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.
Town signs final agreement to accept gift at end of Overdale Parkway Action paves way for landowners to proceed with subdivision plan.
Dear Hopedale History,
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.
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
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 milfordtv.net.
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
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.
Day in the Park – September 18.
With 26.1% jump in median home sales price, Hopedale is a hot ZIP code
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.
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.