Click on the picture for more of the Draper demolition project.

The former Henry family home at 200 Dutcher Street where the family operated a farm for two generations. Click on the picture to go to a page about it.

Click on the picture to go to a history of the Griffin-Dennett Apartments.

Town signs final agreement to accept gift at end of Overdale Parkway Action paves way for landowners to proceed with subdivision plan.

By Theresa Knapp 
At its meeting in August, Hopedale’s Board of Selectmen presented the final agreement it has reached between the town and landowners Ricardo Lima and Black Brook Realty Corp. who plan to extend Overdale Parkway by 703 feet and build 10 new homes, with Lima’s four on the Hopedale side of the road and Black Brook Realty’s six on the Mendon side of the road. 
This ends a long journey of deciding who owns that unpaved section at the end of Overdale that leads to the Hopedale Parklands. 
In May, after review of a recent title search, Town Counsel Katherine Klein of KP Law PC opined that the land was conveyed over 100 years ago [1916] and “I think there was an error when this vote was written but I think the intent is clear. The road is clearly identified, we all know what is being discussed, it is the last 703 feet of Overdale Parkway; and the fact that the Larkins are no longer the owners is immaterial.” 
Highlights of the final agreement related to the 703 foot long and 30 foot wide “unimproved roadway” include:
• Town agrees to accept the gift of the road, the town is not obligated to maintain the unimproved roadway unless and until it is accepted as a public way (Note: to date, the town has maintained Overdale Parkway but is not obligated to do so, the Road Commissioners will make that decision); 
• Landowners will upgrade the roadway to current town subdivision standards; the layout of the subdivision will be “substantially similar” to what is shown on the 1985 Plan;  
• Landowners will design and construct four or five parking spaces within the cul-de-sac area for public use; 
• Lima is limited to four house lots and Black Brook Realty is limited to six lots; 
•Landowners are responsible for all costs related to permitting, construction, etc.; 
• Once a final, non-appealable decision on the definitive subdivision application and related permits and approvals, Black Brook Realty will deed  to the town, or impose a conservation restriction on, the balance of the property located in Hopedale that is not necessary for the development of his six lots which will protect it from future development; and 
• Project will go through regular subdivision approval and the approval of this agreement “shall not be construed as support for, or against, approval of said subdivision by the Select Board.”
After the agreement was finalized, Lima requested a set of keys to the locked gate that currently spans the end of the paved section of Overdale Parkway. Selectmen agreed he should have a set of keys and directed him to the Park Commission.
Localtownpages –  Hopedale September 2021
Water over the dam - Freedom Street - September 4.
Water over another dam - Mill River, Spindleville. September 4
Photo from a Hopedale High reunion of all the classes of the 1940s. Click pic for more.

Dear Hopedale History, 

I found the page about the WWI Pilot Raymond Alden Piper on your website
I am researching a relative who trained with Raymond Piper at Park Field in Millington, TN May – July, 1918. I was wondering if any other of Raymond Pipers letters, a journal or papers are saved? I would be most interested to make contact with the family
The email above came from Kim in New Hampshire. If you have any info that could help, let me know (email address on homepage) and I’ll pass it on.

This picture from Tim Cox, is from Jonesboro, Maine. I’m putting it here because some of you who weren’t born yesterday will remember one or two in it, although  it would have been a few decades later when you knew him/them. Here’s what Tim wrote about it.

Dad is in the second row of young men, third from the right. This picture apparently was taken in front of his high shool in Jonesboro, Maine. Maybe it was his senior class? His handwriting on the back identifies the man standing at the right as Sewell Drisko, principal; presumably this is the Sewell Drisko who later became principal of Hopedale High School. If this was my father’s senior class, the year would have been about 1926.

New words in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary twenty-five years ago.
All Hopedale High Washington visitors in the pictures on the August page were named, although whoever took them hasn't been identified. Here are more that weren't picked up at the Hopedale Pharmacy in the 1960s. Let me know if you can identify the family.
Click on the picture to go to a page of photos of the cleanup of the site.
The Chapel Street School half of the Class of 1961. I'll leave it to you to figure out the names. Click on the picture for more of the Class of '61
Click on the picture to go to a page about the Hope Street bridge.

Hopedale residents win delay in railroad development. It could be short-lived

Alison Bosma The Milford Daily News

September 10, 2021

HOPEDALE — Residents in a months-long lawsuit against the local railroad succeeded this week in temporarily halting work in a heavily wooded area off West Street.

The pause is likely to be reassessed Tuesday. A Superior Court judge gave both sides until the end of the day Monday to submit supporting arguments and documents.

In dispute is about 155 acres of forest and wetlands off West Street, through which tracks for the Grafton and Upton Railroad run. The railroad has been trying to expand its operations over the past year or so, and leadership says development of those tracks and the area around them is key to the company’s growth.

Local residents say the land is important to protecting Hopedale’s current and future drinking water sources.

Eleven residents then filed a lawsuit, arguing that the town should have acquired all of the land, per a Town Meeting vote the previous fall. In April, the residents secured an injunction that would stop the town from paying for, and therefore acquiring, the 84 acres, while the case played out in court. The April injunction did not stop the railroad from proceeding with construction.

“We are gratified that the railroad has been enjoined from destroying the forest land,” residents’ lawyer David Lurie, of Boston-based Lurie Friedman LLP, wrote in an email Friday, in response to Thursday’s order. “After all, more than 400 residents at Town Meeting voted unanimously to acquire and preserve the entire property forever, and at the end of the day we expect that the Court will rule that the entire property belongs to the Town, not the railroad.”

