The remains of the Hopedale Country Club the day after the April 18th fire.

May 1, 2010
Hopedale History
No. 155
Indian Names

Hopedale in April  

Battery operated trolleys, Milford, Hopedale  

The Country Club fire.   Photos from the day after the fire.

The Country Club fire   A 42-second NECN video.

Hopedale town election Ė May 11.      
2009 Town Report  

Iíve made several additions recently to
Now and Then at the Chapel Street School Block.

First Communion, Sacred Heart Church, 1958 Ė I had a link to this last time, but Iím including it again because many names have been added since then.

The Bancroft Library is in need of a 1993 copy of the Hopedale town report. If you have one that you could donate, you can call the library at 508 634 2209.

Click here to see Marion Millerís photo of Hopedale Pond, which is the February picture on the Massachusettsís Municipal Associationís 2010 calendar.

List of deaths of Hopedale High alumni, April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010 from the Hopedale High School Alumni Association newsletter.

Anzac Day in Ballarat. What??? You regulars here will probably recognize the name, Peter Metzke. Since Peter frequently sends me Hopedale items that he finds online, I thought Iíd put some of what he has sent from his area on my website. The next article I send will be related to Memorial Day, but meanwhile
you can see a few views of what a similar observance looks like in Ballarat, Australia, sent by Peter.

Hereís a site with local news from an 1892 Maine newspaper. Bethel, Albany, Lockeís Mills, Gilead, Newry, etc. I found it quite interesting in an old-time, life in another world kind of way.


Nipmuc - a familiar name. Maspenock - another thatís heard from time to time. Magomiscock? I doubt that one has been used much in the last century. If you live, or once lived around here though, youíve gone over Magomiscock Hill many times. Hereís Adin Ballou to tell you more about these three names.

             Indian Names

Of these, only two survive, and they have become almost obsolete. I should never have come to the knowledge of them but by search of the old land records. One of these is Maspenock, the aboriginal name of North Pond, of which I have said a mere fraction is properly ours. (
That is, in Milford.)  This name appears in the deed of North Purchase, as presented in Chapter I. It would almost seem that our Mill River, issuing from Maspenock Pond, must have been called by the Indians Maspenock River, but, as yet, I have found no proof of it. I should be glad to do so, as I take a liking to the name. Having some curiosity to ascertain its original signification, I carefully examined the Indian vocabularies, reprinted from ancient editions for preservation. One of these was made by Roger Williams, with reference to the language of the Narragansetts and kindred tribes; the other by Josiah Cotton, chiefly with reference to the Nipmuck language, into which the great Indian apostle, Eliot, translated the Bible. If I have interpreted the Indian etymology correctly, Maspenock literally means choice fishing-place, or excellent fish-pond: from namas, fish, or relating to fish; pepenam, to choose; and ohke (pronounced gutturally, ooke, avg. auke, ock. uck, etc.), which signifies earth, land, ground, place, or some substantial object belonging to the earth. Thus I deduce Maspenock, choice or excellent fishing-place.

The other name is that of the highland which extends southwardly from the Cleveland place, through the Scammell place, east of Hopedale, to the new highway called Adin Street, etc. (
The ridge along which runs much of the Hopedale-Milford border, a bit uphill from Route 140.) The Indians named this highland Magomiscock. As nearly as I can deduce its meaning from the lingual roots, it may be rendered, ground affording a grand show, or prospective view. Its components appear to come from, or be, magko, to afford, give, or grant; misse, swollen, large, showy, grand, etc.; and ohke, earth, ground, or place: literally, a high swell of land affording a grand prospect of the surrounding country. And such it really is. The Rev. Peter Whitney, in his History of Worcester County. 1793, says, "From the highest places there is a large and variegated prospect. From these heights may be seen the Wachusett and Monadnock Mountains, and also the hill south of Boston" (Milton Blue Hill). Whoever will visit these easily accessible heights, and survey the vast landscapes, can hardly fail thenceforth to admire the aboriginal name, Magomiscock. The old records spell this name rather barbarously in half a dozen different ways, but I believe I have given its best orthography.

Whether the name of our prominent eminence, called Bear Hill, is of Indian or English origin, is uncertain. It obviously indicates a haunt for bears in olden times. Though I have found nothing in the records relating to the derivation of the name, it seems probable to me that it originated with the Indians. They called the bear, in their language, moshq. Therefore, if they gave name to this hill, it would be Moshcock. This would not be a bad exchange to make, if our people so choose. What other Indian names might be framed or conjectured, as applicable to natural objects within our territorial limits, I will not trouble myself to surmise. Having been misled by the gazetteers to assume that Wapowage was the Indian name of our township. I took considerable pains to ascertain its signification. In doing so, I at length got the information stated in Chapter I., that it belonged to Milford, Conn. So that matter ended. I have since directed my attention to the meaning of Nipmuck, alias Nipmook, etc. I find that the Narragansett language, and perhaps, with some variation, that of the Nipmucks, gives nips for ponds. I infer that it may denote not only ponds, but other collections of water, including moving streams. Hence the Nipmuck name would signify a country abounding with ponds and streams of water, ó a remarkably well-watered country or land. This agrees aptly with the geographical facts. Hence, also, the name would fitly apply to the inhabitants, or tribe of people, dwelling on such general territory. The Blackstone River was originally called the Nipmuck River, because it arose in and flowed through the Nipmuck country. So the Nipmuck Pond in Mendon got its name from its aboriginal owners, who long held it in high estimation. Here I must close this chapter. That it will be as interesting to general readers as the collection and arrangement of its particulars have been to me. perhaps is more than I ought to expect. I have taken much pains to render it valuable to posterity, and can only hope that it will in some way repay its cost. At least, I seem to myself to have fairly prepared the way for a narration of the facts next in order.
Adin Ballou, History of Milford, pp. 29 Ė 30.


Recent death

Jean Mary (Young) Biggs, 82, Agawam, April 16, 2010, HHS 1946.

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