July 15, 2018
Hopedale's Early Streets
Hopedale in July
Recent additions to hope1842.com pages: Clare Hill and Matilda Engman Draper (Thanks to Susan
Bloomberg for sending three photos - one of Matilda and daughter Grace, one of Grace alone, and one of
Clare and Matilda.) Dana Osgood (Information about the Osgoods after they left their Hopedale home,
which later became known as the Harel House, and moved to South Carolina.)
Swimming classes for boys and girls were given tests Monday and Tuesday by Robert E. Gourlie for junior
and senior Red Cross life saver badges. A large number took the tests. The pond is being thoroughly
cleaned and 18 loads of sand have been put in at the bath house. Milford Gazette, September 4, 1925.
at the Isle of Smiles production at the Milford Opera House. Milford Gazette, December 4, 1925.
Hopedale's Early Streets
The district’s central feature is the Draper Corporation’s industrial complex, referenced here by the familiar
name of the Draper plant. The Draper plant occupies a relatively flat plain in the Mill River valley at the center
of the area, adjacent to Hopedale Pond. The two earliest roads in the village, Freedom Street and Mendon
Street, cross the river valley from northeast to southwest. Freedom Street, a late 17th-century road from
Mendon to the Mill River, was continued in the early 18th century northeast from the river to east to Milford.
Near the river crossing was the 1703 farm of John Jones, later the site of the Hopedale Community
settlement. Mendon Street, an early 18th-century road to Sherborn, is a segment of the regional artery known
as State Route 16.
Hopedale Street and Dutcher Street, both laid out in 1843, are the principal north-south arteries through the
district. These two streets and the parallel Prospect Street farther northeast are built into ascending
elevations on the eastern bank of the Mill River. The street grid between Hopedale and Dutcher Streets
immediately northeast of the Draper plant largely dates to the utopian community period (1841-1856), and
includes streets named Hope, Peace, Union, Social, Chapel, and Freedom.
The growth of the industrial complex brought changes to the original street pattern, which formerly had
provided direct connections between streets on the east and west banks of the Mill River near the mill. Now,
only the Freedom Street connection survives. On the west bank of the river, Cemetery Street (originally part of
Union Street, mid-1840s) survives in an amputated form, having once provided direct access to Hopedale
Village Cemetery,(1845, 1887) from the utopian settlement on the opposite bank. Finally, in the late 1840s,
Hopedale Street was extended south beyond the present Mendon Street to Greene Street. This extension
provided a direct connection between the utopian settlement and the earlier 18th-century villages of
Spindleville, South Hopedale, and Hartford Turnpike Village in the southern part of town.
Many of the historic district’s 19th-century roads were laid out in connection with the utopian settlement. A
few, however, were built under the direction of the Drapers in connection with their creation of a model
company town. Two of these were located south of the utopian community’s street grid. Draper Street, built
in 1868, continued the street grid for another block to the southeast, and is today at the center of the town’s
institutional core. The next street south is Adin Street, the location historically of most of the mill proprietors’
residences. Adin Street was laid out in the late 1860s from Hopedale Street to the Milford town line.
Three subdivisions of Draper Company employee housing constructed at the turn of the 20th-century
produced new roads designed by landscape architects. Northwest of the utopian street grid and Draper
industrial complex was Bancroft Park (1896-1903), with layout designed by Warren Henry Manning, and the
Lake Point Group (principally 1910-1912), with layout designed by Arthur Shurtleff (a/k/a Arthur Shurcliff).
Shurtleff also designed the layout for the Upper Jones Group (ca. 1913).
At the northern end of the district, the Drapers in the 1890s discontinued a portion of Prospect Street (1843)
to create the Town Park. At that time, the extension of Prospect Street north of Northrop Street became Park
Street, and Dennett Street, a connector between Park and Dutcher Streets, was built. Other streets in this
northern section of the area date to the 1910s. They include Oak Street, Jones Road, and Maple Street,
designed by landscape architect Arthur Shurtleff (all the Upper Jones Group) and Inman Street, Lower Jones
Road, Elm Street, and Beech Street (the Lower Jones Group). At the eastern end of the district at the Milford
town line, Daniels Street and Highland Street were built in the early1910s.
Only two extant buildings in Hopedale Village are believed to predate the establishment of the Hopedale
Community settlement of 1841.The Cook house, 114-116 Mendon Street (ca. 1820, razed 2017) is 1½
stories on a granite foundation with a side-gable roof, brick chimney located behind the ridge, and a five-bay
by two-bay main block with later side-gabled extensions to the southwest. Windows and the center entry on
the façade are placed close to the eaves. The 2/2 window sash and the gabled hoods over doors on the
main block and side ell are late 19th or early 20th-century modifications. The Herring-Daniels house, 66
Mendon Street (ca. 1825) is also 1½ stories, with a cut stone foundation, side-gable roof, one surviving brick
chimney on the roof ridge at the northeast end of the house, and a five-bay by three-bay main block with a
shed-roofed addition at the northeast corner. Two square windows at the eave level distinguish the façade
of this house, which also features cornerboards. Another distinguishing feature, likely a later addition, is the
three-bay porch with turned balusters and shed roof, located at the center entry.
Two other important early buildings in the area have been demolished. The John Jones House on
Hopedale Street near Peace Street (ca. 1703, enlarged 1735, razed 1874) was the focus of the Jones Farm
purchased by the Hopedale Community. The Old House Memorial at Adin Ballou Memorial Park, Hopedale
and Peace Streets, describes the siting of the Jones house. The Hopedale Community’s first schoolhouse,
located between Freedom and Chapel Streets (1844, razed 1954), also housed the post office, village store,
and the first chapel. Kathleen Kelly Broomer, Hopedale Historic Village National Register Nomination
Map Menu Ezine Menu HOME
This Hopedale map is from 1854. The road along the lower pond, and the
western parts of Social and Union streets disappeared as more Draper shops
were needed as the business grew. The lower pond, which had originally
provided power for the Dutcher Temple Company was eventually drained and
shops were built on that site. Hopedale Street (first called Main Street) ended at
Freedom Street. Dutcher Street (then called High Street) only extended as far as
Freedom Street. Prospect Street didn't exist. The trail titled "Path to Milford"
appears to be in the same location as a path I was very familiar with when I was a
kid. It was used by Draper workers from the Prospect Heights neighborhood to go
to and from work, and by kids of the vicinity who played in the woods daily.
Hopedale in 1870.