March 15, 2013
Community House to be Built
Hopedale in March
A collection of G&U Railroad clippings sent by Paul Butcher Paul also sent an article by Gordon
Hopper on Edward Usher. Among many other accomplishments, Usher founded the Hopedale
Electric Company (which made batteries for another company of his, the Milford and Hopedale
Trolley) and the Grafton & Upton Railroad.
On No. 223, I included a link to a page with a picture of a mysterious device in the entryway at the
Bancroft Library. The page had about ninety hits, and one response. That was from Don Howes who
has evidently solved the mystery. Here’s the page again, with Howsie’s explanation.
In the first Hopedale town report, 1886, there was a complete report of the assessors. It includes
assessments on houses, barns, horses, carriages, cattle, swine, oxen, cranberry meadow, tannery,
old shop over the river (Red Shop?), foundry, annealing house, dam privilege, ice house, hoop shop,
and more. Fascinating. At least, I find it fascinating. I don’t know about you.
During the past year or so, Patricia Hatch has come up with several interesting discoveries related to
the Hopedale Community. I thought it was worth putting a web page together with links to pages with
her findings, plus some of her comments and observations. Here it is.
Strike at Draper Corporation, 1953
Hopedale Centennial parade, 1986 More on the centennial, including the parade booklet with
many names from that era.
Over the past two weeks I’ve made additions to pages on the Rosenfeld family and company and
Hopedale history chronology.
In 2008, I started a page on Pete and Laurie Eaton's loom in Pennsylvania. The Eatons bought an
old Draper loom and got it running. Now there’s another Draper restoration project going on in
Pennsylvania. Michael Masterson has purchased and is restoring a Draper model X-3 loom. Here
are some pictures of the early phase of that project. And just as Michael was getting to work on his
loom, Rob Fahey sent me this page from Cone Denim which mentions that their material is woven
by Draper X-3s. Here’s a page Rob sent on Draper looms, denim, and the Amoskeag
Magnificent Plans for the
Hopedale Community House Are Now Underway
Hopedale, April 8 (1922) Workmen are excavating for what will be one of the finest community
buildings in the state, a civic memorial to the late George Draper by his son, George Albert Draper,
treasurer of the Draper Corporation. It will be built on the site of the old home of George Draper. The
building will be under the control of the Hopedale Community House, Inc.
The expense of its erection and equipment will be borne by Mr. Draper. In addition to this, a fund
sufficient for its maintenance will be provided by Mr. Draper. Neither he nor those associated with
him desire to make public the amount to be expended for the building of the structure or for its
The architect is Edwin J. Lewis, Jr., 9 Park Street, Boston, who was the architect of the beautiful old
English memorial church, given by George A. Draper and his brother, the late Eben S. Draper, to the
Hopedale Unitarian Church, some years ago, in memory of their parents, George Draper and
Hannah B. (Thwing) Draper.
The building will be of brick, with limestone trimmings, and will face on Draper Street. It will include
two stories and a basement. The dimensions are 186 by 67 feet.
In the basement, there will be bowling alleys, a rifle range, a gymnasium, and shower baths.
Connected with the gym will be a kitchen. Such banquets as may be held in the building will be
prepared in the kitchen and served in the gymnasium.
On the ground floor will be a large assembly or community hall. This will occupy by far the larger part
of this floor. Connected with the hall will be administration offices, a lounge and smoking room for
men, a ladies’ room, a matron’s room, and two anterooms.
The assembly or community hall will reach to the roof and on the second floor the galleries will open
on the great hall.
On the second floor will be the quarters for George Draper Lodge, Knights of Pythias, long known in
the state as “the big lodge in a small town.” There will also be a large billiard room and another for
The construction of the Community House, which will not be completed until late in the year, will be
most substantial, the interior to be of hardwood and tiling. From the Bancroft Memorial Library
Hopedale history collection.
The Community House Now and Then - The Community House
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