Home of Frank and Martha Dutcher, burned down in 1903.
Frank and Martha Dutcher home, 1905.
The original Larches.
The ruins of The Larches after a fire in 1909.
Home built by Hannah Osgood after the fire.
Eben and Nannie Draper home at 150 Beacon Street after fire.


Hopedale History
June 2024
No. 428
Up in Smoke!

Hopedale in June  


Twenty-five years ago – June 1999Napster, a music downloading service, is created; it would later inspire other file-sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay, LimeWire, Gnutella, Kazaa, Morpheus, BearShare, and uTorrent 1999-2010 period which some called the “Second Golden Age of Piracy“.

Fifty years ago – June 1974 – At 8:01 in the morning, the first purchase of a product with the Universal Product Code (UPC) was made, as 67 cent package of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum was the first item in a shopping basket of items at the checkout aisle in a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

One-hundred years ago – June 1924 –  Rudolf Steiner delivers his Agriculture Course at Koberwitz beginning of the organic agriculture movement.

News above is from Wikipedia. For Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago, see below text box on online version of this page.


Up in Smoke!


The handsome residence of Frank J. Dutcher on Adin road, Hopedale, was struck by lightning at 5:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon, and severely damaged.

The bolt entered the house by means of an electric light wire and started a fire between the partitions of the second floor. The inmates of the house were not aware that it had been struck until flames burst forth some 15 minutes afterwards. An alarm was given from box 53, summoning the entire Hopedale department, and a few minutes later Chief J.L. Damon of the Milford fire department detailed steamer 2 in response to an appeal from Mr. Dutcher. Milford Daily News, May 20, 1903.

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Marvel of Beauty Is
New F.J. Dutcher Home

$50,000 Mansion on Adin Road,
Finished Today by Dillon Bros., Is
Show Place for Hopedale

The handsome and roomy English mansion on Adin Road, designed by Chapman & Frazer, the Boston architects, and built by Dillon Bros. of Milford as general contractors for Frank J. Dutcher of Hopedale, was finished today after over a year’s steady labor by the artisans employed in its construction.

The house is one of the most unique and beautiful residences in Hopedale, where handsome houses abound, and its completion adds one more show place to the sights of Milford’s youngest and most enterprising neighbor.

The house sets back a considerable distance from Adin Road, almost directly at the rear of Mr. Dutcher’s old home, which was struck by lightning a few years ago. The older house will be torn down soon, and its site will be graded over so that the view from the newer mansion will not be obstructed.

The new house is built upon a huge ledge of rock, much of which, at the front of the house, has been left in its natural state, and this adds materially to the beauty of the surroundings.

The house itself is a marvel of the builder’s art. Approaching from the front one observes two massive chimneys of fieldstone, on either side of the main entrance, which is gained through a broad, roomy, covered porch. The house is shingled all over, two and one-half stories in height, with pitched roof, and architecturally is fit to be compared with the finest homes in the vicinity. Milford Daily News, November 28, 1905.

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Failure of Water Pressure at Critical Time
Dooms Residence on Hilltop – Milford
and Hopedale Departments Fight Big
Blaze While Thousands Watch Their
Efforts—House Had Just Been Bought
By Mrs. Osgood For Summer Home.

With every piece of apparatus for fire fighting in Milford and Hopedale pressed into service last night, water pressure sufficient to cope with what was at first only a small blaze at the residence formerly owned by George Otis Draper on the top of the hill that divides Milford and Hopedale could not be obtained, and as a result the $50,000 mansion was utterly destroyed.

The great height on which the residence was located was the means of its undoing. In the beginning, if the firemen had been able to keep a continuous stream upon the blaze there would hardly have been $1,000 damage, but later when the flames had spread the streams that Milford’s steamers were able to send up were no match for the devouring element. Milford Daily News, May 22, 1909

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Beautiful Home Will Be Built On
Hill Between Hopedale and
Milford By Dillon Bros.

The new $40,000 residence for which Mrs. E.L. Osgood has had plans prepared, and which is to occupy the magnificent site which was formerly owned by George Otis Draper, whose palatial mansion was destroyed by fire soon after it had passed from Mr. Draper to his aunt, Mrs. Osgood, is to rival in splendor any of the grand residences of the Draper family in Hopedale. Milford Daily News, September 4, 1909

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Governor Draper’s Residence is Burned

 Beautiful Beacon Street Home Scene
of $200,000 Blaze Early Today

Two Firemen Injured

Fire which broke out at 5 o’clock this morning completely destroyed the magnificent winter residence of Gov. Eben S. Draper, at 150 Beacon Street, Boston, causing a property loss of fully $200,000.

The cause of the conflagration is unknown, as the house had been closed all summer and there had been nobody there since 5 o’clock last evening when the workmen who were putting the mansion into shape for occupancy quit.

The fire had evidently been burning several hours before the firemen arrived, and when the flames did break out they made a spectacular fire that could be seen for miles around, and threatened at one time to spread to other residences close by.

Gov. Draper was at his home in Hopedale last night, but left for Boston at 6:15 this morning in his auto when a message arrived that his new home was in flames and likely to be destroyed.

Mrs. Draper is at present in Paris with her daughter, and does not yet know of the disaster that has befallen her beautiful home which was rated among the most palatial of the many Boston residences. Milford Daily News, October 5, 1909.


There were several other early Hopedale homes that no longer exist. The Gov. Eben and Nannie Draper home, The Ledges, was torn down and replaced in the 1920s by their son, Eben, Jr. The Clare and Matilda Draper home was razed sometime in the 1920s or 1930s, and Memorial School was later built on the site. The George Albert and Jesse Preston Draper home at 66 adin Street was razed in 1934, and replaced by B.H.B Draper, Jr. The long-gone Eben Draper Bancroft home was about where Steel Road meets Adin Street now. The Ebenezer Draper home at the corner of Adin and Hopedale streets was sold to A.A. Westcott, and later became the Brae Burn Inn boarding house. Now it’s the site of a high school parking lot. The Brae Burn Annex was where the post office is now. In 1926, Princess Margaret Draper Boncompagni gave the home of her parents, Gen. William and Susan Preston Draper, to the town to be used as the site of a school. The next year the General Draper High School opened there.

For mote about Draper and other homes, see Draper Homes in Boston, and Homes with Names.

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