The city of Hudson, Wisconsin is rumored to have started with 4 settlers in 1840. Back in those days, the settlement was known as Willow River and the use of its current name did not become official until much later when the city’s first mayor, Alfred Gray, initiated a personal campaign to rename the city Hudson because the surrounding topography reminded him of his home in New York along the Hudson River. Hudson remained a tiny settlement until the 1850’s when the lumber industry began to grow around the city. To this day, many of Hudson’s current residents are descendants of the original settlers who made their living from the lumber industry.
As of the latest census in 2010, Hudson’s population was estimated at just under 13,000. The city is also home to several unique sites for both locals and visitors to experience. One of these sites is the Octagon House, known for its unique octagonal shape and Victorian-era furnishings set among a beautifully maintained and manicured garden. You can visit the Tea Room and sit down for a three-course tea while overlooking the breathtaking St. Croix River. Self-guided walking tours of historic Hudson are also available. These tours showcase historic downtown Hudson where visitors will see many of the town’s original public buildings and grand Victorian houses.
Hudson is the home of the Hudson Hot Air Affair Balloon Rally and Winter Festival. This event is the premier winter hot air balloon rally in the Midwest. Each year, the festival is highlighted by an evening parade, hot air balloon launches, and vendors selling all kinds of arts and crafts and food.
Finally, there is the St. Croix River. Situated along the river is the St. Croix River Marina with its docks, beautiful riverfront trails and recreation areas. Located just two minutes from the docks are many beaches and sand islands. Several restaurants, antique shops and specialty retail stores are located within walking distance as well. The St. Croix River Marina is also the site of the Hudson Booster Days festival, the town’s annual Independence Day celebration.