Rogerson’s Hardware, Hudson NY
July 01, 2016 - Inspiration
On our recent vintage road trip through Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York State, in between 5am flea market starts, we allowed ourselves one day off, and, on the recommendation of friends headed to Hudson in Upstate New York, on the North East edge of the Catskill Mountains. An old whaling town, Hudson has an incredible history and has the distinction of being the first city in the United States. Originally a small farming community called Claverack Landing, it was plucked from obscurity in 1793 by New England whalers from New Bedford and Nantucket who were fleeing the British and the war torn East coast, and chose it for its deep waters on the Hudson River. Having been a booming whaling town, by the 1960s Hudson had fallen into disrepair. More on the history here.
Today Hudson has much to offer -Vogue describes it as ground zero for the Brooklynification of Upstate- it’s full of good coffee shops, antique shops, hipster boutiques and very good restaurants (Grazin’ Diner was great for lunch). We stayed at the River Town Lodge, which we can HIGHLY recommend. A Scandinavian inspired guest house in a renovated 1920s movie theatre it is impeccably done and we were served the best breakfast of our trip hands-down.
Aside from the River Town lodge, our other highlight of Hudson, and perhaps the whole trip, was Rogerson’s Hardware on Warren Street. This place has to be seen to be believed. Walking through the doors is stepping back in time. Founded in 1832 by H W Bessac, the shop has a vast inventory of every kind of nut, bold, lock, hinge, pen knife, measuring tool, chain, bracket, literally every piece of hardware you can think of, and a huge amount of it dead stock from years gone by, all in pristine condition. The proprietor is a wonderfully knowledgeable man named Bart who very kindly took us on a tour of the building, giving us the full history as we went. Downstairs we saw the markings on the beams where all the lumber was stored in the store’s heyday, and upstairs rack after rack filled with wonderfull old boxes of nails, screws, washers and the like. This shop is a real piece of American history. If you find yourself in the Catskills, make a detour, it’s worth it.