In early November 2012, I received the following email from Meredith Kennedy, who had found my
address when she found my Hopedale website.
My mother's family settled in Hopedale in 1910 and I spent lots of time there.....lots of happy
memories. I am enjoying the site very much and have a group picture of the Unitarian Church choir in
which my mother and her two sisters Bell family) appear that you may be interested in. My grandfather
and then my uncle played the chimes at the Unitarian church. I already had the High School photos on
I wrote to her and mentioned a few names from the Bell family that were familiar to me. Meredith
I'd love to get your emails...I have already discovered some interesting things on your site and am
sharing that with a cousin (no computer) who spent a lot of time at our grandparents as well. My Bell's
are George and Adele Bell who lived at 10 Prospect. Their son Bayard lived there after their deaths
and his wife Martha is still there. They had Gretchen (Adele), Irma, Vilja, Winfield and Bayard who I
continued to visit up until I married in 1957. I lived in the woods behind their house where I played in
the brook, pond and great climbing rocks up there. I played marbles etc. with the kids on the street.
The people across the street on the corner of Peace Street had a pet squirrel I played with them and
someone at the far end of the street...possibly on Freedom Street had an English Bulldog that set me
and all my children on the path to Bulldog ownership
Any other Bells were not related except for Bonnie and Larry who are Bayard's children. Bell actually
was a name assumed by my grandfather. Most of my memories were with Martha and Bayard Bell
because my grandparents were both dead by the time I was six.
Everyone worked at Draper's at one time except Gretchen and my mother, Irma. Gretchen was
prominent in amateur theatricals at one time won the title of Miss Hopedale in a local beauty contest. .
( Photo of Gretchen in a class picture - Hopedale High Class of 1928.) .
Do you know where the closest movie theater was in the twenties and thirties? My grandfather played
the piano there for the silent movies and sometimes my mother filled in for him.
I'm looking forward to gleaning even more info about Hopedale. If there are any old newspapers in the
library there, maybe there are some stories about those events.
I replied again, answered a couple of her question, and mentioned that the woods behind Prospect
Street, where she had played, had also been my “playground” when I was a kid, growing up on Oak
Street. I also asked if it would be okay to put her Hopedale memories on the website.
Sure, you can use whatever you want. I mostly played marbles where you drew a circle with chalk on
the sidewalk and used your shooter to knock out the other kids’ marbles. I'm afraid I lost more
marbles than I got to keep. What time frame are you talking about when you lived there? I spent the
most of my time there from 1940 to 1955. We lived on Wollaston Beach but trips to Hopedale were
very frequent even after my grandparents died. Memorial Day we visited the graves at Vernon Grove
Cemetery and during the war years my Dad....who was in the Coast Guard TRs always marched in
the Memorial Day parade. Memorial Day was the first time I got to take off my shoes and wade in the
brook behind 10 Prospect .....really cold. My mother would put me on the bus from Boston for my
"vacations" with Martha & Bayard in the summer. It was so different then...I was allowed to wander
anywhere I wanted...the library was a favorite haunt as well as "Billy Draper's" store, although we didn't
call it that. I don't remember the names of the kids I played with on the street.
I have a picture of my grandfather with three of Gretchen's children taken in the doorway about 1936.
You could be right about the opera house. Maybe my grandfather even performed there. He but on
"shows"...demonstrations of his fantastic memory, writings, poetry and music he wrote....he was an
accomplished classical pianist. The Bell girls...especially Gretchen and Irma were very big into
sports, especially swimming, diving and track and all the children were into music. Bayard used to
play the bass at small area clubs.... and Win's two boys are musicians...Doug being "Professor" Doug
Bell of Belleveau Cadillac.
Another great spot with lots of memories for me is Lake Nipmuc.
I was interested to see the comments by Debbie Taylor about Bayard being her father. I think she
must be a half cousin, one of the children from Bayard's second marriage. Maybe if she is on your list
she will see my comments and be interested in learning more about the Bell family.
Keep up the great work on the site....I wish there were more like it for other places but then Hopedale
was always a unique place.
Then I mentioned that I had a lot of my memories of Hopedale in the 1940s and 1950s on the website.
I really found your memories interesting.....sounded so much like mine despite being a girl I was into
the same things....except hockey. After serious spinal surgery at just before I turned 13 put an end to a
lot of types of physical activity for me. Before that there wasn't much that boys did that I didn't do. I grew
up on...and often in....the water of Quincy Bay but we had lots of marshes, creeks, a pond and "woods"
of small trees where we built huts, fought Indians and either cowboy or gangster robbers. I think the
reason I enjoyed Hopedale so much was that there were "real" woods within walking distance. At
home we didn't have access to them on our own until I was old enough to ride my bike to the Blue
Hills. My mother was a tomboy, most of my early playmates were boys and I was more or less my
dad's "son". I unfortunately don't have any pictures of me in Hopedale...Bayard and Martha weren't
really picture takers then and most of my Dad's photos were either lost or given away as they got
older. I only have a few older individual or family pictures of the Hopedale Bells.
