Click on the picture for more pre-1910 views of Hopedale Pond.
October 15, 2013
Hurricane and Tornado
Hopedale in October
In the Bancroft Library Hopedale history collection there are nearly 100 pre-1910 glass negatives and a
good many Draper Corporation film negatives from the 1940s and 1950s. I've been using my camera
to turn them into positives. I'm sure there are better ways to do it, but this one doesn't cost anything and
the results seem to me to be reasonably okay. Here's a page of miscellaneous pictures. Park and
field days Hopedale Pond Buildings Draper Company
Ernest Dalton articles. In 1937, Hopedale resident and Harvard student Ernest Dalton wrote 25 articles
on the history of the Hopedale Community. In 1938 they were published in the Milford Daily News.
Between the Bancroft Library and the Milford Library, I was able to copy them all. I can't say that there's
anything new in them, but for anyone looking into a particular aspect of those days, they might be able
to find it more easily than by reading through everything Adin Ballou wrote, to find it. Some articles are
easy to read and others are a bit difficult. I'll replace the poor ones with better copies if anything clearer
Friends of Adin Ballou annual lecture - October 20.
Now and Then - The Seven Sisters
Mendon's Civil War monument.
Here's a link sent by Alan Seaburg for anyone interested in the origin and history of the Lilliputian
Memorial School third grade play, 1957 - cast and names.
links to reports on it done in 2009.
article) William Lapworth (sale of the Hopedale Elastic Fabric Company, 1891) Recent deaths
In the cooking classes, we have been doing group work entirely, making the cost of lessons low, less
than two cents per pupil. Demonstration and individual work will be introduced, as they tend to develop
self-reliance and ingenuity. In the sewing classes the girls have been making articles of clothing for
use in the cooking classes, beside doing some special fancy work, to make it as interesting as
possible. Agnes M. Bridges, Teacher of Domestic Science, Town Report, 1911.
Thirty members of the proposed Hopedale Country Club turned out Saturday to begin construction of a
golf course at the Howard farm site in the Spindleville section. Milford Daily News, April 1953.
her memories of Parkside Farm, her family's farm at 200 Dutcher Street.
It was raining hard that day, so my father sent the hired man, I think it was Linwood Hammond at that
time, to school to pick up my sister Phyllis, Mary Elizabeth Burnham, and me at the Dutcher Street
When we got to the Nutting place where the Burnham's lived with their grandmother, we got out with
Mary Elizabeth. We noticed that the wind was getting stronger. They had a big hammock on the
wraparound porch there. We'd often get into it and swing it back and forth. We'd be told "No" when we
were seen doing that. That day, however, suddenly it was the wind that was making it go harder and
Mary Elizabeth's mother told us to come inside. Before long we saw that the wind had blown the
hammock off the hooks and out onto the lawn between their house and ours. As time went on, the
wind became stronger. The lights went out. Mary Elizabeth's mother had lived in Florida and knew what
hurricanes were like. She had the finished cellar prepared for us in case the storm got worse, but we
didn't have to go down there. She was afraid of what could happen, but we weren't.
At about seven or so, my mother came over from our house with a lantern because she and Dad
wanted us to come home. On our way, we saw that branches and wires were down everywhere. Some
of the wires were live, so we had to be careful of where we stepped.
We had a shed down back where some of the older farm equipment was. Dad went down there to try
to keep it from being blown down, but he wasn't successful. The corn crib was blown down also. It
wasn't devastating, but it was bad that we lost them.
A while after the storm, a temporary sawmill was set up in the Parklands, in the vicinity of the Rustic
Bridge. Cutting the trees that had come down there kept it busy for several months. I don't recall if they
floated logs on Hopedale Pond, but they did that on some ponds in the area.
When we got back to school several days later, we learned that Mr. McNamara, the father of one of my
classmates, had been killed during the storm. The McNamaras lived at 61 Bancroft Park, and the
children's grandparents lived a couple of houses away. When the two McNamara girls returned from
school that day, instead of going home, they went to their grandparents' house. As the storm got
worse, their parents decided that their girls should be at home. Mr. McNamara went to get them, but as
he left the house, the chimney blew off and the bricks came down and killed him. (61 Bancroft Park is
the same address where the destined to be famous Joe Perry lived, until his family moved to Mill
I also remember the Worcester tornado of 1953. I was married and living on Highland Street at the
time. I was teaching at Hopedale High School that year. After school on the day of the tornado (June 9)
all the teachers were in one room and we were working on the report cards. It got very dark and windy,
but at the time, it didn't seem to be that unusual. That evening during supper, we received a call from a
friend who lived in Waltham. She had heard about the tornado, and papers from the Worcester area
were found on the ground near her house. She wanted to talk to us about the storm because she knew
we lived fairly near to where it hit. We turned on the radio and listened to the news about it. It seemed
so strange that all that devastation and death had been going on while we had been sitting there
working on report cards just a few miles away.
Sometime later we went up Route 140 to Shrewsbury. We saw trees there that were twisted and
looked like towels that had been wrung out. A friend of the Tinkham cousins, Dot, who lived in
Shrewsbury, had MS. There was a woman who stayed with her during the day. She'd leave around five,
and Don, the husband, would arrive home shortly after that. On the day of the tornado, it struck between
the time the lady had left and Don had returned home. The tornado came down the street and heavily
damaged every house except, fortunately, the Tinkham home. Muriel (Henry) Tinkham, September
The Hurricane of 1938 - Wikipedia
Hurricane of 1938 photos of Mendon
Hurricane of 1938 photos of Milford
The Worcester Tornado - Wikipedia
ends at 43 seconds.
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