Long-time Hudson resident and nationally known Windsor chairmaker Richard Grell will speak to the members and guests of Hudson Heritage Association on November 10, when the association hosts its monthly meeting at the Barlow Community Center. Grell will speak about historic Darrowville, a vanishing community located at the southern edge of Hudson’s current city limits.
Bounded by Barlow Road to the north and the vicinity of Fishcreek Road to the south, Darrowville traces its roots to Hudson’s earliest days. The Darrow brothers were surveyors for the David Hudson party when it came west from Connecticut. George Darrow and his wife were the first couple married in Hudson.
Over the years, a small farming community grew up in Darrowville. Like Case-Barlow Farm, the surviving century homes there are testaments to Hudson’s earliest days and the individuals who had the courage and stamina to build a community in what was then the western fringes of the United States. At one time, the community had its own post office, and was home to Wheeler’s Market, Ritchie’s Turkey Farm and Darrow’s Popcorn. When the community’s main thoroughfare – Route 91 – was widened in 1958, significant tracts of land were lost, historic houses were demolished and the post office was closed as well. Darrowville began a subsequent decline, losing its identity as a distinct community. In the 1960s, Stow incorporated part of the land, and Hudson incorporated the remainder. Grell will trace the community’s growth, talk about noted residents and show photos taken throughout Darrowville at various points in time.
From his workshop in Hudson, Richard Grell handcrafts a collection of Windsor-style chairs and benches that are known for their authenticity and historical integrity. His pieces are in private collections in the United States and around the world, and frequently share space with 18th century museum pieces. His chairs have been featured in numerous books and periodicals including Country Living, Architectural Digest and Colonial Homes. He has been judged “One of America’s Best,” and listed in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts by Early American Life magazine.
The program on November 10 will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following Grell’s remarks.