Hopedale History No. 12
I had several responses to the story about the 1913 strike. Here’s what Bill Barney had to say:
I read this article with interest. My dad used to talk about it once in a while. He evidently learned some
Italian back in the 1890's when he was in charge of the [Milford] water works. He used to go to Boston
to meet ships coming in. Many of the immigrants spoke no English. He would hire them on the spot
and have to locate them in Milford. That way he got to know the old timers in town. During the strike, it
turned out that he was only Draper official who could speak Italian. Knowing them and dealing with
them he was fairly involved in some of the negotiations. A bit of trivia.
Rick Espanet has been working on a website for the Park Department and one section of it has a huge
amount of material on the history of the Park and Parklands. If you’re wondering when Willard Taft
served on the board, what the department budget was in 1911, or how many swimmers made use of
the pond in 1972, this is the place to find the answers. To get to it, (it’s a 21 page PDF) click on the link
at the bottom of the page this link will bring you to.
If you’re over 55 or so, you probably remember who owned the first TV in your neighborhood. In my part
of town it was the Spencers on Oak Street. They were extremely good about letting any and all of the
kids in the area go in to watch and there were often fifteen to twenty of us there. We’d watch cartoons
and western serials in the late afternoon and usually go back for more after supper. I also remember
watching Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and Don Winslow of the Navy but that may have been a couple of
years later. It was probably a year or more before there was another set around to help thin out the
crowd at the Spencers. The Hall’s (parents, Arthur and Ethel, kids, Billy, Galen and Wayne) on the
corner of Oak and Northrop were next to move into the new era of entertainment. A few hundred yards
in the other direction, the Chilsons were had already been hosting crowds of kids eager to see if
Howdy Doody would defeat Mr. Bluster in the election for president of Doodyville and other significant
events of the era. What a relief when the results came in. Theirs, being the first set in the area, made
TV Image Received In Hopedale
HOPEDALE, June 1  Atmospheric conditions are credited with the clear and distinct television
reception on a recent evening when four stations, three from New York and one from Philadelphia,
were brought into the home of Clarence E. Chilson, Freedom Street.
Mr. Chilson, well-known radio technician explained the unusual situation as due to temperature
inversion, which to the average person means cool ground and warm air overhead.
If the inclement wet and humid weather was good for something it is news to everyone and should
help to raise the morale.
Mr. Chilson has been studying television in his spare time for several years. He was the first person in
this area to receive a TV image. His home-constructed set brought in a station in 1941.
The present set is another that he constructed himself. On Friday night he and several friends were
able to witness a boxing match from Madison Square Garden for nearly two hours, without interruption.
In addition, Mr. Chilson receives the test patterns daily, now being sent out from the Boston station.
The Milford Daily News
I drop in on Hester Chilson every now and then and she always gives me more old Hopedale stories.
She’s 98 and has lived in town since 1920. A couple of weeks ago she gave me the clipping with the
story above. For more of Hester’s memories, click here.
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