February 1, 2014
A Kid's Paradise
Hopedale in January
Moving the Red Shop, 1950 - over 60 photos and two newspaper articles. Photocopied photos - not
terrific, but good enough to get the idea.
Cottton Chats, June 1952 - Draper bobbins.
Last time I mentioned that hope1842.com has been translated into Italian. Now I've seen that it's in
Chinese, also. Here's a link. By hovering the mouse over the text, you can see the original wording.
On 244, I included a link to a slide show of Judy Belben's photos of Hopedale Pond and the
Parklands. Here's another with more of her photos.
Thanks to John Larkin for sending this link to an article on textile mills still operating in the U.S. It
includes a slide show of 19 pictures, including a couple in Millbury.
The women's suffrage movement in Hopedale.
working. I uploaded it again and it should be okay now. Here's a link to it. If you want to go on to parts 2
and 3, here's a link to my YouTube menu. In part 2, near the beginning you'll see Alice Phillips and
Charlie Espanet. Then there are a couple of girls walking around near the bathhouse until you get up
to the three minute mark, and the rest is in the water. Much of part 3 appears to be showing beginner
lessons, but there are older kids in some of it.
Material added to existing pages on the Hopedale history site in the past two weeks include Beebe
River (aerial view) The Harel House (1999 Milford News article) Draper plant, 1890 - 1913 (Boston
Evening Transcript article describing the buildings.) James Northrop (Article on the British Northrop
Loom Company) Oakledge Manor Nursing Home (1952 clipping) Wickliffe Preston Draper (1999
Wall Street Journal article) Bristow Draper (Obit) Draper Gym (Cotton Chats) Recent deaths
Twenty-five years ago - February 1989 - Freedom Street bridge closed and will be rebuilt.
ZBA grants a special permit to Calarese Development Corporation to construct a 7,000 square foot
building to contain five retail stores. Twenty protesters left Town Hall in a huff after the meeting.
The first of 24 Global Positioning System satellites is placed into orbit.
The last Soviet Union armored column leaves Kabul, ending 9 years of military occupation.
Fifty years ago - February 1964 - The final structure of four buildings between Chapel and Freedom
streets has been razed. (Yes, four building were razed, although not the "final structure" on the block.
Obviously the Dutcher Street School/Uncommon Place condominium is still there.)
March of Dimes treasurer Robert Marso has announced that $1350 has been donated to the fund by
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles reaches the # 1 spot on the US singles chart. On February
7 they arrive in the US, and two days later appear on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) beats Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, Florida, and is crowned the
heavyweight champion of the world.
In 1970, after living at 26 Dutcher Street for five years, the Connelly family moved to Framingham.
Michael Connelly recently sent me a wonderful account of his years here. Here's what he says near the
end of it. "I have moved a thousand miles or more several times in my life, beginning with our move to
Massachusetts, from Wisconsin, but the most difficult move for me, by far, was the little move of 15
miles to Framingham." A bit of Michael's story can be seen below, but if you have a few minutes to
read the entire article, I highly recommend it. Here it is.
A Kid's Paradise in the Sixties
Hopedale Pond, Muddy Brook, the Lookout, Indian Rock, Rustic Bridge, the Fire Lane, the Parklands;
what a beautiful little town. I suppose very commonplace for Massachusetts. In my mind’s eye I can
still follow the shoreline entirely around Hopedale Pond. Any unsecured boat no matter how
waterlogged or holey, became the ticket to an expedition down the length of Hopedale Pond, to the
islands, Rustic Bridge, or beyond another mile on a stream that meandered through a tall grassy
marsh all the way to the next pond at Route 140. On the way we pretended to be Green Berets in
Vietnam, stealthily moving through regions infested with Vietcong. On our return we lazily floated with
the current, watching for little schools of perch as we hung over the sides of the boat. We used sticks
and boards if we didn’t have paddles, and a coffee can to bail water out as it seeped in. When our
scoutmasters found out about this, Mr. Care offered his aluminum boat and Jon Brown’s Dad brought
his aluminum canoe to Miss Ripley’s house across from Dutcher Street School and said we could
use it any time. And we did.
We had this great idea to sleep overnight on the island near Rustic Bridge. We rowed out there, fished
for bass and pickerel until dinner, and then we set up our tent. When we looked back to the dock, Mr.
Care’s aluminum boat was gone! Being light as a feather with no one in it, the wind worked it loose
from shore and blew it almost to the next island and it still was moving pretty fast. If we waited any
longer it might blow all the way back to the bathhouse. I hated the idea of swimming through all those
lily pads, but this called for immediate action. So, I stripped down and dove into the water, raking my
arms through forests of lily pads, stirring up the mud, with visions of vicious snapping turtles zeroing in
on my toes. Exhausted, I caught the boat and paddled it back with my hand. As it got dark, we still
fished for hornpout. We caught a mess of those for breakfast and turned in after a campfire. Sleep was
impossible. The sound of thrumming, groaning bullfrogs grew louder, surrounding us by the
thousands until about 2 am when we rowed home for some peace and quiet.
Jeff Alger, Gary Wright and Jimmie Barrows were my partners in my ramblings through the woods. We
scoured the area for its natural mysteries and perhaps some undiscovered fishing. A favorite spot was
the Muddy Brook pool about a mile down the Fire Lane that ran by the Ski Tow and Draper ball field. It
was between an old stone abutment for a rail crossing. The Holy Grail was brook trout, but we rarely
caught one. There were a variety of bass, kivers, shiners etc, along with a unique species of pickerel
called grass pickerel. They were tiny, 6 inches or so, with a thin yellow line down their back, and the
only way I caught them was with a fly in very shallow water. In my quest for trout, I once waded
downstream from this pool all the way to the Mendon Drive-In where there was another big pool. For
this I “borrowed” Tommy Daige’s fireboots from his side of the basement and hoped the fire horn
wouldn’t blast while they were missing. They made perfect waders. When I arrived to the Drive-In pool,
I hooked into a “Mawnsta,” but it turned out to be a giant sucker. I was so disappointed. I was sure
there was a big brookie in the deepest part of the pool. So, I carefully inched my way out on a small
tree trunk leaning over the water and reached out with my rod to dangle my lure. Only then did I notice
that just below my rod was a big snake lying across the tree-top, and it wasn’t a garter snake. I wanted
to flee but I couldn’t. Fortunately, the snake immediately plopped in the water and swam downstream.
Whew! Michael Patrick Connelly, January 2014.
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