Hudson History Room

HISTORY

The idea of a History Room was first proposed in the fall of 1982 to provide a room to be used for the storage of local history records - the room and its contents to be available to patrons for perusal of historical information. Many of the original contributions were from the University of Wisconsin River Falls Archives and Area Research Center.

Funding was received from the Williams Trust, used book sales, sale of the historical survey book "Buildings from the Past", and various individuals and organizations including St. Croix County Abstract, Hudson Area Senior Citizens, State Bank of Hudson, Duro Bag, Willis Miller, Bill and Catherine Heiting, Lorraine Jacobs, John Heywood and the City Council.

The Hudson Woman's Club purchased newspaper microfilm. Additional microfilm was purchased with donations from the Pierce County Historical Society, The St. Croix Valley Genealogical Society and the University of Wisconsin - River Falls Archives. Al Weitkamp made shelving and Nor-Lake donated the cost of shelf materials. The history room opened in early 1984.

Access policies and procedures for use of the History Room collections were established in May 1983:

  • Materials cannot be checked out and must be used in the history room.
  • Patrons are asked to sign a register which shows name, address and any other information deemed necessary for the safety of the materials.
  • Where feasible, fragile materials will be copied and copies used rather than the originals.
  • Name of the room to be the Hudson Area History Room. It was recommended to have Genevieve Cline Day recognized as an important local historian, either by hanging her picture in the room or by honoring her in some other way.

In 2003, the St. Croix County Historical Society was asked if they would like to become involved in the maintenance of the History room and its collections. Since then, Historical Society volunteers have contributed numerous hours organizing the materials and developing the collections.

Through the efforts of the Friends of the Library, additional books have been added. The Friends have also contributed money for the purchases of supplies and funded the printing and binding of a copy of the "Hudson Area Biographical Index". This index has 9,200 pages in 24 volumes.

THE COLLECTION

Focus of the collection is the city of Hudson, the St. Croix Valley and St. Croix County. The collection includes books, manuscripts, maps, microfilm, newspapers, school yearbooks, phone books, church books and local cemetery indexes.

One of the most useful resources in the collection is the "Hudson Area Biographical Index (HABI)" complied by Willis H. Miller. The HABI is a comprehensive listing of the names and information on more than 56,000 Hudsonites. It covers the "Hudson Star Times" from 1890 to 1905 and the "Hudson Star-Observer" from 1909 through 2005, as well as some earlier newspapers.

DIGITAL MATERIALS

In 2012, the Hudson Library and the ResCarta Foundation, using equipment provided by Northern Micrographics and a Pepsi Refresh grant, digitized over 300 photographs and artifacts. Click the link to view the the materials that were scanned: Open the Digital Archive page.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries on genealogy or local history will be answered as time permits. Initial research (about one hour) is free; copies are 10 cents per page, plus postage. Donations are always welcome. The volunteer staff does not have time to perform extensive "for pay" research.

VOLUNTEER SCHEDULE

The History Room is staffed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am - 4 pm. We encourage visitors to email ahead to verify the availablity of a volunteer on any given date: hudsonhistory@gmail.com.

The room is available to patrons during regular library hours. However, it is locked when it’s not staffed.  Patrons who wish to use the room when it’s not staffed may sign-in with a valid ID at an information desk on the second floor. 

ADDITIONAL AREA RESOURCES

St. Croix County Vital Records - Register of Deeds
1101 Carmichael Road
Hudson, WI 54016
715-386-4652
website

Divorce and Civil Court Records - Clerk of Courts
1101 Carmichael Road
Hudson, WI 54016
715-386-4630
website

St. Croix County Historical Society
1004 Third Street
Hudson, WI 54016
715-386-2654
website

St. Croix Valley Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 396
River Falls, WI 54022
website

UW River Falls Area Research Center
170 Chalmer Davee Library
River Falls, WI 54022
(715) 425-3567
website

Last update: March 3, 2016