The first of Patricia's finds is the picture above. She discovered two photos of Abbie. Apparently no
modern person had known what she looked like before. The photos were marked "Heywood." so it
was only because Patricia knew the Hopedale and Hudson histories was she able to put the pieces
together and introduce the world to Abbie Ballou Heywood, the daughter of Adin and Abigail Sayles
Ballou. She also found a photo of prominent Community member, Rev. George W.Stacy.
she found on Bryan Butts. Butts was the husband of Harriet Greene, and the two were prominent in the
Community and in the practice of spiritualism.
I have been curious about Bryan J. Butts ever since I found out he was not buried at Hopedale with
wife Harriet Greene. I found out his middle name is "Jabez" and he graduated from Meadville
Seminary before he came to Hopedale. But I hadn't been able to find out anything about him after
Hopedale until now. An alumni publication said that he died at Hopedale, but Edward Spann wrote
that he left Hopedale for other places.
Bingo! I just found he was still active in 1885. (Harriet died in 1880 or 1881.) I found that he published
a book in Boston in 1885, "Hints on Metaphysics." It is by J.V. Beneficio (Bryan J. Butts), Professor of
Elocution and Mental Philosophy, Highland Society of Mental Philosophy. Cool name: J.V. Beneficio!
I am a true Hopedale nerd, because this makes me happy! He didn't just curl up in a ball and die after
Harriet's death, he went on to do more of the work he loved. Yay, Bryan!
The book is online at archive.org if anyone is interested.
Here's Patricia's next message:
Thanks for the note and links. I am afraid that it was the Butts/ Greene house that was torn down in the
60's as pictured in your photo. It seems like it was in the place noted. According to the 1890 map, it
looks like H.L. Patrick had the lot with the Butts house and two other buildings (one was a barn). The
link noted the "old house" razed was at the rear of the Food Center. The other house on the lot was
apparently closer to the road in 1890, so sounds like it was the Butts house. Sad if that is true as I
was hoping to see it. :-(
Do you think it was also the Edmund and Abby Hills Price House??? I spent some time pouring over
maps today. The earlier maps don't show building shapes, but the location was basically the same!
It is interesting to see how the occupants of four houses on Hopedale Street changed between late
1840's (when I am dating the undated map) and 1890. The stories behind the people are the
You know where the Bancroft and Humphrey/ Dr. Fish houses are/were (and thanks for the great
house picture!). Look at how the occupants of these houses changed:
c. 1848 (undated map)
1. Bancroft, 2. C.O. Read, 3. Humphrey, 4. E. Price
c.1852 map (marked 1854 incorrectly as you noted)
1. Bancroft, 2. W.H. Fish, 3., Humphrey, 4. E. Price (C.O. Read and Lydia Buffum Read had left for the
Raritan Bay Union. They must have influenced Abby Hills Price and they lived just two doors down
from her family.)
1. Bancroft, 2. Miss E. Reed, 3. Humphrey, 4. Butts/ Greene (The Price family had moved on following
the H. Fish/ D. Seaver scandal). Also the W.H. Fish family moved out and Miss Reed moved in before
her marriage to Mr. Dodge.
1. Bancroft (map shows three buildings and a barn), 2. R.C. Fish (in the exact location where the
Humpreys had been across from Hope Street), 3. H.L. Patrick (2 buildings and a barn). There is a
small land slot between the R.C. Fish place and the H.L. Patrick buildings on the 1890 map. At first, I
thought the Butts house had been moved or demolished before then, as there were no buildings on
the little map parcel. But then I saw that the Patrick building that was closer to R.C. Fish house had the
same shape as the Butts house. (2 joined boxes shape). So I'm thinking that the Patricks obtained the
Do you think that Bryan and Harriet moved in after the Price family moved out?
P.S. Of course W.H. Fish left to central New York as a missionary in the mid 1850's, and then on to
twenty plus years as the Unitarian parish minister in South Scituate (Norwell) and was still alive in
1897, in his 86th year (according to William S. Heywood) in the introduction to Ballou's History of the
Hopedale Community. (So that's why his house was vacated.)
19-year-old Black laborer. I believe it noted that he was born in MA. (Although I wonder if he was just
passing through. In Ballou's History of Milford, I only saw one black family listed, and it was not a
The Humphrey/Fish house Patricia referred to above.
I notice the "Butts" house is in Harriet Greene's name in this 1856 map. That makes perfect sense, as
they weren't married yet, and according to at least one later census, the property value was listed in
All the house/ family locations I got from maps on your website (and Lynn's version in Adin's History of
the Hopedale Community)!
Pictures of Abbie and William Heywood.
Descendants of Adin and Abigail Ballou
Ballou stones at Hopedale Village Cemetery
Abby Hills Price
Friends of Adin Ballou Picture Gallery
Hopedale Community Menu HOME
Patricia Hatch, shown above, delivered the annual Friends of Adin Ballou address at the Unitarian
Church, on October 23, 2011. It was titled, "Women in the Early Hopedale Community." A great deal of
Hopedale's early years were covered as she talked about the life and times of nineteen Community
women. In her research for the speech, she discovered pictures of three members of the Hopedale
Community; Abbie Ballou Heywood, daughter of Adin Ballou, Abbies' husband, Rev. William
Heywood, and prominent Community member, Abby Hills Price. This was quite a find, as no one at
the talk had previously seen pictures of any of them.
In the time since Patricia's talk, she has come up with several more discoveries related to members
of the Hopedale Community. With that in mind, I thought there should be a page on this site devoted
to her finds, with links to related pages, and comments from Patricia from time to time.
