April 1, 2016
Hopedale in March
Recent additions to existing hope1842 pages: The Disappearing Mill River (Photos of work in Woonsocket to
build conduits which bring the river under streets and parking lots, ending at the Blackstone River.) Gov. Eben
Sumner Draper (Wedding announcement) Mystery House (More responses about the house at 28 Mendon
Street from Janice Wood, Pam (Conlin) Maloney and David Snider.) Deaths Also, thanks to Amy Burns for
the loan of Hopedale postcards which have been added to the following pages: Then and Now - The Larches
Then and Now - The Lake Street Area Then and Now - Adin Ballou Park Then and Now - Union Evangelical
Twenty-five years ago - April 1991 - A South Atlantic tropical cyclone develops in the Southern Hemisphere off
the coast of Angola (the first of its kind to be documented by weather satellites).
Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and 6 other people are killed when a helicopter collides with their plane
over Merion, Pennsylvania.
Former Senator John Tower and 22 others are killed in an airplane crash in Brunswick, Georgia.
Fifty years ago - April 1961 - Leonid Brezhnev becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Union, as well as
Leader of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R.
Bobbi Gibb becomes the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
Uniform daylight saving time is first observed in most parts of North America.
U.S. troops in Vietnam total 250,000.
For Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago, see below this text box. News above is from Wikipedia.
Hopedale articles are from the Milford Daily News (25 and 50 years ago), and the Milford Journal (100 years
ago) and are in the Hopedale history collection at the Bancroft Library.
Our house in Bancroft Park would now be considered rather primitive. It had been built to be heated with
stoves, and in both dining-room and living room (parlor in those days) there were places in the wall to insert
stove-pipes. The house had been supplied with a hot-air furnace before we arrived. There were no laundry
facilities, and the week's washing had to be done in the kitchen with tubs, buckets, scrub-board, hand wringer
and copper boiler on the stove. There was no gas or electricity, and our light came from kerosene lamps. The
week's ironing was done with half a dozen irons that were heated on top of the stove, and tested for heat with a
wet finger. A few years later, gas was brought across the pond and we became quite modern. The simplest
gas light was the open flame, but for brighter illumination the Welsbach mantle burners were superior, and
gave off a sizzling sound as they burned. Charles Merrill, Hopedale As I Found It
The Bancroft Park houses, designed by Edwin J. Lewis, Jr., of Boston, possessed three rooms on the ground
floor -- kitchen, dining room and parlor -- plus a pantry and china cabinet, while the upstairs provided three
bedrooms, closets and a bath. Bow front bays permitted plenty of light to enter parlor and bedroom as well as
obtaining variety in room shape. In regard to size and disposition, these apartments could accommodate
families numbering from four to a maximum of seven, and the smallest bedrooms measured 9 by 12 1/2 feet.
Like the earlier houses, the newer double-families were of frame construction place on stone foundations
enclosing a basement. Roof framing bore evidence of thoughtful design considerations, which help to
distinguish the houses from one another while providing space for storage or an added bedroom. The Lewis
units display roofs with cross gables, while others have double-hipped roofs, and still others have gambrels. all
of which were well proportioned. Aside from shutters, which became popular domestic appointments during
the Federal period and survived the century, nothing in these houses betokens the historicism so prevalent
during the Victorian period, though in regard to contemporary English cottages similarities exist. Specifically, the
prominent roofs and banded windows are not unlike what architects influenced by the Arts and Crafts
Movement were attempting to create at the turn of the century. H.M. Baillie Scott and Charles F.A. Voysey
emphasized the horizontality of roofs and windows and featured the use of prominent cross-gables and
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, however, American architects and architectural critics began calling
for a native style. The American Architect and Building News and Architectural Record carried articles that
promoted the cause. In 1896 John Stewardson said that "our smaller houses are developing a style in harmony
with the exigencies of the climate and the needs of the people." The houses designed for Hopedale support his
observation. Nowhere was this more evident than in the choice of materials and quality of construction. At
Bancroft Park exterior siding of cypress shingles covered the walls, which were left unstained to weather. The
trim, however, was painted. North Carolina pine was used for interior finish, and the best grade of beech and
maple was laid as flooring. "Service floors are oiled, the bathroom floors varnished, and the remainder are
waxed...The plumbing...includes an iron kitchen sink, andiron enamel tub and lavatory, and a vitreous water
closet, with brass water-pipes throughout." As regards design and construction, these house rank among the
best workers dwellings ever built in the United States. Model Company Town, John S. Garner
Merrill home, mentioned in the first paragraph above, looked like. What they had in common was a mantle, that,
as Merrill said, gave off a very bright light. Here's a definition from Wiktionary.
A burner in which the combustion of a mixture of air and gas or vapour is used to heat to incandescence a
mantle composed of thoria and ceria. The mantle is made by soaking a "stocking" in a solution of nitrates of
thorium and cerium, drying, and, for use, igniting to burn the thread and convert the nitrates into oxides, which
remain as a fragile ash.