A Walk Through the Parklands
                                    Hopedale Street to the First Bridge

    Starting into the Hopedale Parklands at the road off of Hopedale Street, the first sights
    are the beach and the bathhouse. The beach was created in 1899 and the bathhouse
    was built in 1904. Swimmers were required to sign in before going into the pond and
    sign out when leaving. Pond attendance peaked at 18,387 in 1968.  Up to 1952, the
    pond extended almost to the road, just north of the bathhouse, but it was a very
    shallow, swampy area, and was filled in that year.

     Walking on a little further, you'll see the Willard Taft marker. Willard lived nearby, at 90
    Dutcher Street, and spent a great deal of time in the Parklands. In 1987, a logging
    operation was done with the intent of improving the area. Instead, it created something
    of a mess and a bit of a controversy. Many trees along the roadside still show the scars
    that were left. After the job ended, Willard spent a large amount of time cleaning up
    what had been left there. The Park Department website states, " A major brush and
    deadwood clearing operation in the Parklands was halted when the forestry agent
    representing the town resigned, leaving behind a mess of slash and debris of
    considerable size."

     Shortly after entering the woods, there's a fork in the road. The main road goes to the
    right and the other path goes to the First Fireplace. It continues through the picnic area
    and rejoins the main road near the Dutcher Street entrance road.

     Wildflowers in this area include blue-eyed grass, within a few feet of entering the
    wooded area, a patch of moneywort near the intersection of the Dutcher Street
    entrance road and the main road, and wild geraniums along the Dutcher Street
    entrance road. The shore here, as it is along most of the pond, is lined mainly with
    blueberry bushes and sweet pepperbush. Alder, red  maple and honeysuckle are also
    common. Elsewhere in the area, beech, white pine, red maple, witch hazel, wild black
    cherry, several species of oak, gray birch and black birch can be found. There are a
    few larches on the grassy area between the bathhouse and the woods.

     The small bridge with the fieldstone sides, a very short distance north of where the
    Dutcher Street entrance road meets the main road, was built in 1930, replacing an
    earlier one at that location. The brook that flows under it begins behind my house at 49
    Inman Street. It goes south behind the next four houses, then turns west, just before
    Tammy Road. At this point it is piped under several yards and under Inman and Dutcher
    streets, emerging just west of Dutcher Street, alongside the Parklands entrance road.

         
Next page: First Bridge to the Second Fireplace       Sports, Park and Pond Menu       

             
History of the Parklands by Gordon Hopper                 Parklands Map - 1904        

    
Parklands Trails Info            1913 Map              Wildflowers of Hopedale               HOME

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    Shortly after entering the woods, when entering the Parklands by the
    Hopedale Street/Bathhouse entrance, you'll come to a fork in the road. To the
    right is the main road. The path to the left goes through the First Fireplace
    area and continues on, rejoining the main road a few hundred yards on.

    The First Fireplace. According to the Park Department history
    on their website, the concrete tables were set out in 1964.

    The road to the right, near the middle of the picture, is the
    Dutcher Street entrance road. The main road goes to the left.

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