Hopedale History
    July 1, 2013
    No. 231
    Adam Mesmeheimer

    Hopedale in June   Some of the recent pictures are now coupled with quotes from Hopedale’s history.

    Joe Small, Hopedale High baseball coach ending career after 24 seasons. June 13 Milford News
    article.     
           
    For many years the Draper plant along Hopedale and Freedom streets was sided in wood. When was
    it changed to brick? Click here for the answer.

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    Twenty-five years ago – July 1988 – Hopedale Condo Impact Watched by School Committee (Milford
    Daily New, July 2 – Article refers to proposal for $135 million project to convert the Draper complex into )

    Condo Plans May Have Fizzled Due to Lack of Financial Backing (Milford Daily News, July 8)

    Iran Air Flight 655 shot down by a missile launched from the USS Vincennes.

    The Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia nominates Michael Dukakis for U.S. President
    and Lloyd Bentsen for Vice President.

    Fifty years ago – July 1963 – 185 Archers Compete in Eastern Championship Tournament of
    Massachusetts Field Archers Association at Nipmuc Rod and Gun Club.

    Rump roast 99 cents/pound at Hopedale Food Center. Maxwell House coffee, 59 cents/pound.

    Excavation for New Hopedale Catholic Church to Begin.

    ZIP codes are introduced by the United States Postal Service.

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    Today’s story isn’t about one of the larger events in Hopedale history, nor is it about one of the better
    known people, but I think it’s an interesting view into the life and times of a worker at Draper
    Corporation. This was printed in a Milford Daily News column titled Here and There with Employees of
    the Draper Corporation.

                                                      Adam J. Mesmeheimer

    Although he has lived in Hopkinton throughout the entire 38 years during which he has been a Draper
    employee, Adam J. Mesmeheimer, carpenter in the millwright department, declares that he has never
    failed to reach the Draper plant in time for his day’s work, regardless of weather conditions. Likewise,
    he says he never was prevented from reaching his home at night by traveling conditions.

    Adam began work here on August 10, 1900, when there were only six or seven men in the millwright
    department. The late Ben Hodgdon was then foreman and the department was located where the tool
    die work is now done, at the north end of the tool department. Later the work was moved to the lower
    floor where the wood department is now. For many years the millwright department has been located
    on the top floor of the screw shop and George Draper succeeded Mr. Hodgdon as foreman. (I’d say we
    can be fairly sure that he was one of the “other Drapers.” The 1930 street listing gives George A.
    Draper, 30, 167 Dutcher Street as a toolmaker, but the one referred to must have been George E.
    Draper, 57, 80 Freedom Street who was listed as a foreman. A few weeks ago, I put an article on this
    site about the accidental shooting death of Mr. Draper’s son, Darwin.)

    Adam’s ability is shown somewhat by the fact that for a long time he has been assigned to do the
    carpenter work in the Main Office.

    During this period of service, the Hopkinton resident has travelled to and from the local plant by several
    different methods. In the early years of his work here he rode in a horse drawn barge which left
    Hopkinton every morning at 5:30 and arrived here just before the plant started up at 7 o’clock. The
    working schedule then was 7 to 6, including Saturdays.

    While the trolleys operated between Hopkinton and Milford, Adam was a regular passenger, but when
    the cars ceased to run he secured a ride with a friend who has a car and drives back and forth every
    day. Now the trip is made in less than half an hour as compared with the hour and a half required in
    the days of the horse-drawn bus.

    During the severe winter storms, Adam has often walked several miles in deep drifts and driving snow
    in order to reach his home. Several times he walked from Milford to Hopkinton when there was no
    means of transportation. Occasionally he would take a train from Milford to Framingham. From there
    he was forced to walk the rest of the journey. There were usually others making the same trip, but
    Adam would take the lead and he set up a fast pace for the rest to follow. Although he has not been
    obliged to hike this distance in recent years, he declares he could do it without much extra effort.

    Adam is a past chief ranger of Court Hopkinton, F. of A., and has held every office in this court at one
    time or another. He has also served as Deputy of other lodges, and in this way has a wide
    acquaintance among Foresters. The Draper man is always a welcome visitor, for he has an almost
    unlimited supply of comical stories, and a witty style of putting them across.

    He has a keen memory and can recite poetry much better than the ordinary individual. His chief sport
    is deep sea fishing. Milford Daily News, September 1938.

                                          
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Draper plant at the corner of Hopedale and Freedom streets.