Hopedale History
    August 1, 2015
    No. 281
    Sprawling Complex, 1990

    Hopedale in July   

    After a very active Facebook discussion of a question from Don Howes - Is it Saltbox Road, Soapbox Road, or Soapbox Hill???
    - I added a few thoughts on the subject to A Walk in the Parklands - Saltbox Road. (It's near the bottom of the page, under
    some photos and clippings.) Also related to this, I've made some additions to  Soapbox Derby Races.

    Other additions to to existing pages on hope1842.com during the past two weeks:  Now and Then - The Ski Hill (Three pictures
    of the hill taken years ago.)     Unidentified Photos of World War II Vets (Gilbert Moore identified.)     Vandalism and Litter at
    Fisherman's Island (Pictures from last year and this year added.)     Walter Tillotson (Photo of his gravestone at Vernon Grove
    Cemetery, Milford.) Early TV in Milford and Vicinity (Article about tv sales in the area in 1949, including a couple of paragraphs
    about Clarence Chilson and his tv - the first in the area.)     New Homes, 1940s (Pre-fab homes built on South Main Street in
    1949.)  Now and Then - Memorial School (A Milford News article and photos done at the time the school opened in 1955.)    
    Deaths     
       
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    Twenty-five years ago - August 1990 - Iraq invades Kuwait, eventually leading to the Gulf War.

    The first ban of smoking in bars in the US (and possibly the world) is passed in San Luis Obispo, California.

    Iraq announces that it has formally annexed Kuwait.

    President Bush calls up U.S. military reservists for service in the Persian Gulf Crisis.

    East Germany and West Germany announce they will unite on October 3

    Armenia declares its independence from the Soviet Union.

    Fifty years ago - August 1965 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

    The Watts riots begin in Los Angeles.

    The Beatles perform the first stadium concert in the history of rock, playing before 55,600 persons at Shea Stadium in New
    York City.

    5,500 United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in Quảng Ngãi Province, in the first
    major American ground battle of the war.

    Jonathan Myrick Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian from Keene, New Hampshire, is murdered in Hayneville, Alabama while
    working in the African-American civil rights movement.

    Bob Dylan releases his influential album, Highway 61 Revisited, featuring the song "Like a Rolling Stone".

    The news items above are from Wikipedia. (1965     1990)    For Hopedale news see below this text box. Milford Daily News
    articles from the Bancroft Library and the Milford Library from 25, and 50 years ago. News from 100 years ago is from the
    Milford Gazette and has been saved at the Bancroft Library.

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                                    Worcester Agent Buys 54 Acres of Sprawling Complex

                                                                    By Joseph Fitzgerald
                                                                       Daily News Staff

    HOPEDALE - A major portion of the former Draper Corporation plant was sold yesterday to a Worcester real estate agent,
    whose firm will manage the plant on behalf of a company known as Hopedale Industrial Center.

    Philip Shwachman of First American Realty in Worcester announced yesterday that a company called Hopedale Industrial
    Center finalized a purchase agreement with Hopedale Realty Trust (HRT) and bought about 54.4 acres of the 97-acre parcel
    for an undisclosed amount. The 103-year old abandoned plant is expected to be turned into a site for small industry and
    manufacturing. At one time in the past more than 20 small businesses were located in the complex.

    Hopedale Industrial Center intends to submit plans to the town for its intended reuse of the site and building. Town officials
    say they know nothing about Hopedale Industrial Center or its connection to First American Realty. Shwachman could not be
    reached for comment this morning.

    Shwachman, who owns properties in Worcester and Boston, reportedly had been negotiating with Hopedale Realty Trust for
    the past several months. The purchase agreement was expected to be finalized last Friday. However, negotiations stalled for
    undisclosed reasons.

    The complex, which includes 21 acres of industrial land and 1.2 million square feet of building space, is assessed at almost
    $4-million. Although the selling price has not been disclosed, a source familiar with the property speculated the purchase
    price to be in the range of $1-million.

    Selectman Jaime Wagman told the Milford Daily News last night that the new owners will be approaching the town with plans
    "as soon as possible."

    "I was told the owners want to first take care of the outside of the buildings, such as putting up some fencing," Wagman said.

    Selectman Robert Barrows said he was relieved to hear that the property was purchased, but he also expressed some doubt.
    "As the saying goes, 'we'll believe it when we see it.' It's a plus for the town as we head into the 1990s. Maybe this eyesore will
    be corrected. I wish the new owners all the best and hope they get things off the ground," Barrows said.

    In September, Hopedale Realty Trust, which held the mortgage on the property, finally foreclosed on Stimpson Properties,
    which had been unable to renovate the plant for retail space. The trust bought back the old complex and 46.5 acres of
    adjoining property for $500,000 - about one-fifth of its assessed value - at its own foreclosure sale on September 26. The
    trustees bid on the property to protect their own interests and allow them to market the plant.

    Since that time, Hopedale Realty Trust, a group of businessmen made up of I. Tutter Burwick, Alan Feingold, Harry Freidberg,
    Louis Pemstein, N. Bernard Pemstein and Manuel Siegal, had been reportedly negotiating an agreement with First American
    Realty. The trustees and their attorney, Howard Stempler, could not be reached for comment this morning.

    The Draper Corporation at one time provided 4,000 jobs. In 1978 manufacturing operations shut down, leaving Hopedale with
    a dilapidated eyesore in the downtown area.

    The new owners will also have to address environmental concerns by local health officials who say there is possible
    hazardous waste at the site, including asbestos, underground oil tanks and pollutants in the nearby Mill River. Milford Daily
    News, January 9, 1990

                       
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