The Freedom-Oak Northrop Neighborhood

      Until 1923, there weren't any buildings where the former Sneiderman house is now, or where my
    son lives now. [21 Freedom - Sneiderman; 25 Freedom - Eddie McGrath] There was a house about
    right across from where Judy Oldfield lives now [28 Freedom Street]. It set facing the street about the
    same as the small house that is there now. At that time there was some kind of farm building that set
    kind of sideways, just about opposite the end of Oak Street. In those days Oak Street ended at
    Northrop Street; it didn't go through Northrop to Freedom. After they ran Oak over to Freedom, we
    always called that "the new road."

       The older house on Freedom Street was occupied by Walter Durgin and his family. I'm not sure just
    what Walter Durgin did; he may have had something to do with being a caretaker for one of the Draper
    estates; he was also a constable or part-time police officer. [The 1927 town directory lists him as being
    a gardener for Clare Draper] They moved to South Hopedale [105 Greene Street] and the youngest
    boy, Lawrence, was in school about the same time we were. When we [Don and his twin brother, Dan]
    were about three or four years old, the Durgins had a billy goat which we were very scared of. He'd
    chase us up onto the porch and then pin us up against the wall of the house with his horns. Our
    mother would hear us hollering for help and would come out and drive him back across the street.
    She wasn't afraid of him.

      The Sneidermans acquired the land at the corner [of Freedom and Williams] and I can remember
    seeing the house jacked up on some kind of logs, about half-way to where it sits now. I guess they
    also moved the farm building right up front next to the corner, to be the store. At first (I've see pictures of
    a larger barn, and I can see the foundation still today) it was managed by the oldest Sneiderman son,
    Nathan; the one they called "Snookie." They sold bottled cold soda, bread, Drake's cakes, Bushway ice
    cream and other foodstuffs. It was supposed to be a handy neighborhood store, and perhaps they
    visualized it as cutting into the Patrick's Store trade in downtown Hopedale. I guess the chain grocery
    stores in Milford weren't good for any Hopedale grocery store. I think Nathan had an old Model T
    delivery truck for a while. Before they came to Hopedale, I think the Sneidermans lived on West Pine
    Street in Milford. He was already in the rag and junk business and continued it in Hopedale, having a
    little junkyard behind the house.  Sneiderman kept a horse and wagon behind the house somewhere
    for several years, and did quite well in the junk business, especially at the Hopedale dump during
    World War II. Later on, the crippled son, "Kivy," took care of the store. At one time the back room was
    used for a taxi stand office.

       In about 1930, there were still about five milk wagons around Hopedale and Milford; Maple Farm
    and Walter Beal from Mendon, Dan Glennon, and Frank Rummo from Highland Street, Milford, and
    Tim Cronan from Eben Street, off Purchase Street in Milford. Dan Glennon seemed to wear out all the
    old milk wagons, and one he had was marked "Willowbrook Dairy, Geo. L. Taft, Mendon." That was the
    forerunner of Lowell's Dairy, and they plan to name the restaurant when they reopen it on Route 16,
    "Willowbrook."

      Dan Glennon had a few customers on Inman Street and Soward Street; mostly Irish Catholic, I think.
    The 1938 hurricane blew down his barn; his best horse ate too much grain and died; he didn't peddle
    much longer after that; maybe a few months or a year. Walter Beal was the last horse and wagon man
    in the area. He delivered milk in Hopedale and part of Miford from 1907 to 1947.  Don McGrath, June
    2006.


    Donald P. McGrath, 94, of Northbridge, MA. and formerly of Hopedale, MA. died Wednesday evening
    (August 7, 2012) at the Beaumont Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Northbridge after a period of
    declining health. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Liselotte A. (Philipp) McGrath whom he met while
    stationed in Germany during WW II. He then brought her to Hopedale, MA. until her death in 1980. His
    identical twin brother, Daniel, of Hopedale died in 2005. In 2008 Donald's grandson, Joseph, was
    taken from him. He was born in Milford, MA., the son of the late Daniel and the late Kathryn (Crowley)
    McGrath and was a lifelong Hopedale resident. Mr. McGrath worked at the former Draper Corporation
    from 18 years of age until his retirement. He was an avid buggy enthusiast and a member of the U. S.
    Carriage Association. A founding member of the Hopedale Historical Society he was a resource about
    the town's past. Donald was a practicing member of Sacred Heart parish since its inception and
    recently a friend of the Hopedale Unitarian Church. He is survived by his son, Edward J. and daughter-
    in-law, Olimpia, with whom he made his home during the last years of his life; (2) grandchildren,
    Michael and his wife, Christine, and their daughter, Destiny, of Norton, MA. and James and his wife,
    Toni, and their daughters, Amanda and Angelina of Bellingham, MA. Donald was a very attendant
    grandfather who was extremely proud of his grandchildren. A funeral service will be held on Friday
    morning (August 10) at 11AM in the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, 44 Congress Street, Milford, MA.
    Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery Cedar Street (Rte. 85.) Milford. A visiting hour will be held from
    10AM-11AM just prior to the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, donations in his late memory may be
    made to the charity of one's choice .Milford Daily News