Hopedale History
    July 15, 2013
    No. 232
    Principal’s Report, 1910

    Hopedale in July   

    The Joy Fountain in Mendon - An article on it, including information about its Hopedale-connected
    donor, and photos taken before and after recent damage.

    After sending out No. 231, the sentence about Mr. Mesmeheimer traveling to his Draper job from
    Hopkinton by barge prompted a question which asked if there had once been a canal between
    Hopkinton and Hopedale. The answer is no; years ago the word barge was sometimes used to refer
    to a large horse-drawn wagon. I first saw it used that way in Ida Smith's article in Hopedale
    Reminiscences. "At one time twenty-five women, all clad in bloomers, went in a barge to Worcester  to
    attend a Women's Rights Convention.  They attracted so much attention that the police were called
    upon to protect them."  Dictionary.com - barge -See deifinition 5.  

    During the past two weeks I've made additions to pages on General Draper     Now and Then -
    Dutcher Street School      Lake Qunisigamond     Recent deaths     

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    There has been a great improvement in regard to truancy, there having been no case for the year, and
    but one case of corporal punishment. While this is still allowed as a last resort in extreme cases, the
    committee discourages its use, and in the long run feel that the result is more satisfactory without its
    use, and in the long run feel that the  result is more satisfactory without than with this means of
    correction. For the School Committee, Frank J. Dutcher, 1893.

    A region intended for use by all citizens (the Parklands), including women and children, is not the
    place for drunken carousals, and after noting several violations, the commissioners succeeded in
    arresting four out of six parties who had brought intoxicating liquor on the premises, and they were
    served by the court with the maximum penalty for such offence. Report of the Park Commissioners,
    1903.

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                                 Report of the Principal of the High School

    Mr. F. G. Atwell, Superintendent of Schools

    Dear Sir:

    I have the honor to submit herewith my report of the past year.

    The school year began Sept. 6, 1910, with an entering class of 23 and an enrolment of 43. Since that
    time three pupils entered and three have left.

    In the administration of the school we have set a certain minimum of deportment, industry, and
    scholarship below which no pupil may go. The deportment has given us practically no trouble. We
    have insisted upon habits of industry within the school and have encouraged them without the school
    as best we could. Our failures in scholarship have been due to indolence or inability. To obtain our
    scholarship requirements we have first of all appealed to the parents and in most cases we have
    been very materially helped, while in other cases we have not. Then as a last resort we have dropped
    the pupil from the class in which he was doing the poorest work, thereby making him a special
    student, and advised him to work harder on the remaining subjects. Seven pupils have been dropped
    in this way. The choice is, here as elsewhere, work or fail, and the indolent, feeling that there is no
    place for them, are gradually getting to work or leaving school.

    In the electing of subjects we have recommended that pupils who intend to continue their studies
    beyond the high school do not elect physics or chemistry earlier than their third year.

    Pupils following academic courses are being well provided for, and our courses are sufficiently broad
    to meet the requirements of practically all of the higher institutions. The school is represented at
    present by twelve students in nine different higher institutions of learning.

    Considerable apparatus has been added to our laboratory equipment during the year so that now we
    are very well prepared to do the required work in elementary physics and chemistry.

    Throughout the year regular work has been done in singing, public speaking, debating, and current
    events, and considerable interest has been shown in all of these branches.

    Last May a prize speaking contest was successfully given in the town hall, and the proceeds have
    been partly used in defraying the expenses of athletics in the school.

    Basket ball (as it was written in those years) grounds have been laid out in the rear of the school
    building, and the game furnished good healthy exercise for all of the boys as long as the weather
    permitted.

    During the summer vacation, the three plaster casts of the Parthenon frieze, given to the school by the
    Roundabout Club, arrived and have been placed in position. These, together with the pictures which
    have been presented by the various classes after graduation, add greatly to the beauty of the interior of
    the school building.

    In conclusion, I wish to thank the committee for their generosity and loyal support, the superintendent
    for wise and sympathetic counsel, and my associates on the faculty for hearty cooperation in carrying
    on the work of the school.

    Respectfully submitted,

    John K. Fenner, Principal

    There are two sentences that particularly caught my attention in this report. The first was that this was
    evidently the first year for prize speaking. That continued up until I was a junior in high school which
    was the 1957-58 school year. At that time every sophomore and junior had to memorize a speech and
    deliver it in front of the entire student body. Back then, the school day would start and end in the main
    room. All four classes, about 125 students, would be there. A few would walk to the platform at the front
    to speak each day until all sophomores and juniors had had a turn. The best were selected to give
    another address at an evening event called prize speaking, which for many years was held at the town
    hall, but it was at Memorial School after that was built. That came to an end when the school population
    became too large for the main room system to be continued. The main room was divided into three
    classrooms and much to my relief, the speaking program was discontinued.

    The second item is the one about basketball. I'd like to find out when it progressed from a schoolyard
    recess activity to a formal sport. I remember that it was played at the town hall until the Draper Gym
    was built.

                                                   
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