November 15, 2007
Farm in Cumberland
Considering all the old homes that get demolished these days, Hopedale has been very fortunate in that
both of the old Dutcher mansions on Adin Street have undergone extensive renovation and have been
restored to single-family homes. Jason and Susan Bloomberg and family have moved into their new home,
originally the Frank and Malinda Dutcher estate, operated in recent years as Adin Manor.
Hopedale in November.
The Little Red Shop Museum renovation project - Week 9. .
Mention of Cumberland Farm in this area brings to mind a chain of convenience stores, but for Adin Ballou
in the first years of the nineteenth century, it was home. Here is his recollection of his early life
The Cumberland Farm
My father had over two hundred acres of land, including some woodlots nearly a mile away; also a saw-
mill, a cider-mill, a large stock of cattle, and of course there was no lack of employment indoors or out.
Plowing, planting, harvesting, and all the multiform activities of farm life, with accompanying incidentals,
kept all hands busy through the year. My mother used to say, when we of the younger brood complained of
being hurried up in the morning and kept snug at work through the day, "You have a much easier time than
your older brothers and sisters had, for your father has grown in years and does not drive ahead as he did
when I first came to live with him." We thought it might be true, but that was no great comfort to us, as we
still deemed ours a hard lot in the labor line.
We had a large, comfortable domicile, plenty of wholesome food, decent clothing, and the ordinary
necessaries of an agricultural family; but luxuries, fineries, and gentilities were afar off. Brown bread and
milk or porridge, different kinds of meat, rye or barley cake, coffee, cheap tea, cider, etc., were the staples of
table fare, with plenty of butter, cheese, apple sauce, and simple condiments. Cakes, pies and other home-
made delicacies had their occasions, but rarely was anything very rich or of outside manufacture furnished
us. Our clothing was mostly of home production, spun and woven from flax and wool of our own raising -
the woolen cloth being fulled and dressed at mills three or four miles distant. Some extra cotton and
woolen stuffs from other sources supplemented what was made by the family, increasing rapidly as I grew
up. In my early boyhood young women pulled flax and assisted sometimes in the hayfield, but this soon
went out of fashion. The spinning wheel and loom were in vogue much longer, and their operations in my
parental household were memorable.
We were shod in those days chiefly with leather tanned at an establishment two miles away, and made of
skins from our own cattle or those obtained in barter for them. Once a year, not long before winter set in, a
shoemaker came to the house with his kit of tools on his back to do the family cobbling. He had to stay
several days, and to us, younglings, at least, he was an important personage. New boots or shoes, and
especially calf-skin ones, which, however, were rare, inspired much interest, not only in anticipation and
realization, but in the process of their manufacture. Wonderful manipulations were witnessed from the time
of taking the measure of our feet to that of trying on the finished article to see if there was a good fit.
Sometimes we were favored with a story or song, or whistled tune from the dignitary of the awl and
lapstone as the work went on. This entertaining drama ended with a settlement between father and the
craftsman, who usually received part or all of his dues in some kind of farm produce. Adin Ballou,
Autobiography of Adin Ballou, pp. 13-15.
More Hopedale trivia from Dick Orff: We have a new leader.......Most years served in one position goes to
Joseph Rosenfeld who served 54 years as a Public Weigher. Second is Asa A. Westcott with 53 years as a
Measurer of Wood & Bark.
James T. Ayotte, 47, October 31, 2007.
Mary McGinnis, November 8, 2007.
Clinton E. Clark, Sr., November 10, 2007.
November 1, 2007 December 1, 2007 HOME
Deacon Ariel Ballou was Adin Ballou's father.