Click on the picture to see more of the demolition project.
August 2011. Dutcher Street after Hurrican Irene.
Gov Eben Draper and Pres. W.H. Taft at Draper's home on Adin Street - August 1910. Click photo.
New words in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary - 1921.
Click on the picture to go to a video by L.C. Allen of one of the last days of demolition.
Click on the headlilne to go to the article.

Click here to go to a page of other articles on the land dispute.

Click on the picture to go to a page about what's probably Hopedale's oldest building, and now for sale, the Green Store.
It's all down now, except for the stack.
Nanci Griffith, 1953 - 2021 Click on the picture to hear her sing.
Remains of house razed to make room for a parking lot for the Draper Gym and the Community House.
Somebody could probably come up with a witty caption for this photo, but I'm at a loss for one.

Ten new homes that will abut Hopedale conservation land to move forward

Alison Bosma

Aug. 19, 2021

The Milford Daily News

HOPEDALE — An agreement between the town and a pair of developers looking to add 10 new houses on the edge of Hopedale’s conservation land was solidified earlier this month.

Selectmen voted to accept the gift of an improved roadway off Overdale Parkway in May, according to Town Administrator Diana Schindler. Doing so allows resident and local police officer Ricardo Lima and Hopkinton-based Black Brook Realty to access their properties in the woods and build 10 houses.

“The board voted already to accept this gift of the road, which is an improved roadway, and this is the terms of, basically, that acceptance,” Schindler said of the contract that lawyers walked officials through this month.

The entrance to the Hopedale Parklands at the end of Overdale Parkway.

The paved part of Overdale Parkway currently dead-ends at a gate in the woods. It then gives way to a wide trail, which is used to access walking paths in the preserved conservation land.

Lima and Black Brook Realty intend to pave the road in the woods before gifting it to the town.

A group of residents pushed back against the proposed development earlier this year, saying the land was Parklands and protected, but they do not appear to have filed legal action. Residents did not speak up during the Board of Selectmen’s meeting earlier this month, and the landowners say their property ends before the Parklands begins.

The agreement discussed this month would add four or five public parking spaces, beyond what is planned for potential new residents, for people intending to use the Parklands recreationally, as well as access to the conservation land. There are currently no designated parking spaces at the dead end,

“I look forward to the development Mr. Lima and the folks on the other side are developing,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Brian Keyes said, “and ultimately, it’ll be a happy day when we can welcome 10 new families to the community of Hopedale.”

Alison Bosma can be reached at 508-634-7582 or [email protected] Find her on Twitter at @AlisonBosma.

Click here to see a page on the Saltbox Road and Overdale Parkway section of the Parklands.

Draper lawyer claims railroad threatens Hopedale’s downtown redevelopment

Alison Bosma

Aug 22. 2021

The Milford Daily News

HOPEDALE – As Hopedale explores creative ways to redevelop the downtown area where a million square feet of historic factory buildings were recently demolished, the landowner is suing a local railroad he says is blocking access to his properties.

The lawsuit, filed in July and then again on Aug. 4, in Worcester Superior Court, had previously been batted around by lawyers for months. It centers on a pair of railroad crossings between former Draper factory properties. 

More: PHOTOS: Demolition fast tracked at Draper Mill in Hopedale

The Grafton and Upton Railroad closed the crossings and raised the tracks as part of the company’s upgrades associated with its expansion.

Local developer Philip Shwachman owns the Draper property, and three of his companies are the plaintiffs in the Worcester Superior Court case against the railroad demanding that the crossings be restored. Court documents from Shwachman’s companies claim that the lost crossings have cut off access to those downtown properties.

“The Railroad’s wrongful actions in blocking my clients’ deeded crossing rights threaten to injure not only redevelopment of the former mill complex, but also Hopedale residents’ access to the rejuvenated downtown area,” wrote David Lurie, a lawyer with Boston firm Lurie Friedman LLP, for First American Realty, one of Shwachman’s companies. “Once again, the Railroad is taking unilateral, aggressive steps that in our view are not in the best interests of the community.”

Thanks to Liz (Gaskill) Demars, my classmate from the HHS Class of 1959, for letting me know that the San Diego Zoo has a penguin couple with the names Danny and Malloy. According to a newspaper article, chicks at the zoo named Doug and Barbara, “hatched in March from eggs laid by adult penguin pairs Norinne and Simon, and Danny and Malloy.” Here’s Danny. I haven’t found a picture of Malloy yet.

