Edith Draper at 14

January 15, 2009
Hopedale History
No. 124
Edith Draper

Hopedale in January     Additional identifications of a picture of kids at Hopedale Pond, sent in by Tom Lipsky and Bruce Lutz.

Aragon Mill – “…but there’s no smoke at all comin’ out of the stack, for the mill has pulled out and it ain’t comin’ back.” YouTube (Thank you to Peter Metzke for sending this.)

Here’s a picture, discussion, and Washington Post articles about
Princess Boncompagni. (And another thank you to Peter for this.)

And Peter again, with a link to the Hopedale High Alumni site. Here are
some great pictures from 1950.

School kids – Dutcher Street School and high school – 1920s.   Car accidents in Hopedale a few decades ago.  

Memories of Eva (Bresciani) Barsanti

The Little White Market  


Edith Draper Blair

Since Blair House in Washington has been in the news lately, I thought this would be a good time for a story about the Draper connection to the Blair family. In 1895 Edith Draper, daughter of
General William F. and Lilla Draper married Montgomery Blair II. At that time, Blair House was the Blair family home. I don’t know how long Edith and Montgomery lived there, but they were there when their first child was born. While Edith was a student at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut, she kept a diary. It’s nearly 40,000 words long. Blair family descendant, Kat Moore, has put it online. I’ve done some copying and pasting and have a shortened version of about 12,000 words, which eliminates most of the school part and stays mainly with references to the family. Below is a section of the diary in which Edith writes about Otis and Lily’s wedding. Otis was her brother, George Otis Draper. Lily was Lily Duncan of Lexington, Kentucky. They were married in Lexington in 1892.

Sunday [June 1, 1892] Stopped at Cleveland about an hour & drove up Euclid Ave. Magnificent houses. Had fine time together all day. Wildly hilarious. Spent night in. & on to Lexington next morning.  Reached there at noon. Otis rushed away from us to Lily, & S.  Mrs. Davis & Preston met us. Went up to the house, rested, dressed, had lunch & then Clare [
Edith’s brother] & I went up to call on Lily. Found Otis there & the whole family. She is the sweetest, loveliest girl I know. I can't express how I feel about her, and I won't try, but I am mighty happy at having her up there. If she only is fond of me. 

Staid up at the Duncan's all P.M. came back to dinner at the Preston's & from there to the theatre. In a box I felt horribly conspicuous. Everybody was staring Margaret Thornton and her seven girl visitors with men were in the boxes opposite. I hate that girl. She makes me crawl whenever she comes near me, and she's going to be in Narragansett all summer.  Spoils the prospect for me. 

Tuesday A.M. Staid in and received callers. loads of people. In P.M.dressed after long lunch & went to Mrs. Woodward's reception. Was one of the receiving party, but didn't do much receiving. Skipped off with Henry Duncan to supper when I first got there, and talked a steady stream to two or three at once all eve.  The house was beautifully decorated & supper delicious. Lily looked sweet. Otis was too proud of her for any use. He is very much in love & I am so glad. It is just what he needs to bring him out. Didn't get home till about two. 

Wednesday A.M. went up to the Duncan's a little while, then down to Margaret Thornton's to breakfast at twelve, & staid there till five, playing, singing, gossiping, etc. I like one of the girls, a Miss Bruce, very much but the rest of them I don't care for. They are too much man-catchers to suit me. The way they lop around lackadaisically till a man appears, & then brace up is slightly sickening. I don't mean it of all of them down here, for some are lovely, but these Louisville belles. At five Henry Duncan & a Mr. Falkner took Miss Green & myself for a long drive out in the country. Very lovely, but dreadfully late back. Had to dress in ten minutes for dinner, a big affair of twenty-four people lasting five solid hours.  Worn out & miserable. Most of the men had been drinking too much & it was painful. Otis & Arthur were all right and always will be Thank God!! And our end of the table was away from it but it was pretty bad.
Thursday A.M. went up to Duncan's to rehearse for wedding & stayed all morning. Frank came looking pretty badly. He is very sick & has hard work to keep up at all. From rehearsal went to Mrs. Voorhas to lunch, & got back just in time to dress for wedding. Got there early went in & helped the girls dress, saw Lily & flew around, generally. There were four of us bridesmaids dressed in white silk & gauze with long trains, & tremendous bouquets of Mermets & lilies of the valley.  They had one end of the parlour roped off like a chapel & we walked through & stood there during the ceremony. It was awfully impressive. Otis & Lily looked at each other all through and their faces were beaming & Lily was beautiful.  It is too much to describe & I'll give it up, but I never was so thrilled in my life. After congratulations, went in to supper. The bridal party sat at a round table in the centre. There were fourteen of us, and we had the jolliest kind of a time with toasts, & songs of every description. It was just perfect. I sat by Mr. Sturges & liked him immensely. He was the life of the party & kept us all roaring. We were wildly hilarious. After supper danced & talked all eve. Saw a lot of Mr. Sturges. Margaret Thornton tried hard to get him away from me and wasn't in it which pleased me to death. Then Lily got up on a stool & threw her bouquet. She was a perfect picture as she stood there waving it with Otis holding her. It was planned beforehand that Nannie should catch it, as the sister's wanted to keep it, but Margaret Thornton distinguished herself by deliberately snatching it out of Nannies hand.  It was the most unequalled piece of brass I ever saw even her. Got home about two.  It was and always will be the night of my life. I heard of such a perfect wedding. Oh I forgot. Toward the end of the eve we all kept around Lily in a circle & sang in the little room where the presents were.

Click here to go to Edith’s diary, along with genealogical information, etc. on the Draper and Blair families. Go here to read a shorter version of the diary, which leaves out most of her lines about school and is more about her family. Click here to go to the official Blair House site.


Recent deaths:

Frederick J. Tredeau, November 27, 2008, California, HHS 1960.

Robert J. Brown, 82, January 11, 2009

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