The Google Earth view above shows the southern end of Hopedale, along
Hartford Avenue, (upper part of the picture) and Mendon on the other side of the
street. You can see the Mill River from near the upper left corner, and going over
toward the middle and down to the red circle. I used a view from a few years ago,
done at a time of year when the leaves were off the trees to give a better view of
the river. The Albee mill, subject of the story on this page, was in the area within
the red circle.
where the Albee mill ground the corn of residents of this area for a few years,
ending in 1675 when it was burned during King Philip's War. When settlers
returned after the war, the mill was replaced with one built by Matthias Puffer.
Above - The Mill River on the Hopedale
side of Hartford Avenu.
Below - The Mill River on the Mendon
side of Hartford Avenue.
December 15, 2016
The Albee Corn Mill
Hopedale in December
A Draper Shuttleless Loom
Draper Corporation Property Assessment, 1965 - Even ten years after the Draper houses were sold, the
company still owned land all over town.
Christmas in Early Hopedale
Vaudeville at Lake Nipmuc Park Lake Nipmuc Park, 1908 - 2010 The Mendon Town Pound
The Subscriber offers for sale the valuable farm at the south end of Hopedale, on the main road from Mendon
to Milford, known as the Stephen Cook place, containing about 45 acres, twenty-five of which are in a high
state of cultivation, with nearly 500 young apple trees of several excellent varieties, set out three years ago last
fall. Also 30 large apple trees, and sundry other kinds of fruit trees in good condition. There are also two
dwelling houses and a barn, with good well of water on the premises. Eben'r D. Draper, Hopedale, Milford,
Mass, The Practical Christian, April 1, 1858 (This ad refers to a farm along what is now Route 16. In saying
"the south end of Hopedale," Mr. Draper was referring to the south end of what was the village of Hopedale in
I hereby certify that I am authorized to apply for and receive a War Ration Book Two for each person listed
below who is a member of my family unit, or the other person of persons for whom I am acting whose War
Ration Book One I have submitted to the Board: That the name of each person and number of his or her War
Ration Book One are accurately listed below; That none of these persons is confined or resident in an
institution, or is a member of the Armed Forces receiving subsistence in kind or eating in separate messes
under an officer's command. Consumer Declaration, Processed Foods and Coffee, Office of Price
The mill on the Mill River in the article below was built near what became Hartford Avenue. It was on the north
side of the road, and when built, was in Mendon. A bit over one-hundred years, later that side of the road
became part of Milford, and a little over another hundred years after that, it became part of Hopedale. Here's a
history of the mill written by Peter Hackett.
The Albee Corn Mill
About the same time Joseph White's saw pit was rendering its invaluable service to the settlers in supplying
the much needed boards and planks for their houses, including the first meeting house, another invaluable
service to the settlers was taking form down on the stream by the "Country Road" we now know as Hartford
Avenue. There Benjamin Alby (Albee) was building the first grist mill in this area. Before it was built, the
settlers had to cart their corn to Medfield for grinding -- a great inconvenience.
Ballou says the mill seat "was at the present (1880) the Lewis B. Gaskill place, aforetimes known as the Alvin
Allen place. There on Mill River, just north of the highway, where the ancient dam still remains, the old
Committee of Quinshepaug Plantation (Mendon) gave Benjamin Alby (Albee) a one acre mill-lot or "seat" in
return for which he was to grind the settlers' corn. In the contract between the Committee and Alby which was
made in Roxbury, 1664, the writer finds no reference to a one acre mill seat. It does grant Alby twenty acres for
a home lot. The first reference to this mill in the town records is September 10, 1672, at which time the town
confirmed the contract and granted Alby fifty more acres for his encouragement to maintain the mill. In view of
the contract, Ballou believed the mill was built soon after. The writer notes that Albee's name was not on the
list of 1663-64. It first appears in Mendon records in June 1667 as a member of the first board of selectmen.
The mill was probably built about that time, and after several years of operation, Albee was able to show the
town that he had fulfilled his part of the contract, and the town should do likewise by granting him the fifty
acres stipulated therein. This, no doubt is the reason for the record of September 10, 1672, when the town
confirmed the contract, and because the mill was built and in operation, granted him the fifty acres.
When the town was burned by the Indians during King Philip's War in 1676, Albee's mill and house suffered
the same fate as all the other buildings.
After the resettlement of the town, the same situation arose as before the Albee mill was built, when the
people had to cart their corn to Medfield for grinding. To remedy the annoying situation, the town entered into
an agreement in 1684 with Matthias Puffer to build a "Corne Mill" in some convenient place "for the town's use
upon the same stream the former (Albee) mill stood upon..." He was to keep it in order for twenty years and
provide a "Miller" for its operation to the satisfaction of the town. For his encouragement, he was to receive
"fifteen pounds--ten pounds in current money of New England, and five in merchantable country pay." This
mill, under a succession of owners, was a God-send to the Mendon housewives of long ago. An HIstorical
Account of Mendon, Massachusetts, Peter Hackett, 1967. Thanks to John Trainor for finding this account of
the Albee mill for me, after I had lost track of it.
Lewis B. Gaskill, mentioned in the second paragraph as living on the old mill site, became a Hopedale
selectman when the town was incorporated in 1886, and served in that capacity until his death in 1918. Click
here to read more about him.
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