Railroad looks to revive glass recycling in Hopedale

Railroad facility serves as base in effort to revive recycling industry

Alison Bosma

The Milford Daily News
Aug 25, 2021

HOPEDALE — At the downtown Hopedale railyard Monday morning, two hills of what looked like glittering sand were piled against cement blocks in a warehouse. Up close, the piles were revealed to be small pellets of glass.

“This product is able to go into the railcar,” Grafton and Upton Railroad President Michael Milanoski said, brushing a pile with his foot, so glass cascaded over his shoe.

Three years after the last glass recycling facility in the state closed, in nearby Franklin, the railroad is working with 2M Resources, a Quebec-based company, to revive the industry. “We’re working on creating new recycling streams to get this product out of here,” Milanoski said.

The Franklin shutdown was preceded by the closure of the Ardagh glass bottle factory, just over the line in Milford. That, coupled with a significantly cooled overseas recycling market and its weight, made glass an expensive product to recycle.

“When that closed down,” Milanoski said, of the bottle factory in Milford, “there was no demand in Massachusetts.”

At the municipal level, recycling used to bring in a modest income, in addition to the environmental benefit. Now, towns must pay to recycle. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection tried to help solve the issue, awarding more than $250,000 to help Dennis and Groton build glass processing facilities in 2018. Those places crush glass and turn it into aggregate, which can be used in things like road construction.

“Glass is heavy,” Milanoski said, referring to transportation costs. “You pay by the ton.” In fact, Milanoski said, the most efficient way to move heavy glass is by rail, rather than trucks.

In Hopedale, trucks bring used glass bottles to the railyard, where 2M machines send them up a high conveyor belt toward a big drop. The smashed results go through another machine to take out paper labels, bottle caps, and any other impurities, transforming them into small, clear pellets.

That product is then sent out of state to be recycled, Milanoski said, to about a half-dozen companies in the country. Milanoski said he is looking to move about 500 tons per week, which is 500 tons less in trucks on the road.

The glass is part of the railroad’s wider foray into moving various materials for recycling. Compacted cubes of cans and cardboard, respectively, are stacked against a wall at the railyard warehouse. Machines from 2M separate, crush and refine the materials, and Grafton and Upton Railroad trains move the resulting product out.

The partnership between 2M and the railroad is in its first phase, where it’s been for about a year. An eventual possibility, Milanoski said, could include working with local municipalities to take and crush their glass, helping bring down town recycling costs.

That could require towns tweaking how they collect recycling, however, or the railyard recycling operation will run into the same issue as regional recyclers, where money goes into manually separating materials, cleaning them, and stopping trash from breaking the machines.

Right now, bottles come to the railyard in relatively pure condition. They aren’t delivered in the same truckload as other types of recycling, or pulled from residents’ bins and mixed in with plastic bags and half-empty spaghetti cans. “I can’t use this (if it’s) covered in spaghetti sauce,” Milanoski said, gesturing to the piles of glass.

In the more immediate and tangible future, 2M and the railroad are looking at further purifying and crushing the glass pellets into a fine powder. That opens up new uses, including remaking it into fiberglass.

Milanoski hopes to be in that phase by the end of the year.

Alison Bosma can be reached at 508-634-7582 or [email protected] Find her on Twitter at @AlisonBosma.

Click photo for more of the 1955 flood in Spindleville.
Flood water going over Freedom Street and into the Draper Plant, August 1955. Click photo for more,

Thanks to Amy Burns for several dozen photos that had been left at the Hopedale Pharmacy, probably in the 1960s. These two were in a group of pictures from a Washington trip. Some show Mount Vernon. That might be where the one on the left was taken. I’d like to give them back to  person who took them, or someone in their family. If you recognize anyone in them, please let me know. Email address – [email protected]

Since posting this, identifications have been made by Dick Grady, Dick Moore, Carol Whyte, Karen Pendleton, Fred Oldfield and Judy Oldfield. They identify the boys as Roy Connoni, Jay McGonigle, and Richard Moore. As to the girl, it took a little longer, but she has been identified as Betty Elliott Shea. One mystery remains – who took the pictures? More next month.

Since there was a lot of interest in the HHS Class of 1961 Washington trip pictures,  and there was one more in the envelope, I decided to add it here.

Sent by Tim Cox for the picture below. he boy in the middle is Anthony Teixeira. The guy on the right is Lenny Volpicelli. I think the guy on the left is John Simpson.

Hopedale in August

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