Abbie Ballou Heywood
Since Dan has so graciously offered me a page on his comprehensive Hopedale website, I thought
readers may like to know why I love the Early Hopedale Community so much.
In 2008, I took a course in “Unitarian Universalist History” at Andover Newton Theological School with
Rev. Mark W. Harris. I did my final paper on Adin Ballou and the Early Hopedale Community.
Although I live in a nearby town, I had never known anything about the history of the town of Hopedale
or the Hopedale Unitarian Parish. (Both the town and the Parish evolved from the Early Community.)
I met Dan when he offered to give me a tour of Hopedale. As I learned about the Hopedale history and
saw the Early Community sites, I fell in love with the idealism and practical out-workings of this band
of believers and reformers.
The Community venture started when Rev. Adin Ballou and a group of like-minded people decided to
live out their Christian, Non-Resistant (Pacifist), and Reformatory principles in community. They
bought an old farm in area of Milford called “The Dale,” and proceeded to build their community. They
had no creed, but they did have a Declaration, a strict behavioral contract, that members needed to
The Community stood for peace, abolitionism, temperance, women's rights, education, and other
reforms. They didn't just talk about these things; they tried to live their ideals in community. And they
did, for a time. The actual Community lasted from about 1842 to 1856, when two of the most
successful members withdrew their assets from the Community.
Adin and his wife Lucy didn't give up and move away. They stayed in Hopedale and Adin became the
minister of the church that absorbed the remaining members, the Hopedale Unitarian Parish. Adin
was minister of the newly formed Parish from 1867 to 1880.
That is the outline of the Early Community story. You can find out more about it on other parts of Dan's
website. But I was going to tell you why I love Hopedale. Here are three of the main reasons: I love the
visionary and practical aspects of the Community. As a preacher, I try to have every sermon be both
visionary and practical. What good is a vision if it has no hands and feet? What good are practical
steps with no bigger vision to sustain them? Our world needs both.
I love that the Community is nearby. Adin lived in the town where I live in for a time. Two of the
Community members served the congregation where I had my internship (the Unitarian Church of
Marlborough and Hudson). I am literally walking where these people walked.
Finally, there are many unsolved puzzles and mysteries about the Early Community. We will never
know everything, of course. But I find that Hopedale has not been the focus for very much attention. It
is a story that needs to be told more often. Some of the information is hidden in plain site, such as the
twenty years of the Practical Christian newspaper that Adin published, and the gravestones in the
Hopedale Valley Cemetery. We know a good amount about Adin Ballou, but who were the other
Community members? What were their passions and struggles? Puzzles and mysteries take
research and sometimes, creative wondering and pondering. Some of my “finds” and musings are
what I hope to share with you.
Patricia's Facebook Quotes About Hopedale
Signs I saw in Hopedale the other day:
"Peace love and pizza" in the pizzeria that is just about on the spot where some of the most outspoken
feminists lived in the mid-nineteenth century (Abby Hills Price & family and later Harriet Greene & her
husband Bryan Butts).
"Go slowly." a road sign in a town near Hopedale. (Good advice.)
pretty much like it did 100+ years ago. Except I doubt the sign was there then. :o)
Norwell Unitarian-Universalist Church. Thanks to the
church for permission to use it here.
The following came from Patricia in September 2013.
I continue to find things about the Early Community folks. I wanted to tell you about today's find. In the
mail today, I got a book that I discovered on Amazon for one cent (plus shipping)! It is a book of
sermons and address by Rev. William H. Fish, Jr., otherwise known as Willie Fish (born in 1844) from
the Early Community Days. It is NOT a reprint, but the actual book.
Association. The first chapter is entitled, "In Memoriam" and it relates what Willie did after his family
left Hopedale and throughout his life. The remaining chapters appear to be sermons and addresses.
"Everything seems to point to a coming revival of practical Christianity. We shall be untrue to bear the
Unitarian name if we are not eager to be among the foremost in prompting and carrying it on."
discovered! What follows is a passage from the "In Memoriam" chapter.
"There he (Rev. William Fish, Sr.) shared the ideals of Adin Ballou for a new order of Christian society,
and from 1846 to 1855 he was a leading member of the Hopedale Community which was founded to
realize that ideal. In Hopedale the boy William began at an early age the excellent education, both
intellectual and moral, afforded in the school kept by Mrs. Heywood, the daughter of Mr. Ballou. What
devotion she inspired in her pupil is seen in a letter which he wrote when visiting Newport at the age
of five: 'I wish I could live 900 years and go to school to you most of the time.' In Hopedale the doctrine
of non-resistance was fundamental, and the boy accepted the idea. He was once found vigorously
shaking an aggressive playmate and punctuating the shakes with 'Don't you know that it is wrong to
strike!' A diary begun at the age of nine shows him busy with home 'chores' and occasional work in
the candle shop of the Community but chiefly engrossed with school tasks and the pleasure of home
reading in English History and Parry's Voyages. 'I went round with Willie Draper for a subscription to
buy books for the library. I succeeded in getting subscribed $22.25. I love to read dearly and what a
feast I shall have when the books come.' Other entries on the Nebraska bill reflect the intense interest
of the Community in the question of slavery. With his parents he was a guest at the home of William
Lloyd Garrison on June 2, 1854, and a passionate entry in the diary records the indignation of seeing
Anthony Burns carried back to slavery. At the age of twelve he records his views on the hard labor of
sawing wood, his ardent longing for his father absent on a preaching mission, his progress with his
violin, his pleasure in reading Shakespeare, Chamber's Information, and Mrs. Child's Progress of
Religious Ideas. It was a happy wholesome boyhood in a community of high ideals." (pages 4-6)