Henry Patrick's Store - Hopedale Street
February 15, 2010
Lee Stearns – Patrick’s
Hopedale in February
Hopedale Pond and Parklands, 2009 – Slideshow on YouTube
I received this recently from Mike Cyr: Down here in Tampa Bay FL, on the first Sunday of every March, we have the Annual Milford Area Snowbird Picnic at DeSoto Park in St. Pete (Voted one of the Best Beaches in the country.) It will be 3/7/2009. If you are in the Tampa/St Pete/ Sarasota Area and would like to attend, call me at 813-531-0242.
Over the past year or more, some of you have followed the story of Pete and Laurie Eaton of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in their project of restoring a Draper loom to operating condition. A few days ago I heard from Pete about the latest development; converting it from a two-harness loom to a four-harness loom. Click here for the story. (It’s at the bottom quarter of the page.)
Recollections of the Henry Patrick Company
By Leola Stearns
My father, Allen Washburn, began working at the Henry Patrick Company in 1914, when he moved from Lynn and married my mother, Lillian Fletcher. They moved into the small house in back of the store’s parking lot, which was removed later when Rico’s Food Center was built. My brother, Donald, born in 1916, and I, born in 1922, lived there until the family moved to the apartment above the store in the late 1930s.
On the front of the second floor of the building there was a room used by the store’s dry goods department for storage, a barbershop operated by a Mr. Shippee, and a small rental apartment. Our apartment, which was on the back and side of the building, had six rooms, a bath and a porch. The living room was above the store’s office and there was a hole in the floor with a removable cover. If my father heard a suspicious noise in the store, he could remove the cover and see what was happening! I do not recall if he ever had to do this. I suspect this was an early security system! After my father had retired, the family lived there until the 50s. It was my residence until I graduated from college in 1944. so I have many memories of the Henry Patrick Company!
My father for many years was a “traveling salesman” for the store, going from door to door throughout the town obtaining orders for items which would be delivered within the next few days. In early years, horses and wagons were used for delivery and later replaced by trucks which were stored in garages in the store’s parking lot. The horses had been stabled at the Patrick estate on Hopedale Street. I remember one winter day having a ride in Patrick’s sleigh up Hopedale Street to the pond, and that was a special treat for me!
Patrick’s storage building was located behind the house where we had lived. It was close to the railroad tracks where the supplies would be unloaded. My father became acquainted with the train’s engineer, who offered him a ride to Grafton. I was fortunate to go with him on my first train ride and remember the many miles of woodlands we traveled through on our way to Grafton.
Patrick’s was an important part of my childhood and teenage years. During my college Christmas vacation I worked in the dry-goods department with Louse King and Maisie Moore, so I knew firsthand how the store operated and its personnel who were hard workers and loyal to the company. At holiday times the men would work around-the-clock to prepare the turkeys and food orders for delivery.
It was difficult for the residents of the town to witness the closing of the store, for it had been so important in the historical development of the community. And for my family, it was an emotional loss – for it had been my father’s “life”- beginning as a clerk and later to become a director and a vice-president.
I welcome any comments about this article. My email is LEE960@verizon.net
Leola W. Stearns
Newspaper article about Patricks Store Now and Then at Patrick's Now and Then at Patrick's Corner Store
Charles E. “Chuck” Patton, 51, January 30, 2009. Click here for pictures of Chuck moving looms from storage to the Little Red Shop.
Jerome Abbruzzese, 85, St Petersburg, Florida, February 2, 2010.
Mary L. Bliss, 78, February 11, 2010.
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