Finnegan’s Market in Hudson closes for good after 50 years

A trip to the seasonal business, open only on Saturdays, was a popular tradition for generations of Montrealers looking for crafts and antiques.

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Finnegan’s Market in Hudson is no more.

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The popular market on the 60-acre Aird family farm in the west end of Hudson has been closed for the past two years because of the pandemic. The Aird family announced last week the Main Rd. market will not be reopening this summer for financial reasons.

“We all felt extremely sad, but when something gets to a point where you’re losing money, there’s no point in continuing,” said Barbara Aird, who started the seasonal market with her husband David in the early 1970s.

A trip to Finnegan’s, open only on Saturdays, was a tradition for generations of Hudson residents and Montrealers looking to shop and browse for crafts and antiques in a country fair type setting.

The Airds named the market after their dog, Finnegan, since it was originally a “flea” market.

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Over the years, the market grew to become a place to find antiques, furniture reproductions, collectibles and local handicrafts. Locally grown fruits and vegetables, farm products and baked goods were also sold at stalls on the sprawling Aird farm property.

Barbara Aird said she and her husband started the market on a whim.

“It was kind of a lark,” she said. “We thought it would be kind of fun. The first year, we did it up at Mon Village (Restaurant). Then, we moved it to our own farm, and that’s where it’s been ever since.”

The market was a family business — Barbara’s daughter Mary Aird helped run the market following the death of David Aird in 1991. “Our three daughters (Betsy, Mary and Susan) were very much involved,” Barbara Aird said.

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She said the decision to close was not based on the economic fallout of the pandemic.

“The pandemic didn’t really have anything to do with it. It was just the last straw. We’ve been closed for two summers, but the restrictions have become greater. It’s just not worth it anymore.

“It’s the expenses. It has become ridiculous. The government put in some new regulations that decreased our profits. It’s just not profitable.”

One of the new regulations cited by Aird was to fence in the market area. “We don’t make that much money,” she said. “We couldn’t afford to do that.”

Aird said she’ll continue operating her own antiques business (by appointment) on the farm.

“I’ll still have my antiques business, but I don’t suppose I’ll be seeing as many people at the market,” she said wistfully.

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Aird said she’ll miss the Saturday crowds that flocked to the market and the shop dealers who set up their stalls on the property.

“It was certainly fun. There was really nice stuff here and the dealers were great folks. We were all friends. But great things come at end.”

As for the family farm, Aird said there are no plans to sell it. David Aird’s grandfather bought the farm in the 1920s.

“We haven’t farmed it in a long time,” Aird said. “But we would never sell the farm.”

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