Hopedale History
October 1, 2009
No. 141
Dynamite at the Shop


Hopedale in September  

Hopedale High School Class of 1959 Reunion.  

The Milford Historical Commission will celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial, Sunday, October 18th  at 2pm in Memorial Hall, 30 School Street.  James Johnston will be the guest speaker and Peter Emerick and the Fife and Drum Corps will provide music.  Sons of the Veterans will be in attendance.  Everyone is welcome, free of charge.

Milford Daily News article on
Little Red Shop Museum grand opening/Octoberfest.

Schedule of Upton 275th Anniversary events.  

Thanks to Giancarlo BonTempo for sending this item from the Milford News 50 Years Ago Today column: Dec. 23, 1958 -
The former Sylvanus Madden house on Upton Road, the oldest house in Hopedale, which was recently razed, was on the site of a former saw mill, which was operated by a Robert Saunders and the district was then known as the City District.


The restoration work at the Little Red Shop was quite extensive, but things could have been worse.

Dynamite Put Under Draper
                           Corp. “Red Shop” Near Plant

HOPEDALE- Authorities are investigating the mysterious placing of an eight-inch stick of dynamite under the northeast steps of the “Little Red Shop,” Draper Corporation’s museum on the shore of Hopedale Pond, across the street from a corner of the main plant building.

The highly explosive stick, containing 40 percent nitroglycerin, was found Wednesday afternoon by three boys who were fishing at the pond. Authorities released no information at the time, while checking into the matter in the hope of finding out where the dynamite came from.

Fire Chief Charles A. Watson said the stick was highly dangerous, because it had been exposed to the elements and the nitro was leaking out of it. He has issued a strong warning to townspeople telling them to leave anything of an explosive or suspicious nature alone and to notify his department immediately in the future. Chief Watson said the stick was “definitely placed” under the steps. It could not have dropped there or fallen from a truck.

“For what purpose it was put there, we just don’t know,” said the chief. He said an earlier statement quoting him as saying it was definitely put there to blow up the shop was inaccurate.

Because the stick was no longer in what could be considered a solid state, it could not be transported to a laboratory for tests. Chief Watson took the stick to the town dump where he disposed of it by a slow-burning process. He said the stick could have been under the building for a week or so. “It was not hidden. It was in plain view,” he stated.

The three boys who found the dynamite stick are John MacDougall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley MacDougal of Maple Street, Glenn Cameron, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Cameron of Greene Street, and Howard Feldman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hyman Feldman of Freedom Street.

They took the stick to the nearby swimming area and showed it to Roger Hebert, supervisor. Daniel Smith, 16, or Freedom Street, then immediately brought it to the fire station.

Chief Watson said the stick was definitely dangerous and could have gone off if exposed to the least spark or to an electrical current. An investigation was started immediately by Chief Watson. Lt. William Wells of the fire marshal’s office and Patrolman George Ardill.

The dynamite is of the type used in construction work, but a check of contractors in this area showed that the brand, made by a New York firm, has never been used in this area.

The area was checked thoroughly for the possibility of more sticks, but no others were found. The eight-inch stick was about one inch and an eighth in diameter.
Milford Daily News, July 1, 1962.


Recent death:

Harold Anderson, 90, September 23, 2009.

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