I can name six people who had automobiles in 1910. There may have been a few more, but surely all the cars in
town would not exceed a dozen, and these were not all in daily use. So it was that the sound of a motor was rarely
heard, and the skies overhead were the exclusive domain of clouds and birds, as I firmly believe the Creator
intended. The heavens had not yet been desecrated by roaring monsters, because only recently had the Wright
brothers succeeded in getting off he ground for a few seconds. Charles F. Merrill, Hopedale As I Found It, p. 3.
Our school was known among reformers. A son of [William Lloyd] Garrison and of Samuel May were sent to
Hopedale to attend it. Reverend William Fish, learned in languages and universities, once said that Mrs. Abbie
[Ballou, daughter of Adin and Abigail (Sayles) Ballou] was, he believed, the best teacher he ever had; which
happily bears out his tribute as a small boy, when he wished, in a composition letter, that he might live to be a
hundred and go to school to Mrs. Abbie every day of his life. Ellen M. Patrick, Hopedale Reminiscences, p. 41.
On Christmas Eve the Dutcher house on Adin Street would have a lighted candle in every window. These were
real candles, not the electric imitations of today. I do not recall any other house having illumination of this kind, and
it was a pretty and dignified display. I think of its simplicity and unpretentious beauty when I see the gaudy displays
of our present era, and hear endless repetitions of Christmas carols blaring forth from over-powered amplification
of mechanical recordings. We had less in those days, but what we did have was genuine and sincere; not tawdry
and spurious. Charles F. Merrill, Hopedale As I Found It, p. 3.
One Fourth of July there was to be an unusual celebration in Milford; Hopedale being then part of Milford, the
school children were to march through the streets, the band to play, the children to sing patriotic songs and carry
flags. Now this was contrary to the Non-Resistance principles of the Community, so when our parents were
interviewed we were not allowed to join in the exercises. Ida D Smith, Hopedale Reminiscences, p. 31.
The weightier matters discussed [at meetings in the early days of the Community] were advocated in the "Practical
Christian," the newspaper published by the Community, but I was too young to appreciate the ideas that were
advanced, that were afterwards the occasion of national dissension and civil war. I was more interested when a
man arose on the platform and showed branded in the palm of his uplifted hand the letters S.S. He had labored
among the slaves to aid them to escape from slavery and as a punishment was burned S.S for Slave Stealer. He
afterwards married Dr. Emily Gay's sister and lived in Hopedale. Anna Thwing Field, Hopedale Reminiscences, p.
23 To read more about abolitionism in Hopedale, click here.
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