babcock, now widowed and once again residing in her hometown, joined forces with her former childhood friend, James W. Ellsworth, to found a new town library. The library originally set up shop in what is now WRA’s Hayden Hall. After Caroline’s death, however, the newly established library used funds bequeathed to it by Baldwin Babcock to purchase her childhood home from the Herkness family in 1922. The library renovated the house and moved into it in 1924. The grand opening of the new facility occurred on New Year’s Day in 1925.
A small addition to the original structure was built onto the eastern side of the building in 1934, and then in 1955 the library expanded into a much larger and more substantial brick addition, also to the east. At this point, the original Baldwin Babcock House became office and living space for the library staff as well as a mini-museum featuring a Western Reserve parlor typical of the 1870s.

When the Hudson Library and Historical Society moved into its new, and current, building on the western edge of the First & Main development in 2005, the Baldwin Babcock house was separated from its brick addition and returned to its original footprint. It is the current home to both the Hudson Community Foundation and Hudson Heritage Association.

Hudson Heritage Association | info@hudsonheritage.org | www.hudsonheritage.org

PO Box 2218 - Hudson, OH 44236