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Hudson: A great place to live, work or visit

Hudson continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in Wisconsin. The Hudson area -- which includes the city of Hudson, the village of North Hudson and the towns of Troy, St. Joseph and Hudson -- has a population of more than 32,000. That is an increase of more than 25 percent over the last decade.

Hudson's beginning dates back to 1840, when French fur traders founded a settlement at the mouth of the Willow River. In 1852, the city's first mayor, A.D. Gray, decided on the name Hudson because the St. Croix so much resembled the Hudson River valley in New York. Hudson was an important part of the lumber industry in the St. Croix Valley from the mid- to late 1800s.

Portions of downtown Hudson and some residences in the historic district are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Opera House downtown on Second Street, the Octagon House and several private residences.

Over the past decade Hudson has enjoyed an influx of new business. The Hudson industrial park, located just off I-94, has been a model of planned growth and diversity. It includes more than 30 businesses. St. Croix Business Park, adjacent to the first park, is home to numerous new businesses and more are on the way including Uline Inc., a Wisconsin-based packaging company that will build a 640,000-square-foot building and create 150 jobs.

While the area of the industrial parks represents the largest block of businesses, smaller developments are located in Hudson, North Hudson and in the townships. In addition, the Hudson area has seen an explosion of retail businesses in recent years, from smaller one-of-a-kind shops to national chains.

There are several large-scale employers in the Hudson area. They include manufacturers Nor-Lake Inc. (refrigeration equipment), GM Service and Parts Operation, GEA, (food and dairy equipment), United Gear & Assembly (machine gears) and Johnson Controls (automotive parts); chain stores Target, Menards, Walmart, Mills Fleet Farm, and Home Depot; and grocery stores including Family Fresh Foods, County Market and Fresh & Natural.

Large service-oriented employers are Hudson School District, Hudson Hospital and Clinic, city of Hudson, St. Croix County, Christian Community Home retirement complex, St. Croix Valley YMCA and Safe-Way Bus Co.

Tourism is welcome in the Hudson area. The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau serves visitors to the Hudson area with information and assistance regarding a visit.

Tourism-related businesses and attractions include Willow River State Park, The Phipps Center for the Arts, numerous golf courses, the Octagon House museum, bed and breakfast inns, motels and restaurants.

The Hudson School District has an enrollment of more than 5,500 students. There are six elementary schools (K-5), including River Crest, western Wisconsin's first LEED Gold certified school, an award-winning middle school (gr. 6-8) and a four-year high school. Parochial schools include St. Patrick Catholic School (pre-K to gr. 8), Trinity Lutheran Academy (K-8, plus preschool) and Good Shepherd High School.

For more information, contact the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, 502 Second St., at or call (715) 386-8411 or (800) 657-6775.