The Hudson Law Office is located in Guilford, a town that grew along the Piscataquis River. Founded in 1806 and incorporated a decade later, by 1865 the town contained a church, city hall, law office, and both a sawmill and woolen mill. In 1867, four years before the railroad arrived, Henry Hudson opened the town’s second law office. Born in 1824 in Canaan, New Hampshire, Hudson was admitted to the Piscataquis County bar in 1849. Considered one of the ablest lawyers in eastern Maine, by 1867 he was able to build a three-and-a-half-story, three-bay Queen Anne house complete with turrets, a wraparound porch, and carriage house. To the left of his mansion, Hudson built a Second Empire building that served as his law office.
The one-and-a-half-story, white clapboard building has a granite foundation and bears a flared mansard roof. The paired brackets supporting the roof reflect an exuberant eclectic blend of the French Second Empire and Italianate styles. Moreover, the prominent cornice includes a wide entablature. The three-bay facade features a central entrance shielded by an ornately bracketed hood. The building’s first-story, two-over-two windows have prominent lintels decorated with carvings. Two gable-roofed dormers protrude from the mansard roof facade. Finials arise from the peak of the gabled dormers.
When Hudson died in 1877, his son, also named Henry, continued practicing law in the office until his retirement in 1919. The building served a variety of uses after that time. Since the 1970s, it has returned to its original function as a law office. Though the adjacent mansion and carriage house have been demolished, the Hudson Law Office stands as a tribute to Guilford’s nineteenth-century industrial prosperity.
Beard, Frank A, and Robert L. Bradley, “H. Hudson Law Office,” Piscataquis County, Maine. National Register of Historic Places Inventory and Nomination Form, 1979. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.
Isaacson, Dorris A., ed. MAINE: A Guide Down East.Second Edition .Rockland, ME: Courier-Gazette, Inc., 1970.