Polar Express cars arrive in town   

    Eben Draper Bancroft - son of Joseph and Sylvia Bancroft - vice president of Draper Corporation at the time
    of his death in 1925.

    During the past two weeks, I've made additions to the following: The War Years in Hopedale (Form used in
    applying for ration books. Also an MDN photo of kids at a patriotic program three weeks before Pearl
    Harbor, and memories from Bud Clement about VJ Day.)     Gov. Eben Draper (Milford News Mr. Know-it-All
    column.)     Fire Department history (MDN article, 2003 addition.)     Billy Draper's Store (Sold, 1990)     
    Harrison Block (Hopedale Pharmacy Sold to Romiglio, 1990)     Deaths     

    A few days ago I realized that I had forgotten to include Graceland in the Homes with Names article. Yes,
    Graceland in Hopedale, not the one in Tennessee. It was the home of Warren and Malinda Dutcher (who
    had a daughter named Grace) and it still stands, wonderfully restored over the past few years, at the corner
    of Dutcher and Adin streets. I can remember it being the Graceland Nursing Home in the fifties, but the
    name goes back before that to when the Dutchers were living there.

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    April 1911 - Six seniors at the local high school and nine from Mendon, accompanied by Principals J.K
    Fenner and B. W. Sanderson left Providence Saturday for a visit to Washington. Milford Journal

    Nov. 29, 1935 - The first marriage to be solemnized at the Sacred Heart Church took place yesterday
    morning when Miss Mary Pauline Scalzi, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Scalzi, and Clarence A. DeRoche,
    son of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. DeRoche took vows. Milford Daily News

    March 16, 1962 - Discontinuance of the senior class trip to Washington after the 1962-63 school year has
    been announced by the School Committee. Milford Daily News

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                                             Governor Draper's Residence is Burned

                                 Beautiful Beacon Street Home Scene of $200,000 Blaze Early Today

                                                                          Two Firemen Injured

    Fire which broke out at 5 o'clock this morning completely destroyed the magnificent winter residence of
    Gov. Eben S. Draper, at 150 Beacon Street, Boston, causing a property loss of fully $200,000.

    The cause of the conflagration is unknown, as the house had been closed all summer and there had been
    nobody there since 5 o'clock last evening when the workmen who were putting the mansion into shape for
    occupancy quit.

    The fire had evidently been burning several hours before the firemen arrived, and when the flames did
    break out they made a spectacular fire that could be seen for miles around, and threatened at one time to
    spread to other residences close by.

    Gov. Draper was at his home in Hopedale last night, but left for Boston at 6:15 this morning in his auto
    when a message arrived that his new home was in flames and likely to be destroyed.

    Mrs. Draper is at present in Paris with her daughter, and does not yet know of the disaster that has befallen
    her beautiful home which was rated among the most palatial of the many Boston residences.

    Ladderman George Waggett,  of the Boston Fire Department was overcome by smoke while on duty in the
    building, and fell two stories through a broken balustrade, but escaped death, being rushed to the Boston
    City Hospital. District Chief Daniel Sennott, in charge of the work on the burning house, was also overcome
    and had to be helped from the building by his men.

    Miss Elizabeth Gillis, employed as a maid at 152 Beacon Street, next door to the Governor's house,
    discovered the fire. She was awakened by the crackling of the flames, went to the rear of the house, and
    opened a window, when a sheet of flame burst from a window on the lower floor of the Governor's house.
    She telephoned to fire headquarters and engines 23 and 10 were dispatched to the house on a still alarm.
    When those two fire companies arrived the two lower floors and the basement of the house were in flames
    that were just beginning to eat their way into the third floor.

    The firemen opened the front door and a sheet of flames swept them off the steps.

    An alarm was sounded from box 63, followed a minute later by a second alarm. Chief Mullin arrived with the
    apparatus on the second alarm and immediately took command of the firemen.

    By this time the flames had made their way from the cellar to the roof through the center of the hose, and
    spread out over every floor. Flames were bursting from all the windows, sending glass into the streets in
    showers. Inside, the building was a seething furnace, and the firemen were unable to get near the front
    door owing to the intense heat.

    Extension ladders were raised and a dozen or more lines of hose were played on the fire, pouring
    immense quantities of water into the building. It was some time however before the firemen were able to
    force their way into the ground floor.

    The big reception room, fitted with the most costly furnishings, was a whirlpool of fire, and the smoke was
    so dense the firemen could not grope their way. It was here that Sennott was overcome.

    Daggett was hurt when the firemen reached the third floor by the great staircase that rises from the
    reception hall. It is feared that he is internally injured

    The fire had eaten away the stairs leading to the fourth floor and was raging fiercely at this point. The
    firemen were forced to make the attempt to fight it from the outside.

    Four firemen were placed on the narrow stone coping which runs along the building on the fourth floor, and
    with their clothing steaming from the heat and their faces blistered they hovered between life and death for
    three-quarters of an hour, fighting the flames. Other firemen from the inside, unconscious of the fact that the
    quartet were on the coping outside, sent streams of water through the windows, nearly knocking
    Ladderman Goodfellow to the ground.

    The four firemen were loudly applauded and were later commended by Chief Mullen for their bravery.
    State Fire Marshall S.D. Smith of Boston is investigating the fire's origin. Inquiry developed the fact that
    carpenters and painters had been in the house for several days in charge of caretakers, who swear that
    everything was in proper order at 7 o'clock when they left the building

    Governor Draper arrived at Boston at 7:45 o'clock this morning, but the damage had all been don then. He
    did not return here, but will remain at the Parker House tonight.

    A short circuit of the wires inside the residence is now believed to have caused the fire, which did the most
    damage on the third floor. The flames did not reach the roof, and the basemen damage is only by water, but
    the contents of the mansion are all destroyed and the huge steel girders of the building are so bend and
    twisted that it is thought the loss is total and all must be torn down.

    The Governor's residence was built only a little more than a year ago and was furnished with the greatest
    care. The art treasures and the personal belongings of the Governor and his family can never be replaced.
    The property was insured, but no figures were obtainable today, and official of the Draper Co. stating that
    the loss will exceed $200,000. Milford Daily News, October 5, 1909

    150-152 Beacon Street at BOSarchitecture.com   



Hopedale Pond - November 10