Veteran’s Way park is the newest of Hudson’s city parks and provides 38 acres of recreational opportunity. The land is situated in the northeast corner of Lot 45 on the original land grid from 1799 and was first purchased by Stephen Baldwin who was one of the 6 original businessmen who contributed financially to the purchase of Hudson in the land lottery along with David Hudson. According to Hudson’s Heritage, by Grace Goulder Izant, Stephen Baldwin never came to Hudson but sent his 5 sons in his stead. An 1856 land owner map shows that this parcel was owned by the “Baldwin Brothers.” 18 year old Frederick Baldwin arrived in Hudson with his 15 year old brother, Norman to open a mercantile in 1812. They were both quite successful businessmen known to be honorable and just. In 1836 they began a joint real-estate venture that resulted in land acquisitions through out Summit, Cuyahoga and Franklin counties. An 1856 Summit County property owner map shows that Lot 45 was one of their many holdings, likely inherited from their father. What would they think today if they could look across this Hudson property today and see a beautiful playground, splash pad, skateboard park and walking trails?!
when Frederick died in 1880, the land was deeded to his daughter, Caroline Baldwin Babcock. Caroline played a profound role in Hudson history when she founded the library in 1910. It is worth reading the many publications available that give detailed accounts of her life and generosity.It is also fitting that a Little Free Library is located at Veteran’s Way Park near the picnic Pavilion.
Caroline Baldwin Babcock is still noted as land owner of this parcel in 1910, however; the property appears to be owned by Leander Starr in 1874 and after his death in 1885, his wife Ruth is listed as the owner in 1891. Leander Starr was a well known builder and designer of several establishments in Hudson including the Brewster Store which stands today on the square. The Brewster store is thought to be the oldest commercial building in the Western Reserve. The Starrs owned a small farm where the park is today and their home was very close to the train tracks. It is said that Mr. Starr liked this location because he could see who was going to and from the train station just down the street!
In 1999, the City of Hudson purchased the land from Bevel Associates to be used for city recreation and open space purposes. Today, Veteran’s Way Park has become another keystone park for the Hudson community to enjoy!