May 1, 2012
Cemeteries of Milford and Hopedale
Hopedale in April
Hopedale Fire Department, 1982
“Salute to May,” program, Park Street School, 1958. Lots of names. Thanks to Bruce Lutz for sending it.
Thomas Gordon, who lived in Mendon during the later years of his life (and worked as a painter at
Draper Corporation) was at the Little Bighorn during Custer’s Last Stand. Click here for his memories
of that occasion.
I thought I should mention the typos in No. 202. The main story was all about April in 1912, but
somehow I wrote “April 1902” three times.
The link to the story on Billy Draper’s Store last time prompted Dave Atkinson and Chet Gould to send
memories of paper routes. That made me think that if a few of you had paper route anecdotes you
could send to me, I’d do a page of them for the website.
Twenty-five years ago – May 1987 – David Durgin Named Fire Chief Hopedale Landfill Closed for
Violations – Owner, M.J. Murphy Fined $25,000 Judy Brown Appointed Postmaster William “Buzz”
Iacovelli Serving in Peace Corps in Africa Planning Board to Hold Hearing on Crestview Estates
Fifty years ago – May 1962 – Lobsters 69 Cents per pound at Nu-Way Market Bomb Explodes on
Continental Airlines Flight in Missouri. All 45 Passengers and Crew Killed U.S. Soldiers Move
Toward Laos Border The first nuclear explosion to be caused by an American ballistic missile, rather
than by a bomb dropped from an aircraft or at a fixed site, was accomplished at Christmas Island,
1,200 miles from its launch site
May Day in Hopedale, 1848 - In 1848, social reformer Henry C. Wright visited the Community for May
Day, and described it in a letter: "Hopedale is a settlement of 20 houses with over 100 inhabitants. Its
object is to reform and improve society. I am in the midst of these kind and loving people....the band is
playing some fine marches to open the festivities. A picnic at 5:30 consisted of bread and butter, pies,
cakes, custards, and parched corn. The evening program began with music, followed by poetry, and a
drama acting out Charity, Faith, Hope, Patience, Remorse, Penitence, Childhood, and Old Age. A
dance then began, a modest and orderly dance with 2 violins.”
Cemeteries of Hopedale and Milford
By Adin Ballou
Besides our four town cemeteries hereinbefore described, we have several of a more private nature.
Pre-eminent among these, and over all others, is the "Pine-grove Cemetery." This is owned and
sustained by a strong corporation of influential citizens belonging to this and some of the neighboring
towns. The proprietors were incorporated in 1841, and hold their annual meeting in May, when they
choose a board of directors, treasurer, secretary, etc. Their cemetery is located on the west side of
Cedar St., about two miles north-east of the Town Common, and covers a romantic tract of some
twenty-eight acres, obtained in two separate purchases. The first purchase of seventeen acres was
soon enclosed, beautifully laid out, and artistically fitted for use. It abounds with admirable
monuments, and exhibits a rich profusion of the various ornamentations wherewith the present
generation delight to honor their dead. It has a house and garden-grounds for its superintendent, and
is constantly cared for with tasteful assiduity. William P. Miller has long been its superintendent, and
is deservedly esteemed for the acceptable manner in which he has discharged his official duties. The
second purchase of eleven acres, lying west of the first, remains outside of the enclosure, in an
The Catholics of St. Mary's Church have a large and numerously peopled cemetery, located also on
Cedar St., on the easterly side, a short distance southerly of Pine Grove. It now contains about eight
acres. Its first four acres were purchased by Rev. Geo. A. Hamilton, the first regular pastor, and
opened for burials, probably, in 1850. Rev. Father Cuddihy has enlarged it under his pastorate to
double its original size. It is respectably laid out and ornamented. Its headstones and obelisks display
the usual Catholic emblems, and proclaim to the passing observer what a host of these
comparatively new-comers have already gone to their long home. Conspicuous therein is a
monument erected by Father Cuddihy to the memory of his immediate pastoral predecessor, Rev.
Edward Farrelly, who died hereof consumption, Aug. 13, 1857.
Hopedale, too, has its own humble cemetery, a little west of the village, just over the river, where the
remains of a considerable number of its loved ones rest in peace. It was laid out in 1847, covers over
two acres of ground, has a decent receiving-tomb, is in charge of the parish trustees, has a
superintendent of burials, and presents a few unpretentious monuments, but can boast of little
sepulchral display. All the cemeteries in town, public and proprietary, have good receiving-tombs and
other desirable conveniences; and the most ordinary of them are more or less advanced in the line of
modern improvement. Town hearses and their accompaniments have been latterly superseded by
those of professional undertakers, who perform burial operations in a more aesthetic style. Indeed,
funeral expenses have grown to dimensions which man}" sensible people seriously deprecate,
though our vicinage has not yet reached the extravagance of metropolitan populations.
Our oldest burying-place has of late years received rather rough usage, especially its easterly portion.
First, the whole front range of tombs were abandoned by their proprietors, their materials carried off by
purchasers, and an unsightly opening made into the yard. Then, large numbers of remains were
removed by family relatives and others to Vernon-grove Cemetery or elsewhere, and the ground left in
a broken condition. Afterwards, with or without town permission, large quantities of earth were carted
away for various purposes, in some cases paying too little respect to the bones and ashes of the
dead. Afterwards a question was raised whether a part of the ground, at least, did not belong to the
Congregational parish, by right of inheritance from the ancient precinct. The Town, however, claimed
the whole, and strenuously contested all parish pretensions. The court finally decided the case in
favor of the Town. Should all the remains of the dead be removed, and the land become salable real
estate, a valuable property will fall to the Town. Adin Ballou, History of Milford, pp. 310 – 311.
Click here to read Ballou’s entire chapter on the cemeteries of Hopedale and Milford.
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