March 15, 2014
High School - The Early Years
Hopedale in March
Now and Then - The Dutcher Street Gas Station
A Hopedale Pond Fish Story by Gary Wright.
Frances Eudora (Draper) Colburn
Bev and Howie Feldman, who grew up on Freedom Street in the 1950s and '60s have done very well
in the years since then. Bev is a shoe designer. Here's a link to her website. And here you can take a
look at Howie's HomeStay, a luxury resort in Thailand. I got in touch with Bev a couple of weeks ago
because I was trying to find out the year of a fire that had occurred at her grandparents' house, long
before she and Howie were born. After a bit of a search I found a Milford News article on it titled Saves
Crippled Brother from Fire-Swept House.
Friends of Adin Ballou peace essay contest.
During the past two weeks additions have been made to pages on Early Bands (article on a Hopedale
band formed in 1933) Beebe River (Draper purchases more sawmills) Now and Then - Dutcher
and Hope Streets (Milford News photo of the Draper Gym shortly before it opened in 1955) New
Homes, 1940s (article, 25 new homes built in 1940, and a 1940 article on housing changes on Adin
Street) Sacred Heart Church (first wedding, 1935) Harel House (parties at Lawlah, the original
name of the Osgood's "country house" in Hopedale, 1935) Fanny Osgood (photo, an article about
her name on a roll of honor for the National Association of Women Voters, and a brief article on the
wedding of her twin sister, Hannah) William (the artist) Draper (The general says, Give your kid my
name and he gets $10,000.) Recent deaths
The property at 200 Dutcher Street, operated as a dairy and chicken farm by the Henry family for more
than 60 years, ended its career this week when the last consignment of baby chicks was sent out.
Milford Daily News, 1958.
It is official. the Hope Street bridge, built at the turn of the century, will be torn down. The Board of Road
Commissioners has unanimously voted to invite bids for the demolition of the bridge, which is termed
an "elevated road" by Town Counsel. Milford Daily News, September 13, 1979.
Hopedale High School - The Early Years
One of the first problems to be solved after the incorporation of Hopedale was that of high school
accommodations. The Milford committee agreed to take our students for the remainder of the spring
term, but could not say until their meeting in July whether they would continue the arrangement. In
case of a negative decision this would have been too late to have begun preparations for a new school
to open in September. Further investigation having satisfied all that it would be for the interest of the
town and scholars to have a local school, arrangements were at once made to have the building
equipped and supplied, ready for the coming term. There were seventeen pupils from Hopedale in the
Milford school, but a canvas showed that more would attend our own. The vacant room in the north
part of the school house (Chapel Street School) was partitioned off, giving a room with seating
capacity for about thirty scholars, and a recitation room for the assistant. Twenty-five desks were
purchased; these were soon insufficient and three more added, making total number twenty-eight, all
of which have been occupied. Applications were received from several parties in Mendon and
Bellingham to have their children enter our high school. These have been admitted upon the same
terms that pupils had been taken from other towns in the Milford High School. In December, it became
evident that the attendance of scholars from the south end of town would be very irregular and
probably some be obliged to leave school unless some plan was devised to furnish conveyance. This
we have arranged to do through the winter, and the matter will be submitted to the town for action at
the March meeting as to continuing beyond that time; we are satisfied that it has been of decided
benefit to the scholars, and that it is a subject that merits attention. Town Report, 1886.
The erection of the (Lapworth) Elastic Fabric mill has added considerably to our population, and
consequently to the school enrollment. The opening of another schoolroom, which was foreseen as
likely in our last report has now become a necessity.
The best solution of the problem is the erection of a new building for the high school. We recommend
the location of the new structure toward the southerly part of the village proper; at least as far south as
The pupils attending the high school living below Green Street have been carried to and from school
during the months of January, February, March and December; also on the same trip, some of the
children have been carried to the South Hopedale building. This course has enabled many to be
present during the winter months where it would otherwise been out of the question. School
Committee Report, 1887. (This was in the town report for 1888. At the top of the cover are the words,
"Second Annual Report." There wasn't a town report for 1887.)
The barge (a large horse-drawn wagon) has been run for the conveyance of the high school and South
Hopedale district scholars. The month of December was so exceptionally fine that the item for
conveyance is not as large as it otherwise would have been.
Owing to the large increase in the number of scholars in the lower grades, the high school was
obliged to seek other quarters in September. Rooms were secured in the Town House, which,
although rather small, will answer as a temporary expedient. At the town meeting in March 1888, Gen.
Wm. F. Draper, on behalf of the Hopedale Machine Co, George Draper & Sons and the Dutcher
Temple Company, offered to give the town a new building for the high school to cost six thousand
dollars, the town to furnish the lot.
Our high school has been a success from the start, and we are satisfied that there are advantages in
the smaller number of scholars that go far toward offsetting any disadvantages. The graduating
exercises of the class of 1887 were held in the Hopedale church, and those of 1888 in the Town Hall.
For the School Committee, Frank J. Dutcher, Secretary, 1888.
The most important event of the year is the completion of the new high school building. This is a gift
from the Hopedale Machine Co., George Draper & Sons, and the Dutcher Temple Co. Its cost was
$6200, exclusive of land and furnishings. To secure an artistic structure which should contain all the
requisites for school work and keep within the amount stated, seemed quite difficult, but by making
certain modifications we finally succeeded. Ground was broken for the foundation in March and it was
soon ready for the carpenters. The building has ample accommodation for fifty scholars and should
meet the wants of the town for many years to come. The school rooms are exceptionally well lighted;
the windows in the main school room at the left of the scholars are six feet from the floor, thereby
giving room for blackboards underneath while securing a maximum amount of light. The hearing and
ventilating apparatus is the same that has been adopted in many of the best buildings in the cities,
and is warranted to both heat and ventilate the rooms with a reasonable amount of attention at all
seasons. The plans for the school house were accepted by the state inspectors, and tests of the air
pronounced entirely satisfactory as to quality and the quantity furnished per minute, per scholar.
It is matter of regret that our high school grounds have been invaded by the new railroad. A fill of
twelve to fourteen feet passes diagonally through the premises creating a blemish upon the
landscape, and spoiling what would otherwise have been a desirable ball-ground for the boys. There
seemed no alternative but to make the best of the situation, and in our arrangement with Mr. E.P.
Usher, President of the Grafton & Upton R.R. Co. we have aimed rather to have the grounds left in the
best practicable condition than to simply obtain pecuniary award of damages. For the School
Committee, Frank J. Dutcher, Secretary, 1889. (A similar complaint about the railroad is found in the
1890 report. By 1891, the School Committee was satisfied that the situation had been improved with a
foot of loam added along the southern side of the tracks.)
Hopedale School History - Early Years Ezine Menu HOME
According to the 1888 Town Report, by that time the need for more
room required that high school classes were held in the Town Hall