Trolley Trip

    I knew nothing of Hopedale before 1910.  On the nineteenth of April in that year, in the early morning, I
    stepped off the trolley car that had brought me from Framingham in an hour and a quarter, for the price of
    fifteen cents.  I found myself in a neat, quiet, well-ordered village, whose inhabitants were, apparently,
    comfortably prosperous, and the air had a country freshness that was delightful; quite different from the city
    atmosphere I had so recently left behind me.  It seemed good, and I was quite content.

    Decades later, that’s how Charles Merrill described his arrival in Hopedale in his reminiscence, Hopedale
    As I Found It. Below is a description from a book, Trolley Trips Through Southern New England, of the
    voyage from Framingham through Hopedale and on to Uxbridge in 1902.

                                                SOUTH FRAMINGHAM TO
                                     HOLLISTON, MILFORD AND UXBRIDGE


    Cars pass R.R. station half hourly for HOLLISTON, 5 ½  miles, 5 cents; 25 minutes, MILFORD, 12 miles, 15
    cents; 55 minutes. HOPEDALE, 14 miles; 20 cents; 1 hour, 10 minutes. LAKE NIPMUC PARK, 19 miles, 20
    cents; 1 hour, 25 minutes. UXBRIDGE, 22 miles, 25 cents; 1 hour, 40 minutes.

    From So. Framingham, the line of the Milford, Holliston and Framingham Street Railway runs south from
    directly in front of the Boston & Albany depot, passing Waushakum Park and lake of the same name.

    Passing on through EAST HOLLISTON past the car house, we come to two large elm trees. One of these
    trees is twenty-eight feet in circumference, and the other thirty-two. These trees are over 125 years old. We
    are now on the outskirts of HOLLISTON and enter on the Main Street, passing through the square and
    between large elm trees on either side, are soon bowling along over hill and dale, passing the granite
    quarries of Norcross Brothers, and the east quarry of the Milford Pink Granite Construction Co., we come to
    the junction of the line to MEDWAY. Through East Main Street, we pass the junction of the Hopkinton line.

    MILFORD has a variety of industries, including shoe shops, elastic webbing, straw shops, and several
    large granite quarries. From here a side trip may be made to HOPKINTON of about 7 miles, and to
    MEDWAY of about 7 ½  miles. Continuing we pass the Park, through West Main Street, to HOPEDALE,
    passing the Public Library on the left, and church on the right, and also the extensive plant of the Draper
    Company. HOPEDALE, while a manufacturing town, with its handsome residences and well kept streets
    and lawns, does not resemble the ordinary manufacturing town. From here the car passes over Hopedale
    Pond, then for a mile and a half the tracks leave the highway, where excellent views are obtained. Passing
    out of this private right of way, we enter on North Avenue into the town of MENDON. It is one of the oldest
    towns in the State, and it is from this town that Hopedale and Milford were set off. In old stagecoach days it
    was in its prime, being on some of the direct routes. Passing Mendon Post Office and the Soldiers’
    Monument, we are soon at the height of land 450 feet above sea level, from which a fine view, looking
    eastward, may be had on a clear day. We soon get a glimpse through the woods of LAKE NIPMUC, 400 feet
    above sea level. A little further we come to the clubhouse of the Nipmuc Canoe Club, and passing out of a
    deep cut come into full view of the lake, and Lake Nipmuc Park and its entrance. This park has recently
    been fitted up, this being its first season. At the entrance, as will be seen by the illustration, a neat waiting
    station and rustic stone fence has been built.

    In front of the pavilion in the park is the boat house and a number of skiffs are kept to let; also a power boat
    makes regular trips around the lake. Just beyond is the theatre, which is situated on a knoll overlooking the
    lake, and auditorium seating about one thousand people. The park is naturally very attractive, made up as it
    is with irregular surfaces. From the park the road runs by gradual descent through Wheelocksville to
    UXBRIDGE.

    In examining the maps, it will be noted that the three larger cities of Boston, Worcester and Providence,
    form a nearly perfect triangle with almost exactly equal sides. On the completion of the Milford & Uxbridge
    road, this gave a direct route across through Milford, something that has been demanded for a long time.
    Through the summer season half-hourly trips are made the full length of the line. Trolley Trips Through
    Southern New England, 1902, pp. 87 – 89. (Both the PDF version and the DjVu version worked well.)

    For more on trolleys in the Hopedale-Milford area, click here for Bob Heglund’s trolley history. (Note link at
    bottom of the trolley page – down below the pictures - to the second page.) Here’s a 1901 newspaper
    article  about the first trip of the M & U trolley trip from Milford to Uxbridge. Milford Daily Journal articles on the
    building of the Milford and Uxbridge Street Railway in 1900 and 1901.

                                                          
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