St John Elementary School
This week we continue with Library Street and look at St John’s Parish House and Elementary School. Two adjacent parcels of land were purchased by the diocese between Connell and School Streets for the elementary school. The first, adjacent to School Street, was purchased from Julia Robinson in July 1955. This parcel was next to the town owned tennis courts on School Street and was what remained of a larger parcel which extended up School Street. The second parcel, adjacent to Connell Street, consisted of land and buildings purchased from Arthur L. Crosscup in August 1956. This had been the home of Phyllis and Arthur Crosscup and their family.
Ground breaking for the school occurred on April 28, 1957. While construction was taking place the school actually began classes in the basement of the church under the supervision of Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. For the next year the Men’s Club and members of the parish pitched in every night to assist with the construction. As many as 17 men were there helping 2-3 hours each night to prepare for the opening of the school. In October 1858, after the dedication, the classes were moved into the newly completed school.
By 1962 an 8 room addition was built onto the school to accommodate the growing enrollment. The first graduation of a full eight years occurred in 1965. Into the 1970’s enrollment was on the decrease and in 1975 St John Parish announced the school would close as of June 1975. The St. John’s School Board and the School Board of Hudson worked together on a transition. A plan was devised whereby the town would lease the building for one year. After which the town purchased the property and it is now Library Street Elementary School. This school had made a lasting impression on our town.
St John Parish Center
Diagonally across Library Street from the elementary school and adjacent to the church building, the diocese purchased the former home of Charles and Marguerite Farmer in June 1955. By 1962 the home was converted into a convent for the Sisters of Presentation of Mary. It was used for that purpose about 12 years. By 1978 the building re purposed and enlarged as a Parish center. The Parish Center was dedicated May 7, 1978.
During it’s nearly 70 years in Hudson, St. John the Evangelist Church, the Parish, and their affiliated organizations continue to serve the Town of Hudson. I think of the Men’s Group (called Holy Name Society), Knights of Columbus an International Organization, Women’s Guild, ,Boy Scout Troop 252, Cub Scouts to name a few. At the present time and in today’s economy perhaps the most notable is St John XXIII Parish Food Pantry. Their service began about 1982 as St Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and has grown to providing food to some 300 different families in Hudson over the course of a year. The pantry is housed in a major portion of The Parish Center at 23 Library Street. One project of note is the ‘Feed Our Kids’ Program where the volunteers of the Food Pantry work with the students of Alvirne High School. This program supplies a backpack with food for eight meals, snacks, and drinks to provide nourishment over the weekend to a number of students. The food pantry provides the food and the students pack the backpacks and deliver them to the students. The food pantry receives support from the entire Hudson Community and their services are available to any family within our town. The photo of the elementary school is from the collection of the Historical Society. The photo of the Parish House is from the records of the Town of Hudson.