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The City of Hudsonville, Michigan straddles the line between Georgetown Township and Jamestown Township in southeast Ottawa County.

Both I-196 and M-21 (Chicago Drive) pass diagonally through Hudsonville, I-195 in the south, and M-21 in the northern part of the city. Cities and villages within twenty miles include Grandville, Wyoming, Zeeland, Grand Rapids, Walker, Kentwood, Holland, East Grand Rapids, and Coopersville.

Since Hudsonville first appeared on a census report in 1930 with a population of 643, its only period of decline was in 2010, when its population was lowered by 0.6%, but it is estimated to increase by more than three percent when the 2020 census report is released. Its population has been above 7,000 since 2000.

Hudsonville was named for one of its early settlers, Homer E. Hudson, who came to the area from Cleveland in 1848. He developed forty acres of land into a fruit tree orchard and nursery, and became the first postmaster of what was then called South Georgetown on April 30, 1868.

Other early settlers were the Hughes family, who settled on land that is now Hughes Park. They operated a farm, and later built one of several area sawmills.

In 1873, Homer Hudson contributed twenty acres to the community, and platted a townsite as Hudsonville. The new community grew slowly, as the abundance of swampland on three sides hampered development. On February 18, 1872, the local post office, still operating from Homer Hudson's home, changed its name to Hudsonville.

In 1872, the Chicago & West Michigan Railroad came through, establishing a station in Hudsonville. The train ran from Grand Rapids to Holland, then on to Chicago, passing through Hudsonville. The presence of the railroad prompted new settlers to come to Hudsonville, many of them Dutch immigrants.

In large part, it was the Dutch who transformed Tamarack Swamp into productive farmland, on which they produced carrots, celery, onions, and other truck farm crops.

In the latter part of the 19th century, homes were without running water, electricity, or telephones, and Hudsonville's commercial district included hitching posts for horses and buggies. Roads were muddy during the rainy season, and dusty in the dry season.

The town's first school building was opened in 1892 on what became School Street, and the Congregational Church of Christ became the town's first church in 1875. At the start of the 20th century, Hudsonville had a general store, a hardware store, a barbershop, a lumber company, several mills, and a high school, the latter of which was opened in 1910. A Christian grade school was opened in 1917, and is still in operation as Hudsonville Christian School.

Soon, electricity, telephones, and automobiles were introduced in Hudsonville, the latter of which led to the construction of gas stations and auto service stations. Chicago Drive was constructed in 1923 as a narrow, two-lane road. Originally called Pike 51, it later became part of M-21.

By the 1920s, the population center of the town had moved to the west, and Hudsonville was incorporated as a village in 1927.

Inspired by the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, the Hudsonville Community Fair began on the high school grounds in 1931, exhibiting farm products, fruit, lowland and highland crops, canned goods, baked goods, poultry, calves, hunting dogs, and craftwork, the annual fair has grown from a three-day to a week-long event that attracts more than eighty thousand people.

In 1957, Hudsonville was incorporated as a city.

Unlike many other Michigan communities, Hudsonville was able to compensate for the decline of the timber industry in the early 1900s, largely through agriculture, and agriculture has since been mostly supplanted by the city's growing commercial industries and diversified economy. Hudsonville is strategically centered in what has become a strong economic growth area, given its location along I-196 and its proximity to several other Lower Peninsula cities.

The focal point of this guide is on the City of Hudsonville, Michigan. Topics related to the city government itself, as well as any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational or sports opportunities, are appropriate for this category.


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