Mary Hallenbeck said that as a child Hudson was a wonderful place to grow up. There were grocery stores, shoe stores, men and women’s clothing stores, furniture stores, dry goods stores. Most were privately owned. There were three movie theaters. The Blue Anchor on North 7th Street was a recreation center for teens. There were also a couple of soda fountains and the pharmacies had snack bars as well delivery services. McKinstry’s had a lending library as well as a snack bar that kids walked to after school. The milkman delivered as did Cushman Bakery. And there were three general stores in Claverack. In the summer farmers came through town with wagons loaded with fruits and vegetables and meats, butter and eggs too. Down street were dry goods stores that sold workman’s clothes for businesses like Coca Cola (which had a local bottling plant, Canada Dry, in Greenport), V&O Press, Universal Match Company, Gifford-Wood, Lone Star Cement on 23B, and Atlas that later became St. Lawrence Cement. Hudson was a very busy place after the Depression in 1929 and WWll. Many of these businesses became defense factories during the War. Women went to work in factories during the war (Rosie the Riveter) like at Gifford-Wood, but none to V&O Press. V&O stamped out bullets and was high security so women were office workers.
How did women going to work affect Hudson? Children became latch-key kids because there was no no daycare. When her mother, who was a switch-board operator, went back to work during WWll Mary had chores and responsibilities at home. Hudson also had Grey’s Furniture Store next to Crawford’s Assoc or Berman’s, Marsh & Bachman Department Store with three floors, a millinery store on Warren Street: Mrs. Warsher’s for hats, the Baker’s Dress Shop, Maratsky’s Jewelers. There were also dentists, a lab that made dentures, barber shops, Grossman’s Bakery (which now houses TSL, Time Space Limited), and children's clothing stores. There were Kresge’s on 6th Street and Newberry’s, both had lunch counters but not Woolworth’s (which is now the current CVS). There were also many shoe stores, including Florsheim and Speed’s, dry cleaners, and a furrier. The local Brickyards and stone quarries provided material used in local building. Mary thinks the prime time period for Hudson was just before and after WWll because there was so much industry here.
The notable McKinstry Family were pre-revolutionary settlers. In addition to a farm on County Route 31 they owned the Home for the Aged and later on the McKinstry Pharmacy. Sally, the wife of Robert, a lawyer in the 1800s, started the Orphanage in Hudson. The first building was a red brick house on North 7th Street. The Orphanage was later moved to 400 State Street.