The Bancroft women.

Hopedale History
September 2023
No. 419
The Roundabout Club, Part 1  

Hopedale in September  


Twenty-five years ago – September 1998 – – Google, Inc. is founded in Menlo Park, California, by Stanford University PhD candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin

The Government of North Korea adopts a military dictatorship on its 50th anniversary.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami retracts a fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie that was in force since 1989 stating that the Iranian government will “neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Rushdie”.

Fifty years ago – September 1973Chile‘s democratically elected government is overthrown in a violent military coup after serious political instability. President Salvador Allende allegedly commits suicide during the coup in the presidential palace and General Augusto Pinochet heads a US-backed military junta that governs Chile for the next 17 years.

The two German Republics, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), are admitted to the United Nations.

In the most widely-watched tennis match up to that point, “The Battle of the Sexes” took place in the Houston Astrodome between 1973 women’s Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King and 1939 men’s champion Bobby Riggs. Riggs was favored to win by gambling oddsmakers as a 5-2 favorite. The event was televised in 36 countries and watched by an estimated at 90 million people at home, while a record 30,492 people attended in person. King won in three straight sets, 6–4, 6–4, 6–3.

One-hundred years ago – September 1923 – Struggling for a foothold in southern China, Sun Yat-sen decides to ally his Nationalist Kuomintang party with the Comintern, and the Chinese Communist Party.

The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (1922) comes into effect, officially creating under British administration the protectorates of Palestine, to provide a homeland for the Jewish people, and the separate Emirate of Transjordan under Abdullah I. The French-administered Mandate for Syria and Lebanon also takes effect.

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


The Roundabout Club, Part 1

By Rachel Day

The material for the ezine story for this month and October was transcribed by Ann Fields, a former director of the Bancroft Memorial Library. Since retirement, she has volunteered at the library to organize some of the historical materials and found Rachel Day’s hand written article about the early members of the Roundabout Club. Club members discussed all kinds of things. Some years they would take a country and discuss all aspects of the country, sometimes literature, music .. their interests were wide-spread

From these names you may see that the sturdy back bone of Hopedale life was all here in the Roundabout. Why did the Bancrofts, Dutchers and Patricks, the minister, the school teachers form this club – an additional burden to their busy life? Answer – they were New Englanders, and a New Englander’s education is never finished – Like the Athenian, he is always seeking to know and talk over some new thing.

Of course, the three families I have named were the prime movers and mainstay of the Roundabout through all the early years, and after the unfortunate break in friendly relations with the Patricks, the first two carried on.

It would be hard to find three sisters more exciting, interesting, and agreeable than the three Bancroft girls. They were all good to look at, too, all interested in the finer things in life and anything helpful to their dearly loved town. But there the likenesses ceased. They were as different as they could be, Miss Anna, tall, stately, impressive. Miss Lilla, flashing, brilliant. Miss Lura, sweeter and more feminine than the other two.

No one could help turning around to look when Miss Anna entered the room. To all of us who knew her only in her white-haired dignity, it came as a shock that in her girl hood, she was not considered even pretty. With her white hair framing her glorious dark eyes she became fine looking indeed.

She had been an excellent teacher, then a very prominent worker in all the affairs of the Unitarian Church in Mass., a member of the State Library Committee for years, foremost in all good works in Hopedale, long a trustee and co-founder with Miss Sornborger of our excellent town library, member of the School Committee. In everything she did, not merely was she conscientious but brilliant, and withal, she had a keen sense of humor. Lastly, she was a true friend.  One of her old friends confided to her a secret that the ? (five) towns burned to know for fifty years – the secret died with Miss B.

Equally brilliant but more colorful was the next sister, Lilla. No one will ever forget the flash of her black eyes, who once saw them. She taught in the high school boys who would cheerfully have died for her at a moment’s notice. She could review a book just as cleverly if she’s never seen it, as if she’d really read it. Her bon mots were quoted all over the town, and life seemed duller here when she had left us.

Laura, the youngest was an endearing woman, our drawing teacher. We would grin appreciatively when we heard her come jingling up the stairs. She had a whole menagerie of silver utensils [_?]—tinkling at her belt, and we couldn’t draw for trying to count them. All three of the sisters rarely left anything In the trunks in the attic when a state occasion arose. We did enjoy their clothes. Oh, but the Roundabout lost color with their departure. I’m sorry for all you young things who missed the brightest birds in Hopedale skies.

Mr. and Mrs. Dutcher most of you knew to some degree, and yet I must recall to you what they meant to the Roundabout, and to Hopedale. Both had a deep love for everything beautiful in life – fine china, noble books, flowers, trees, music. You all know that Mr. D. saw to it that every school room in H. had a piano and personally superintended their yearly tuning. Nothing aroused his wrath like a ?jangling? piano. The Park is a monument to his sure judgement and the cemeteries of both Milford and H. no less. The schools of Hopedale had his unremitting wise care for two generations. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dutcher directed at one time or another every worthwhile institution in both towns, and always at the end of their term of office, the instit. were flourishing financially. But what endeared Mr. D. especially to those who knew him best was his dry wit, which often startled violently those who knew him less. Mr. D’s gift as a reader made many a R. meeting memorable. While Mrs. D.’s charm as a hostess in their gracious hone has left lovely memories with us all.

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Hopedale News – September 1998

Hopedale News – September 1973

Hopedale News – September 1923

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