The Legion home shortly before it was moved.
August 1, 2013
Last Days of the Legion
Hopedale in July Photos of the South Hopedale school, vandalism at Fisherman's Island, more of the
dump capping job, rebuilding the G&U crossing at Route 16, a band concert, and more. Hopedale
history quotes included with about a half dozen of the pictures.
Annual Friends of Adin Ballou Peace Picnic - Click here for info.
Additions to existing pages in the last two weeks - Tom Malloy, by his grandson, Bill Wright (Chapter 2
- Tom's service in World War I has been added to what Bill sent a few months ago.) Fire Department
history (A clipping on the firemen's muster in 1916, held to celebrate the opening of the Dutcher Street
fire station) Saltbox Road (A history of Saltbox by Gordon Hopper has been added.) Henry Patrick's
Store (Obituary for George Patrick added) Draper Mausoleums (Article about bronze doors added to
General Draper tomb) Walter Tillotson (Obituary for Walter's brother who died at the age of 26, two
years before Walter was killed in World War I.) The Statue of Hope (New York Times article on the
scandal of 1912 - Sculptor Waldo Story marries opera singer Bessie Abott.) John Stanas (Clipping
on winning national junior title for the 880-yard freestyle.) Recent deaths
G&U Railroad discussion on Railroad.net
Twenty-five years ago - August 1988 - The Republican National Convention in New Orleans
nominates George H.W. Bush for President and Dan Quayle for Vice President of the United States of
Hopedale Water and Sewer Commission member Harold Anderson complains about delay in
building water tank at Crockett Circle.
Worcester judge stays foreclosure of Draper plant, but orders sale of property by end of year.
Fifty years ago - August 1963 - Lee Harvey Oswald arrested in New Orleans while distributing leaflets
for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
At the 1963 "March on Washington" Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his I Have A Dream
speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
South Hopedale Branch Library opens at home of Mrs. Betty Butcher.
Dr. Gerald Hazard, formerly of Hopedale, was the first doctor to examine the Kennedy baby when it
arrived at Children's Hospital in Boston. The baby, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, died two days after birth.
Hopedale School Building Committee seeks approval of additions to Memorial School and High
School from Massachusetts School Building Assistance Commission.
The Walter Tillotson Post, American Legion, was an active and important organization in Hopedale
beginning shortly after the end of World War I and continuing up into the 1960s. By the 1970s,
however, declining membership was bringing those days to an end. Below is a Milford Daily News
article on one part of the organization's demise.
Legion Auction Tomorrow
By Virginia Cyr
HOPEDALE - The end of another significant part of Hopedale will develop soon as the yellow building
located at the corner of Hopedale Street and Depot Street will no longer be the home of Walter H.
Tillotson Post, American Legion.
The members of the post have announced the sale of the contents of the building which will be held
tomorrow inside the home from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Furniture, books, dishes and other bric-a-brac, which
has been used through the years by the post will be on display for interested shoppers to view. Senior
Vice Commander Bernard J. Stock has stated that none of the posts records or pictures of veterans
will be sold however. The post's colors will also remain the property of the post.
Commander Robert J. Brown, who announced the sale, noted, "It is sad." He added that the building is
expensive to heat and hard to maintain. Post Adjutant Charles Draper has stated that there are about
60 members who continue to pay dues, but he notes that in recent years, the same group of less than
10 men have been active.
The building was originally part of the Home School, a boarding school in the mid-1800s. The Legion
pose leased the home from Draper Corporation in 1922 and has continued to lease it from Draper's
successor Rockwell-Draper Division until last year when voters at the annual Town Meeting in April
gave the town permission to sell the home which was given to the town by Rockwell previously.
The town now has two proposals; one from George E. Robertson of Milford and the other from the
Hackenson group of Mendon to purchase the building, both having offered $10,000 for it. Selectmen
favor the Robertson proposal to convert the building into small businesses. The Hackenson group
proposed conversion into a professional building. Voters will be asked to decide on which of the two
will have the property at the Dec. 3 Special Town Meeting.
The post, despite its loss of quarters will continue its community service projects, which include
among other things, sponsorship of Cub Scout Pack 1 and Boy Scout Troop 1 and a team in the Junior
Baseball Association program.
One area which it will withdraw from is participation in the summer band concert programs. For years,
the post has provided the hot buttered popcorn which was a highlight of the refreshment section of the
musical evenings. In past years, when the Auxiliary to the post was in existence, hot dogs, home-
baked pastries and assorted items were offered for sale at the band concerts. According to Senior
Vice Commander Stock, the familiar truck from which the delicious popcorn was served, and the
popcorn machine which it held has been sold to a local resident.
Stock could not answer whether or not the cannon on the front lawn of the post home would be
included in the sale of items. He did note however, that in spite of its authentic look, it is not what it
seems to be. The base is authentic, but the upper part is made of wood. Stock seemed to feel that an
appropriate place might have to be found to locate the cannon.
At any rate, the post plans to continue its meetings. A temporary meeting place may be the Town Hall
according to post officers. Milford Daily News, November 16, 1979.
I asked Bernie Stock when the post closed. He said it was in the early 1980s. Some members joined
the Mendon post and others stayed with the national organization but didn't join a local one. What
happened to the gun that sat on the lawn for many years? No one seems to know. If you do, let me
know and I'll pass the word on.