Click on the picture to see more of Bill Redden's Bancroft Park, c. 1900, photos.
Click on the picture to see more of Charlie Gaffney's highway department photos.
January 1, 2013
Hopedale in 1888
Hopedale in December
Bancroft Park photos, c. 1900, sent by Bill Redden.
Early Hopedale Highway Department vehicles and machines, from Charlie Gaffney.
Sanborn insurance maps, Hopedale 1885 1892
List of Hopedale Community material on microfilm at the Bancroft Library.
Now and Then – The G&U Bridge at Hopedale Street
After Rockwell sold the Draper plant, the new owners rented out space to a number of companies.
Here’s a Milford News article on the 1988 event which brought that to an end.
A Red Shop mystery – two floors?
The disappearing Mill River - See where it goes on its way to the Blackstone.
A blast from the past – Ford Theatre, Wake up in the Morning. Milford views, 1969, with Main Street
scenes including the Soda Shoppe, Draper statue, and more. Thanks to Carl Glatky for sending it.
Draper, Now Just a Memory – Milford Daily News, 1980
mentioning it, DJ.
During the past two weeks, I’ve made additions to pages on the G&U depot the G&U yard in
Hopedale, 1897 – 2012 Now and Then, Chapel Street Block Milford & Uxbridge Street Railway
The Legion Home (Now and Then, Depot Street)
Twenty-five years ago – January 1988 – Dog leash law passed at Hopedale town meeting in October
approved by Attorney General.
Hopedale official object to $2 (30%) increase in cable tv rates.
Soviets Seek ‘Peace with Honor’ in Afghan Pullout.
The Soviet Union begins its program of economic restructuring (perestroika) with legislation initiated
by Premier Mikhail Gorbachev.
Fifty years ago – January 1963 – The Hopedale Community Historical Society has voted to incorporate.
Taking of land on Hopedale Street by eminent domain has been approved for a housing project for the
African American student Harvey Gantt enters Clemson University in South Carolina, the last U.S.
state to hold out against racial integration.
A Model Community
Hopedale – They built better than they knew who in 1841 bought the central part of this Worcester
County town which had long been known as “the dale,” and, to indicate their great and glowing
anticipations in regard to the future, said, “We will call this place Hopedale and we will establish here
a community which shall hold all property in common “
Fifteen years later the “community” ceased to exist by vote of its members, but although the
anticipations of the founders were not realized in the way which had been expected, they have
nevertheless been fulfilled in the building up here by individual energy and business foresight of a
town which is a typical and model New England community and which is a standing exemplification of
the results of well directed industry and thrift.
Here is a town of 1200 people with water, gas, electric lights, macadamized streets, asphalt walks,
long lines of beautiful shade trees, well-kept lawns, roomy houses, and spacious yards and
everywhere the air of prosperity and content. In politics the town is strongly Republican and no liquor
saloon has ever blighted the place. At the last town election the vote on licensing the sale of liquor
was 91 against licensing and not a solitary yes vote. The annual tax levy amounts to about $18,000,
nearly one-third of which is spent upon the public schools. What more could the founders of the
Hopedale Community have had in mind that such results as these, and was not the failure of the
communal idea which opened the way for individual enterprise the best possible success after all?
Hopedale as it is today is the monument of the late George Draper and tells the story of his life and
character more impressively and effectively than could any shaft of marble or pillar of bronze. Thirty-six
years ago the firm of E.D. and G. Draper was formed and began business in a one-story machine
shop 20 by 40 feet in size. That shop is still standing, but the business which was begun in it has
been extended and enlarged until now it occupies over three acres of floor surface instead of the 800
square feet occupied at the beginning, and arrangements are now being made for the addition of
another acre of floor surface the present season.
In 1868, E.D. Draper retired from the firm which had then been in existence for 16 years and George
Draper took his eldest son, William F., as his business partner, under the firm name of George
Draper & Son. In 1877, Mr. Draper’s second son, George A. became a partner, and the firm name
became George Draper & Sons. In 1880, Mr. Draper’s third son, Eben S. was admitted to partnership,
and in 1887 his grandson, William f. Draper, Jr. In June 1887, Mr. Draper died and his three sons and
grandson now carry on the business.
The business which Mr. Draper began, and which his sons and grandson now conduct, was the
manufacture of mill machinery, especially roving, warping, reeling, spooling and twisting machinery.
They also manufacture large quantities of high speed spindles and have control of the entire product
of these spindles in the country, and other specialties of there are machine screws and spinning
rings. The automatic machines that produce the screws are marvels of ingenuity in construction and
of intelligence in working and each machine turns out from 50 to 4000 screws per day, according to
size. The knitting machines used by the Shaw Stocking Company of Lowell in manufacturing the
seamless socks that Roger Mills eulogized so highly as evidencing the superior skill of foreign
inventors and manufacturers are made here. An industry of comparatively recent establishment in
Hopedale is the manufacture of elastic fabric for suspenders, etc, and in the several industries which
the Drapers now carry on here they give employment to about 600 people, one-sixth of them being
women and girls who are employed in the elastic fabric mills.
Of the 1200 inhabitants of the town of Hopedale, at least 1,000 derive their support directly or indirectly
from the industries referred to above, and probably an equal number living in the neighboring towns of
Milford and Mendon receive their support in the same way. The average rate of wages paid here is
high, both because of the character of the work and the skill and intelligence of those who are
employed, and the weekly payroll is $1000 per day or an average of $10 per week per hand, for men,
women and girls. The total business done is from $600,000 to $800,000 per year. Springfield Daily
Union, July 9, 1888
Click here to read the entire article
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