Schoolhouse Built In 1855
                              
                      Stands As Hopedale Home

                                                                                 by Virginia Cyr

    Hopedale -- A school house, the third one for early residents of the south section of Hopedale, was built
    in 1855 and youngsters of that section of Hopedale attended what is referred to as the South Hopedale
    School from first through sixth grades.

    Upon completion of the sixth grade, these students attended schools in the north section of Hopedale.  It
    sounds simple but they had to board a trolley and travel to Milford, changing cars in the Pine Street area to
    continue to Hopedale center.

    This school house still stands and is home for the Lussier family. (Norman and Christina Lussier left the
    home in 2010. Norman died in 2011.) It is located on Plain Street near the cemetery owned by the Town of
    Hopedale.  The first school house for this area was extremely small, according to the records.  It stood at
    what is now the southeast corner of the cemetery on the land in the cemetery where the Warfield family
    lots and monument are located.

    It is estimated that the school house was built in 1790 or a little earlier.  Its successor was built in 1813 or
    1814.  Located 10 rods further south, the school house was built at a cost of $300 by Zuriel Howard.  Even
    at that time, a school building committee was established and Samuel Penniman, Samuel Warfield, Sr.,
    and Joel Howard were the members of that committee.  Nahum Legg taught the first school there in 1814-
    1815.

    In 1855, the third school, a larger building was built north of the cemetery.  Lowell Fales was the
    contractor and the land for the school, about three-quarters of an acre cost $60.12.  The school house
    cost $1,491.  The second school house was sold to Joseph Albee for $125 and it was converted to a
    dwelling.

    The triangular piece of property between Newton and Mellen Streets was known for many years as the
    "School House Common," because it had been part of the school's playground.  Newton Street is thought
    to have been an approach to the oldest school house and for some years after the second school was
    built, it was not in use.

    At the third school an interesting Memorial Day service was conducted each year.  On the nearest school
    day to May 30, students were dismissed shortly after the opening of school.  They were given permission
    to go out and gather wild flowers and to get flowers from families who could spare some from their yards.

    The children would then return to school to make up bouquets for the cemetery.  In the afternoon, a Civil
    War veteran visited and the children offered appropriate recitations and sang songs.  The veteran would
    then address the youngsters.  He distributed small flags to the students who then formed a double line
    with each child carrying a flag and a bouquet.  Led by the veteran and the teacher, they marched to the
    cemetery, singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."  Each flag and bouquet was carefully placed on a
    veteran's grave.  Extra bouquets were placed on the graves of people who had no living relatives.

    The school was not without library facilities. Bancroft Memorial Library, until the mid-70s  always had a
    branch library located in the south section of town.

    The first branch library was located in the school.  As the years went by, women in that section of the
    community served as librarians and allowed the branch library to be located in their homes.

    Bancroft Memorial Library would have books brought to the branch library, changing the selection
    periodically.  With transportation becoming easier and easier, residents of the area frequented Bancroft
    Memorial Library more and the availability of the branch library became less and less necessary.

    At the time of the closing of the branch library, it was located in the home of Bess Thayer on Warfield
    Street.  Prior to then and for a number of years the branch library was located at the home of Betty Butcher
    on South Main Street. Milford Daily News, March 29, 1986

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The former South Hopedale School/Lussier home in 2010.