Peter Hackett

    Hopedale History
    July 1, 2015
    No. 279
    A Plaque for the  Old House

    Hopedale in June  

    Milford News article on the publication of Five Generations of Loom Builders.

    During the past two weeks, additions to hope1842.com include: Now and Then - The Draper Main Office ( A
    photo taken inside the office in 1960)     Memories of the Henry Patrick Company (Obituary for Leola
    Stearns)     Deaths  
      
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    Twenty-five years ago - July 1990 - East Germany and West Germany merge their economies. The Inner
    German border (constructed 1945) also ceases operations after operating since World War II.

    President George H. W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, designed to protect disabled
    Americans from discrimination.

    Fifty years ago - July 1965 - Sonny & Cher release I Got You Babe which would go on to #1 in the US, UK &
    Canada and establish them as international icons.

    President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his order to increase the number of United States troops in South
    Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000, and to more than double the number of men drafted per month - from
    17,000 to 35,000.

    The Beatles second movie Help! premieres.

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and
    Medicaid.

    The news above is from Wikipedia. Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago can be seen below
    on this page.

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                                                             A Plaque for The Old House

                                                                           By Peter Hackett

    When I became a 40-year man at Draper Corporation, I was fortunate to be seated during the banquet at the
    right hand of the company president, Tom West. I say fortunate because it gave me a good opportunity to
    suggest to him something I long had in mind. I suggested to him that since the Draper plant encompassed
    the site of the "Old House" so called, where Hopedale had its birth, it would be quite fitting for the shop to
    erect a plaque on or near that site.

    Some time later, the late Arthur Fitzgerald, master mechanic, informed me that Mr. West had accepted my
    suggestion and that he (Arthur) was to contact me with respect to locating the site and wording for the
    plaque. This was good news and frankness compels me to say I enjoyed it more than the 40-year pin I
    received on the night of the banquet.

    In due time the plaque was erected on the yard side of the building where the shipping room is. I made a
    further suggestion to Mr. West that an unveiling ceremony should be held, but that has not been accepted
    yet.

    The Old House was built in 1700 - 1704 by Elder John Jones when the territory was then in Mendon. In it in
    1741, the Second Church of Mendon was organized. This was the beginning of Milford and when it became
    a town in 1780, the church became the "First Congregational Church of Milford." The Old House was
    purchased by Adin Ballou, then of Mendon, in 1841 for the religious organization founded under his
    leadership, later known as the Hopedale Community. By 1842, 10 men, 12 women, and 22 children had
    moved into it.

    After purchasing the Old House and the farm upon which it stood it followed naturally that a name should be
    given to the place. The circumstances in choosing a name is one of the interesting historic sidelights  in the
    story of Hopedale. Prior to settling on the farm the community held its meetings in the homes of its
    members in the towns around where they lived. At one such meeting held in Millville, August 24, 1841, it
    was voted that the place "...be hereafter called, known, and distinguished by the name of Hope Dale." Hope,
    for success, and Dale, for the old name of the area. From 1842 to 1856 the Old House was owned by the
    Community.

    As a noble venture in "Practical Christianity," the Hopedale Community ended in 1856 and its debts and
    assets were assumed by the Draper brothers, Ebenezer and George, who had been members of the
    Community. From 1856 to 1874 the Old House was used by the Draper Company as a shop tenement. In
    1874 it was razed by the company to make room for its expanding shops. Although the plaque doesn't say
    so, it was erected by Draper Corporation in recognition of its historic connection with the Old House. Milford
    Daily News.

    Unfortunately, the plaque disappeared long ago.

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