Thursday’s order puts a temporary stop to the railroad’s work off West Street, to allow both sides to present supporting arguments for why work should or should not be allowed. The decision was in response to an emergency motion filed by residents earlier that day.

“For Lurie to then calculate this as a win, it’s just not there,” railroad President Michael Milanoski said Friday, adding that Lurie’s request for a 2 p.m. Thursday hearing came at 10 a.m. Thursday. “It’s a temporary hold until (the judge) gets more information to review.”

Court documents filed Thursday by Milanoski, in response to residents’ emergency motion, note that the work off West Street has been planned for months, and does not touch the section of land town officials have designated as in need of protection.

“The G&U and the Trust would suffer significant harm if the construction activities are delayed,” he wrote, referring to the railroad and trust that owns the land, respectively, “as some of the work that is scheduled to take place is susceptible to weather delays and further susceptible to losing the availability of subcontractors who have been scheduled.”

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

Milford Library News: Hopedale native to give talk on Milford TV about pandemic book

Mary Frances Best
Special to the Daily News

At 7 p.m. next Monday, Sept. 20, Linda Hixon will give an author talk on Milford TV  about her book, “The Grip: The 1918 Pandemic & a City Under Siege.”

A Hopedale native, Hixon and her collaborators began work on their history of the 1918 pandemic in Worcester before COVID-19 became a public health emergency in early 2020.

This meticulously researched, data-driven volume includes a chapter on Milford. While the 1918 pandemic claimed more lives in Worcester, Milford had a higher rate of death, especially among the Italian immigrant population including children.

The public is invited to tune in as Hixon speaks about the book and what we learned from the 1918 pandemic — and what we didn’t.

Watch this important program on Comcast Channel 8, Verizon Channel 38, the MilfordTV App or livestream

Copies of the book can be purchased at the following bookstores: Root and Press, LLC, in Tatnuck Square and TidePool Booksellers on Chandler Street, both in Worcester; and Tatnuck Booksellers on Rte. 9 in Westborough.

Hopedale residents sign petition in opposition to housing developments

Residents argue developments infringe on conservation land

Alison Bosma

The Milford Daily News – Sept. 16, 2021

HOPEDALE — Thirty Hopedale residents signed a petition this month requesting the town put a stop to a pair of housing developments bordering conservation land.

“This development will change both the experience and the integrity of the Parklands as a parcel,” said Rob Fahey, a nonresident who has commented against the project at a handful of public meetings on behalf of a Hopedale family. “It’s going to be more populated, there’s going to be development in there, there’s going to be noise.”

Two developers, local resident and police officer Ricardo Lima and Hopkinton-based Black Brook Realty plan to build a total of 10 houses between them, using land on either side of an unfinished section of Overdale Parkway.

Developers and the town finalized an agreement last month that would allow the project to go forward, though it needs to go through the local permitting process and associated boards and public meetings.

“At the end of the day, this is an item that has been fully executed and in the eyes of the board is done,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Brian Keyes said this week. “I feel holistically comfortable with my portion of the vote and where things went, and … people are entitled to their everlasting opinion on it.”

“The opposition letter here is really to convey our position that the past precedent that’s been set … since 1916, has always been that that’s used for Parklands,” resident Stephanie Thomas told selectmen this week. “It’s a Parklands entrance.”

Residents at this week’s selectmen’s meeting questioned the town’s due diligence in making sure the development is legal, whether the unpaved road is protected, and whether the board has authority over it.

Thomas said she found a law that could mean the area is now a Town Common, and suggested the town could refuse to accept it as a road since it hasn’t been used for that purpose in 20 years. However, a lawyer for the town rejected that interpretation.

Picture of the stack demolition on September 16 from a video taken by Kelly Merchant and posted on the Hopedale Bulletin Board Facebook page.

Click on the picture to go to a history of Milford Hospital.

Day in the Park – September 18.

With 26.1% jump in median home sales price, Hopedale is a hot ZIP code

Lauren Young

The Milford Daily News

HOPEDALE — You might need a lot of hope to land a new home in Hopedale nowadays.  

You certainly need a lot more cash than a year ago. 

While Worcester County is among the less expensive ones in which to live in Massachusetts, there’s one small (5.3 square miles) town near its southeast corner that’s seen its median single-family home price jump 26.1% this year.

That town is Hopedale.  

Through the first eight months of this year, the median sales price for a single-family home in Hopedale was $495,000, up from $392,500 at the same time a year earlier, according to The Warren Group.

This South Main Street home in Hopedale was recently listed for $449,900.

For all of Worcester County, the median home sales price increased 16.7%, from $345,000 to $396,000.  

Hopedale wasn’t the only community in Greater Milford to see a large jump in year-over-year median price. Mendon matched Hopedale’s 26.1% rise, while Upton (up 25.1%) and Millis (up 24.6%) were close behind.

But Hopedale’s 29.5% increase in home sales so far this year (57 through Aug. 31 this year vs. 44 last year) far outpaces Mendon’s 3.7% increase, which arguably makes Hopedale the region’s hottest ZIP code.  

As is the case in many other places, lack of inventory is a key reason Hopedale’s median home price has risen sharply. As of Sept. 23, there were fewer than five houses for sale in Hopedale, with another four listed as “contingent” — meaning an offer has been accepted.  

Why is Hopedale so appealing?

Realtor Pamela Dietrich not only sells homes in Hopedale, she has also lived in town for 13 years after moving from Boston. She said a key draw was the public school system, which offers private school-size classes and a high school graduating class of about 80 students per year. 

Road under construction from Route 140 into G&U property. Click here to go to the page on Carpenter Road, which is in the vicinity of this new road.

Hopedale in September 2021

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