Map of Hopedale two years after becoming a town. Click on it for a larger view

Hopedale History
September 2021
No. 395
Hopedale the Town, Part 2

Hopedale in September  

Draper Site Cleanup 

Hopedale High Class of 1961 – 60 year reunion

Reunion of the Hopedale High classes of the 1940s

Hopedale High Class of 1947 50-year reunion


Twenty-five years ago – September 1996 –  The United States launches Operation Desert Strike against Iraq in reaction to the attack on Arbil.

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) signed

In Afghanistan, the Taliban capture the capital city of Kabul

Nintendo introduces in American market the new game console with the name Nintendo 64.

Fifty years ago – September 1971Qatar gains independence from the United Kingdom.

In Washington, D.C., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is inaugurated, with the opening feature being the premiere of Leonard Bernstein‘s Mass.

Attica Prison riot: A revolt breaks out at the maximum-security prison in Attica, New York. In the end, state police and the United States National Guard storm the facility; 42 are killed, 10 of them hostages.

Hugo L. Black retires as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States after serving for 34 years, at this time a record for longevity; Black dies eight days later.

One hundred years ago – September 1919 – Russian Civil War, Western Front: Battle of Petrograd: The White general Nikolai Yudenich approaches the city of Saint Petersburg with 18,500 soldiers, but is defeated by the defense organized by Leon Trotsky.

The Steel strike of 1919 begins across the United States.

Elaine massacre: An estimated 100 to 237 black people and 5 white people are killed in Elaine, Arkansas, by white mobs and vigilante militias assisted by federal troops in the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history and possibly the bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States.

Items above are from Wikipedia. News clipping below this textbox are from the Milford Daily News and the Milford Gazette.


Hopedale the Town, Part 2

From a pamphlet by Peter Hackett and Richard Moore and published by the Hopedale Community Historical Society. This section was written by Hopedale’s first town clerk, Frank Dewing.

It seems proper in this first annual report of the doings of the officers of the town of Hopedale, to incorporate therein a brief statement of the facts connected with the establishment of the new municipality.

 The village, from which our town takes its name, had a peculiar origin.  In 1842 under the lead of the Rev. Adin Ballou, an organization known as the Hopedale Community purchased what was then known as the Jones Farm, upon which most of the village of Hopedale now stands.  Within a few years they built up a village of fifty dwellings besides mills, shops and other conveniences, multiplied their population to 300 and enlarged their domain to an area of about 600 acres.

 Their object was to establish a fraternal community which should avoid the vices of society as far as possible, educate the rising generation properly, and establish, if they could, a better system of industry for themselves.

 This community as an industrial organization failed to meet with lasting success, but the fact of its existence here, with the further fact that a large number of its original members and their families still reside here, has given the village rather a peculiar character as compared with the population of most manufacturing towns.  Among other peculiarities  there has never been in the village a place where intoxicating liquors could be purchased, and it is hoped by us that this peculiarity may long continue. [Hopedale remained a “dry” town until 1970.]

 As a part of the town of Milford the relations of this section were as a rule harmonious; but it became evident in recent years that, so far as Hopedale was concerned, its needs could be better and more economically supplied if we had a local government of our own, than if we remained as a small part of a large municipality like Milford, with different wants and requirements.

 During the spring of the year 1885 a petition was drawn up and signed by nearly all the voters and resident taxpayers of Hopedale, asking that the territory of Milford be divided in accordance with a line stated, and that a part of the town lying west of the said line be established as a new township.

 Public meetings were held in the village of Hopedale and in South Milford, and the following committee was chosen to carry out the wishes of the people:

George Draper, Wm. F. Draper, Adin Ballou, Michael Gannon, E. S. Stimson, F. J. Dutcher, Frank Dewing, A. B. Edmands, E. S. Adams, C. F. Roper, E. D. Bancroft, A. B. C. Deming, Edwd. Schofield, Frank H. French, Murty O. Connell, S. L. Madden, Lucius Lowell, Geo. W. Knight, Charles Thayer, J. S. Bailey, Charles E. Pierce. Thomas H. Bradley, C. H. Messinger, R. C. Fay, G. L. Tarr, J. S. Chase, Fred E. Smith, W. N. Goddard, Samuel A. Andrew, Timothy Osgood, George O. Hatch, E. M. Wheelock, A. A. Westcott, Sumner A. Dudley, Almon Thwing, Robert Ross, Eben S. Draper, Henry Walker, John A. Peckham, A. W. Ham, John L. Cook, F. S. Hayward, F. D. Montague, I. W. Blanchard, B. H. Knight, H. B. Fisk, J. B. Bancroft, George H. Williams, A. W. Westcott, George A. Draper.

 They engaged Hon. S. Z. Bowman, Esq., of Somerville, and N. Sumner Myrick, Esq., of Boston, as counsel, and were more than satisfied with their services.  In due season the petition came before a committee of the Legislature, consisting of Messrs. Phillips of  Hampden, Gleason of Worcester, and Locke of Essex, of the Senate, and Messrs. Taft of Palmer, Field of Boston, Sampson of Pembroke, Blythe of Wakefield, Jenney of Hyde Park, Allen of Oakham, Woodward of Boston, and Shaw of Lowell of the House, who reported a bill in favor of the division without a dissenting voice.

 On the 12th day of March, 1886, the first vote was taken in the Senate after a long discussion, and the measure was carried, 14 in favor, and 11 against.  It was brought up in the House on the 25th day of March, and was again discussed at length, but again carried 118 in favor, and 82 against.  Returning to the Senate it was finally passed on the 6th day of April by a vote of 18 to 16, and the bill was signed by Gov. George D. Robinson, on the 7th.

 The first town meeting was held of the 19th day of April 1886, and officers were elected, this volume being a report of their doings for the past year.   

 So far as the results can be judged by a year’s experience, it seems evident that both sections of the old town of Milford are better off than before.  In both towns the taxes are lower; in both towns there is greater interest in good local government; and in both towns there has been marked increase of material prosperity, while the prospect of growth and continued prosperity was never brighter.  Few citizens of Hopedale, and perhaps few citizens of Milford, would desire to see the division act repealed if it could be done.

 With due modesty we think we can say that in Hopedale we have better schools, better roads and better attention to all local wants than we had under the former regime, or than we could have expected had it continued.  Our relations with our mother town have been pleasant, and we are glad to note that the little asperity caused by friction of the division conflict has substantially passed away

Frank Dewing,
Town Clerk   


Hopedale News – September 1996

Hopedale News – September 1971

Hopedale News – September 1921