I enjoyed the account of the Coast Guard sailing ship story. My Dad, who was from Dedham, was in
the Temporary Reserves during the war and was assigned to a boat patrolling the area around the
Fore River Shipyard at night. He, and thus I, had a love affair with sailing craft....I learned to sail when I
was seven. At one point the Sea Scout group he skippered had the occasional use of a 65' yawl after
A lot of my fascination with Hopedale began with my mother's and her siblings recollections of their
life there and the wonderful recreation opportunities provided as well as those of Gretchen's oldest
My grandparents and Gretchen were all dead by 1943 but Bayard stayed on at 10 Prospect. Winfield,
the youngest was in the Army Air Force during the war and settled in Franklin. I was interested to see
that trains were running again as my mother used to take the "milk train" to Boston when she worked
as the secretary to the Dean (I think) at MIT. She and my dad were married by Rev. Tegarden at the
Unitarian Church in 1933. I actually have a copy a program of one of my grandfather's "shows".
I was surprised to read about the manufacture of howitzers during WWII because I never heard about
that despite the fact that Bayard would have been working there at the time.
Debby Taylor had sent a comment about the Hopedale High baseball team on page 50 where she
mentioned being Bayard's daughter.
This gets more fascinating all the time, especially since Fred Oldfield contacted me about the choir
picture and the fact that his parents were friends of Bayard and Martha. I never cease to be surprised
at "small world" coincidences.
Then I asked about how her contact with Debby went. In her reply, Meredith sent the picture at the top
of the page, along with the caption. Here's the rest.
Yes, not only did Debby reply, but her sister as well and we have established a good connection and
exchange of family information and memories. Fred and I have also been in communication about not
only the Church chimes, but he has put me back in touch with my aunt Martha Bell and says he will
take me up to reacquaint myself with the bells if we get up to Massachusetts in the spring. As I said, I
only spent time off and on in Hopedale as a child but loved it and the memories and stories my family
shared with me.
I checked your unknown WWII photos but none of Winfield who was in the Army Air Force stationed in
Hawaii and lived there for a few years after the war. I wish more towns had great sites like yours. I am
enjoying reading about things I wasn't aware of such as the big strike and the gun manufacturing.
has reunited a whole group of cousins who have lost touch. Now I just have to connect with Bonnie
and Larry who grew up in Hopedale. These cousins are all ten years younger and more and I only
knew Doug and Donna as children. We are now sharing stories and pictures.
And on December 3
I passed the article about Gretchen on to her youngest son who then passed it on to his brother and
about 18 other relatives who were all thrilled to receive it.
Thanks again for bringing pleasure to the children who barely knew her.
I have attached a picture of George and Adele's oldest three Moriarty
grandchildren in front of the paper store. ("Billy Draper's") We assume it must
be our Grampa Bell with them, but the picture is so old the face and cap don't
look familiar to Maureen the oldest...could or could not be when comparing
them with photos we have. The photo would be probably about 1937 judging by
the ages they look. Meredith Kennedy
"In the picture of the Unitarian Church choir, Gretchen is
in the middle of the front row, Vilja second from the right
in the same row and Irma second from the right in the
second row. This could be about 1927."
Mind your mind and your mind will mind you.
In mastering your memory you master your
Mind and become master of any situation.
Make a minute that the minutes
Make the hours that are ours.
There is art even in artistry.
Many-a person termed full of art is merely artful.
A good test of artistry is what and how.
To play upon the feelings of his auditors
a musician must put feeling into his playing.
- - UPLIFT. - -
Though pessimists say
That Life is a jest,
Just hold up your chin,
And throw out your chest.
No matter what happens,
It’s all for the best,
So hold up your chin,
And throw out your chest.
INSPIRES AND INSTRUCTS
Mr. Bell has had varied experience. The son of a newspaper man he was reared in
atmosphere of printer’s ink; has been a conductor of a humorous column in one of the large
daily newspapers; written monologues, sketches, epigrams and much verse; coached dramatic
and musical productions; studied piano under an eminent pupil of the immortal Franz List;
composed songs and piano numbers, and appeared on many-a platform as a Humorist,
Soloist, or accompanist.
The readings, poems and epigrams scintillating with wit, wisdom and humor with an occasional
touch of contrasting pathos, which Mr. Bell presents, are his own, and are delivered with an
author’s appreciation of text, enunciation and nuances.
The piano numbers, ranging in concept from classical to popular, performed by Mr. Bell, are
also his own and greatly enhance the unhackneyed character of his programmes.
For many years Mr. Bell has been a keen student of the psychology of the mind; delving
deeply into that phase of it pertaining to the memory. The result of such study is evidenced in
the amazing, amusing and instructive mental feats he performs.
10 Prospect Street