Hopedale History
May 2022
No. 403
Hopedale in 1897

Hopedale in May 

Recent additions have been made to the following pages: Draper Site Cleanup     West Street Property Disupute     Overdale Parkway Issue    

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Twenty-five years ago – May 1997Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,

The first genetically modified three-parent baby is born

IBM‘s Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, the first time a computer beats a chess World champion in a match.

The United States government acknowledges existence of the “Secret War” in Laos (19531975) during the Vietnam War,

Fifty years ago – May 1972Operation Linebacker and Operation Custom Tailor begin with large-scale bombing operations against North Vietnam by tactical fighter aircraft.

The Boston Bruins defeat the New York Rangers four games to two to win the Stanley Cup

Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot and paralyzed by Arthur Bremer at a political rally in Laurel, Maryland.

In St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City), Laszlo Toth attacks Michelangelo‘s Pietà statue with a geologist’s hammer, shouting that he is Jesus Christ.

The Dominion of Ceylon becomes the republic of Sri Lanka.

Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT I treaty in Moscow, as well as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and other agreements.

One-hundred years ago – May 1922 – In The Bronx, construction begins on Yankee Stadium.

Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Erik Satie and Clive Bell dine together in Paris, at the Majestic hotel, their only joint meeting.

In Washington, D.C., the Lincoln Memorial is dedicated.

News items above are from Wikipedia. For Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago, see below this text box.

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Hopedale in 1897

By Virginia Cyr

The original headline of this Milford Daily News article was Hopedale’s Sunrise Ceremony Featured Reading of Wilson Essay.

HOPEDALE – Those who attended the annual Easter Sunrise service held at Hopedale Pond, heard some of what Reverend Lewis Wilson, pastor of United Parish in 1897, had to say about early Hopedale. A short essay, penned by Rev. Wilson on Oct 28 that year, was included in the time capsule which was opened at Unitarian Parish on Palm Sunday.

The document put aside any notion that one might have of the seriousness of the people of 1897; the pictures of the era show stern-faced people with an almost foreboding countenance. Rev. Wilson, through his essay put a hole in that theory with his writing.

Titled “Hopedale in 1897,” the document has drawn an abundance of attention by those who have viewed the display of capsule contents at the Unitarian Parish.

Discussing the Oct 29 scheduled burial of the capsule, Rev. Wilson said, “Should the contents of this box ever again see the light of day, it may be interesting to those who examine these trifles to know how the village then appeared. I will not attempt to make an historical sketch, for we have ‘company’ at the parsonage this evening, and the shepherd of the flock is hard pressed for time.”

He continued, “Tomorrow morning is Friday, Oct. 29, 1897. At 9 o’clock the corner stone of the beautiful church now being erected will be put in its place. There will be no ceremony except that Mrs. E.S. Draper will lay the stone and the mallet will be kept as a memento of the occasion. There will be a number of people present, including children from the public schools.”

Rev. Wilson then went on the describe Hopedale. He said, “Hopedale, at the present time is a delightful village of about 1,000 inhabitants. Hopedale, Dutcher, Adin, Freedom and Union streets have been macadamized and they are provided with excellent concrete sidewalks. The shops have been greatly enlarged within the last five years and under normal conditions employ between 1100 and 1200 hands. There are two grocery stores, one drug store, one shoe store, a news store, market and barber shop in the village.

Getting onto the transportation situation, Rev. Wilson said, “We have an electric R.R. connecting us with So. Framingham, via Milford and Holliston and we have glorious anticipations of other similar connections in the future. What is called a steam R.R. runs through this place under the name of the Grafton and Upton Railroad. At the present time it supports itself mostly by freighting. The passenger accommodations are such as to remind one of his sins and ask for immediate forgiveness.”

Of the population, he noted, “Our population is mostly American. The people are generally in comfortable circumstances. Indeed, we need a few really poor people to keep our sympathies alive.”

Of organizations of the day, Rev. Wilson said, “There are several secret organizations, a literary club called the Roundabout Club, a boys Neanikos Club, a girl’s Loyal Workers Club, and the Guild of a Kempis.

Of other religions in the town. Rev. Wilson said, “There is another religious organization having a very pretty church building on Prospect Street. Its members are human beings, I believe, although they think Unitarians will fare badly hereafter.”

Rev. Wilson reported, “The writer of this sketch wishes to call attention to the fact that Gen. William F. Draper is now the U.S. Ambassador to Italy and living in Rome. There are a few of the members of the old Hopedale Community still living, viz Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Cook, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Bancroft, Mrs. Abner Adams, and Mrs. Sarah Holbrook, the last being one of the charter members.”

Nearing completion of his “script,” Rev. Wilson said, “By the time this document is discovered probably several more changes will have taken place in this town. The writer, for the first time in his immortal life, realizes that he now has an opportunity to reach to his posterity and to future generations, but he places himself under restraint. People in this age of the world are laughing, weeping, competing, sinning, hoping, praying, deceiving, loving, hating, hurrying, and dying. They are generally without much repose. They are, for most part, straining every nerve today that they may really “live” tomorrow. Some of us hope that by the time this box is opened human beings will have learned that God works as well as man and that the true art of living is as much a matter of faith as it is of hard work.”

Those who have been a part of the opening of the historic capsule were smiling as they read the closing lines of the script which read, “With my best regards to all my friends on earth, I am sending kind assurances from Heaven where I now reside, I remain, Sincerely, Lewis G. Wilson.

The text of this script or essay, as contained in this report, appears exactly as it appeared on the paper removed from the capsule. The handwriting was extremely clear and had the distinct and artistic handwriting of earlier days. Punctuation was noticeably minimal and several of the words carried a spelling that today would be considered incorrect.

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