What’s in a street name? History and humanity.

By Bill Newcott | Photograph by Carolyn Newcott
From the July 2019 issue

th-signs

There are few traffic intersections more frustrating than the one along Route 1, just north of Bethany Beach, where a truly demonic stop light is seemingly calibrated to remain green until your car — well, my car anyway — is within 100 feet or so.

Inevitably that light brings me to a halt — ruining the endorphin rush of a windows-open cruise alongside Delaware Seashore State Park. I sit there and wait … and wait … as one or two cars come dribbling from the cross street with all the urgency of cats looking for a warm spot on a windowsill.

 

 

Thus shanghaied one recent day, I raised my eyes in frustration and found myself contemplating the sign that bears the name of that cursed cross street: Fred Hudson Road. I’ve always been fascinated by streets that are so specifically named. At some point someone, somewhere, was inspired to name this certain stretch of road after a particular individual, and just to make sure there would never be any confusion as to just who they had in mind, the road bears the honoree’s first and last names.

So, who’s Fred Hudson? After a quick Google query, I was reasonably sure our Fred Hudson was not the Canadian hockey manager Fred Hudson, part of the Kenora Thistles’ 1907 Stanley Cup-winning team. Further research yielded a more likely candidate: Frederick Hudson, a longtime resident of Bishopville, Md. — just south of the Maryland-Delaware line — who died in 2008 at age 85. A World War II veteran, he was a skilled carpenter who specialized in restoring old homes.

 

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