June 1, 2015
The Hurricane of '38
Hopedale in May
YouTube. (Photos of the parade and the cemetery observance, plus video of the parade entering the
cemetery.) Memorial Day comments on Hopedale Civil War soldier Charles Johnson given by Tom Wesley.
During the past two weeks additions to pages on hope1842.com have been made to: The Home School of
the Hopedale Community (A 24-page catalog for the school in 1859, including names of pupils and faculty.)
Comments (Many links added to pages mentioned by some who emailed comments.)
Twenty-five years ago - June 1990 - President George H. W. Bush and Soviet Union leader Mikhail
Gorbachev sign a treaty to end chemical weapon production and begin destroying their respective stocks.
Nickelodeon Studios opens. Universal Studios Orlando opens.
Joanne Rowling gets the idea for Harry Potter while on a train from Manchester to London Euston railway
station. She begins writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone which will be completed in 1995 and
published in 1997
The destruction of the Berlin Wall by East Germany officially starts, 7 months after it was opened the
Fifty years ago - June 1965 - Edward Higgins White becomes the first U.S. astronaut to walk in space.
The Vietnam War's largest airmobile operation thus far takes place as 150 helicopters airlift the U.S. Army's
173rd Airborne Brigade and two South Vietnamese Army airborne battalions to attack a Viet Cong
stronghold just north of Biên Hòa, South Vietnam.
Hopedale news from 25, 50, and 100 years ago is further down on this page.
The Hurricane of '38
HOPEDALE, Sept. 23 (1938) - This town is slowly emerging from the chaos resulting from Wednesday's
storm. Faced with the most serious problem in its history, the town officials have mustered all available
resources and gradually damages are being repaired, debris cleared away, and normality restored.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars damage was caused by the hurricane, and one death resulted, that of
George T. McNamara, 37, of 61 Bancroft Park, who was killed by a blow from falling bricks. (I've been told
that McNamara had gone out to bring his children home. When they returned from school, they had gone to
visit their grandparents. It appears that the grandparents' name was Dawe and they lived at 7 Hope Street.
That's the end of Hope Street near Bancroft Park.) The plant of the Draper Corporation was badly damaged,
the roof being blown off the ring shop, the spindle shop and the top of the pattern safe being wrecked.
Draper Corporation tenements were also damaged, shingles and chimneys being blown off and roofs
being crushed by falling trees. The Coal and Ice Company wagon shed was demolished and Corey's
garage (98 Mendon Street) was flattened. Trees which had stood for nearly a century were uprooted and
every street in town was blocked. Firemen, policemen, and the highway department worked all night
Wednesday and by daylight practically all the roads were open to traffic.
The Hope Street bridge was closed, however, as a large section was lifted by the gale and tossed into the
Draper Corporation yard below. Glass in many houses was broken and plate glass windows in Gibbs' store
were damaged. Last night, electric service and many telephone lines were restored to use. Damage to fruit
trees was appalling, every tree in the orchard of John Negrotti being destroyed. (Negrotti lived at 200
Hopedale Street.) Hundreds of dollars damage resulted from the loss of fruits which had not been picked.
Milford Daily News, Sept. 23, 1938
The many facilities of the Reservation(Parklands) were in constant use until September 21st. The
Reservation was then closed because of fire hazard left in the wake of New England's terrific hurricane. The
East Bank and section known as Moroney's Grove was practically leveled by the wind. The task of clearing
these sections of fallen trees has been started and it is expected that the Reservation will again be opened
to the public during the summer of 1939. Report of the Park Commissioners, 1938
The task of clearing the Reservation of fallen trees and other damage left in the wake of last year's hurricane
was continued from last year. Several men were employed through the entire winter and early part of the
spring, but unfortunately it was necessary to forbid the use of the many fireplaces during the summer
because of the very dry weather conditions. Report of the Park Commissioners, 1939
I still have vivid memories of sitting in our living room at 31 Hopedale Street and watching the foundry
chimney get scaled away in the storm, much like cards being dealt off the top of a deck. I also remember the
eye of the storm coming over Hopedale, giving a brief period of sunshine, and then the storm started up
again. One of my uncles came and stayed with us afterwards, working in the cleanup for a time. Another
memory is that the chimney on the house visible from our kitchen window was blown down in the second
part of the storm. David Snider, May 2015
Ezine Menu HOME
Hurricane damage at Draper Corporation
Milford Daily News clippings below are from the
Bancroft Memorial Library and the Milford Library.
During World War II, Leverett Clark
became a lieutenant in the Air
Corps. He died in 1942 when his
plane went down in Africa.
Fact checkers day off, maybe.