The Eben and Nannie Draper home at 90 Marlborough Street, Boston.
June 1, 2017
The Height of Luxury
Hopedale in May
photos.) Vanilla Coke (Jack Hanley identified his father and added a bit more to a 1983 photo of four men
in front of the drug store on the page with Mike Cyr's Hopedale Pharmacy memories.) Colburn family
(Family photos.) Osgood family (Family photos) Deaths
Twenty-five years ago - June 1992 - A 'Joint Understanding' agreement on arms reduction is signed by U.S.
President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin (this is later codified in START II).
Two skeletons excavated in Yekaterinburg are identified as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra.
The Supreme Court upholds the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 5-4
Fifty years ago - June 1967 - The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, nicknamed "The
Soundtrack of the Summer of Love;" it will be number one on the albums charts throughout the summer of
Six-Day War begins: Israel launches Operation Focus, a preemptive strike on Egyptian Air Force fields; the
allied armies of Egypt Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Iraq invade Israel.
Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall is nominated as the first African American justice of the United States
400 million viewers watch Our World, the first live, international, satellite television production. It features the
live debut of The Beatles' song, "All You Need Is Love."
The first automatic cash machine (voucher-based) is installed, in the office of Barclays Bank in Enfield,
News above is from Wikipedia. Hopedale news for 25, 50 (Milford Daily News) and 100 years ago (Milford
Gazette) from the Bancroft Library is below this text box.
Dorothy Draper was the daughter of Gov. Eben Sumner and Nannie Bristow Draper. In 1911 she married
Thomas Brattle Gannett. They lived in Milton and had five children. Gannett died in 1931, and in 1939 Dorothy
married Paul Hamlen, and moved to Wayland. Two of her sons, Jack and Bill, moved to Hopedale in 1949
where they worked for the Draper Corporation.
Dorothy Draper Gannett Hamlen
I had a happy girlhood with the exception of the anxiety which originated in the uncertainties of my brother
Bristow's dissipated years. We lived in Hopedale, where my parents kept open house for their friends as well
as for those of their children, until around the late 1890s when we moved to Boston for the winter months.
We lived at 90 Marlborough Street, a large, comfortable double house, one house away from the corner of
Clarendon Street. It is now the Chamberlain School of Retailing, following a long tenure by the Katherine
Gibbs Secretarial School. It had an old fashioned "lift," not a real elevator, beside the back stairs. It was really
an open platform manipulated by ropes which reached from the roof to the cellar, which made my mother
nervous because of the possibility of fire with such an unlimited open space for down and up drafts. Soon, I
think 1903, my father bought 150 and 152 Beacon Street from Mrs. Jack Gardner (Isabella Stewart Gardner)
and after demolishing these two houses he built his really beautiful city home on this double lot. It was of
steel construction throughout, completely fire-proof as to the standards of the period.
Mr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Waddie Longfellow) was the architect, a short, dumpy little man who
bounced as the walked, and who possessed a pair of intensely blue eyes and a Van Dyke beard.
Consequently, everything of material or sentimental value was moved into this house for the sake of its extra
safely; family portraits, my grandfather Bristow's valuable library which my mother had inherited, and
heirlooms of all kinds from both sides of the family. My father was a considerable expert on paintings, and
had a very fine collection of pictures. I remember especially a beautiful Zorn (purchased in St. Louis at the
1903 World's Fair) several Corots, a charming Henner whose red-haired model was the subject for much
teasing of my father by his friends - he loved red hair (and so do I!) a Ziem of Venice, a colorful Vibert of some
very jovial looking Cardinals, a rushing river of Thaulow, French soldiers by Detail, two Remingtons, the little
Rosa Bonheur fox which was taken to Hopedale for the summer and so escaped the fire. This came to me
after my brother Eben's death and it now hangs in my parlor above my mother's cherry wood desk which I
also acquired at the same time.
(I searched for "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow architect," but the only Longfellow who had been an architect
who turned up was Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow Jr. He was a nephew of Henry. My guess is that Dorothy
heard him referred to only as "Waddie," and assumed that his first name was Henry.)
I had a bedroom, sitting room, guest room with two bathrooms on the fourth floor, across the front of the
house; the height of luxury as my father took pains to remind me, fairly frequently!
When my mother and I were in Paris in the fall of 1909 - staying at the Hotel Meurice on the Rue de Rivoli
while my "coming-out" clothes were being made, we came in late one afternoon from an exhausting day of
shopping and fittings, and I found a notice in our rooms saying that a cablegram was waiting for us in the
office. This was a little unusual, as ordinarily the cable itself would be propped up on our table, so guided by
some sixth sense I went along to get it without mentioning the message to my mother. Now, 55 years later, I
can quote it verbatim. It said - "October 5, 1909 - Boston house and every single thing in it destroyed by fire
last night. Start rebuilding next week. Have rented 310 Berkeley Street for the winter. Love, Eben."
I still feel the irony of having moved form 90 Marlborough Street because of the fear of fire to a supposedly
safe, modern, fireproof house, only to have this one burn up.
Apparently when the housecleaning crew went into the house to get it ready for the winter under the
supervision of our butler Nils A. Loven (more about him later) an electric switch was turned on in the pantry -
this was not turned off when the workmen left and showed no danger signal when Loven also locked up and
returned to Hopedale. Presumably a crossed electric wire smoldered all night. Nothing was noticed until a
milkman driving across the Harvard bridge at 4 in the morning saw the flames burst out of the roof and called
the fire department. The structure of the house was fireproof but the contents were not - everything was
destroyed with the exception of a few scorched books, and small fragments of the tightly rolled and very
beautiful Persian rugs.
After getting word of this debacle my mother and I sailed for home on the "Mauretania," earlier than planned.
As the only available stateroom was an inside cabin before the days of air-conditioning, this was a rough and
exhausting trip. My poor mother was just plain seasick during the entire crossing and I felt guilty because I
My father who was still Governor of Massachusetts had to go to Baton Rouge for the dedication of some
monument that autumn (see below the pictures of the governor and the fire for more on the monument) but I
did not go south with my parents - instead I moved into 310 Berkeley Street, the John Phillips House - very
large and commodious - very dark and inconvenient, thoroughly Victorian as to furnishings and decor, and
tried to help in getting it settled for their return for the winter. On this plot of land now stands the ghastly
modernistic Lutheran Church. I can't bear to look at it as we drive towards the Storrow Drive, on our way home
to Wayland after mornings or days spent in Boston. Dorothy Draper Gannett Hamlen, 1964
More on the Fire More history of 150 Beacon Street at backbayhouses.org
Draper Homes in Boston Draper Menu HOME
150 Beacon Street after the fire of October 5, 1909.
Hopedale News - June 1992
Milford News and Milford Gazette clippings below are from the Bancroft Library.
Hopedale News - June 1967
Hopedale News - June 1917
The Massachusetts monument in Baton Rouge, erected in
1909, must have been the reason for Gov. Draper's trip there
mentioned by Dorothy in the last paragraph above.