February 15, 2011
Hopedale in February
Hopedale directory, 1898 -- General town information List of residents
The slide show of old G&U Railroad pictures I put on YouTube two years ago reached 2,000 hits
this month. Here’s a link to it, and here’s the rest of my “top five.” Sleepy Little Town,
Hopedale Pond and Parklands, Draper Corporation – A Shell, and Hopedale Pond, January
11, 2009. (Actually, you won’t see any four-digit numbers beside them. That’s because I
resubmitted them this week because….well, I won’t get into that.)
I’ve recently added a few videos to YouTube, including some of the reunion of the 1940s
Hopedale High classes, a fishing derby at Nipmuc Rod & Gun, and a firemen’s muster at Draper
Field. Click here to go to a menu of links to Hopedale related items on YouTube.
Henry Patrick and his store supplied material for writers a number of times over the years. I’ve
had a Worcester Telegram article about him by Grace Deschamps on my Hopedale website for
some time. I’ve also seen an article by Gordon Hopper titled Henry L. Patrick - A Hopedale
Legend, one by Peter Hackett with the title, Henry Patrick of Hopedale, Colorful, Noted Character,
and last year Leola Stearns sent me her memories of Patrick’s. The article below is another by
Hackett. It's about the end of the Patrick years and the beginning of the Rico Calarese era.
The Henry Patrick Store
By Peter Hackett
The century old Henry Patrick store of Hopedale, a familiar landmark to generations of
surrounding towns as well as Hopedale, has become the inevitable victim of time and change –
the relentless, sweeping change so characteristic of the age we live in.
Erected in 1869, it is soon to be demolished to make way for a new supermarket.
For almost a century it served the community’s needs for groceries, dry-goods, and a wide
variety of household supplies. It did a big home delivery business, and, long before autos and
trucks, its horse drawn store wagons (teams) were a common sight throughout the village. When
winter came with its unplowed snow-covered streets, sleighs were used and the tinkle of their
little bells was pleasant to hear. The present generation know not that New England scene. Many
a boy (including the writer) stole a ride by running after a sleigh and standing on the end of a
The maintenance of horses, wagons and sleighs, including barns, stables and sheds, was a
considerable item of cost.
For many years a second store was kept at the corner of Hopedale and Mendon Streets. It
specialized in bulk products, principally grain. It was this store which gave its name to the corner,
Patrick’s Corner, still in use today. It was sold some years ago and is now a furniture store.
In a business directory of 1902-03, the Henry L. Patrick store is advertised as the “Best
General Store in Worcester County. Wholesale and Retail.”
Henry Patrick was considered “an originator of the profit-sharing policy of New England.” He
had the store incorporated as a company in 1919, the stock being sold only to his employees. He
was known and liked throughout the state for his policy of paying cash for everything he bought.
Following his death, November 15, 1927, news items described his as being of the old New
England type – thrifty, hustling, energetic, and of outstanding integrity.
The store was sold in 1956 to Americo Calarese who operated his own store, the Food
Center, on Mendon Street, Hopedale. When he moved into the Patrick store, he dropped the
name and replaced it with the name of his former store, the Food Center. Under his skillful
management the store has done well. Meanwhile the century old store had, nevertheless,
reached a stage of obsolescence that unsuited it for further improvement or expansion. To
maintain competitive status in the modern community of chain stores and supermarkets, Mr.
Calarese decided to tear down the old building and replace it with a supermarket with parking
space for some sixty cars.
It is notable that Mr. Calarese learned the store business in the Patrick store. His success
fairly smacks of Horatio Alger. He started to work in the store while still going to high school. For
several years he was out of the store while furthering his education at Dean Academy. After his
graduation there he returned to the store, first as a clerk, then as a buyer, and finally as manager.
With sixteen years behind him, he left and started his own store, the Food Center, on nearby
Mendon Street. That was in 1949. Seven years later, 1956, he bought the Henry Patrick Co., and
now, 1965, construction is in progress for the new supermarket. When this is finished, the
century-old landmark, the Henry Patrick store, will be torn down to make way for the parking lot of
the new store. It will then, without fanfare or glory, pass into the quiet realm of Hopedale history.
Mr. Calarese has the able assistance of his wife, the former Eva LaChappelle of Southbridge,
and their son, Richard, as well as Mazie Moore, a clerk who is a former employee of the Patrick
Company. Milford Daily News
Henry Patrick’s Store
Leola Stearns’s Memories of Patrick’s
Now and Then at Patrick’s
Now and Then at Patrick’s Corner
Hopedale History Email Menu HOME
This photo by Hopedale historian Winogene
Noyes, was taken during the brief time after the
new Food Center building had been completed
and before the old one had been torn down.