Hopedale Community House
Gift of George A. Draper
By this number of Cotton Chats we present a collection of pictures of the new Hopedale
Community House and its appointments.
Designed to be the social and civic center of Hopedale residents and the Draper Corporation
employees from towns around, this beautifully appointed Community house was planned and
built to meet what the late George A. Draper felt was the most pressing unsatisfied
requirement of the town where he was born, of which he had been a lifelong resident and for
which he had an abiding love.
Made possible by this munificent gift while still alive for the building and its endowment, it was
approaching completion when his untimely and sudden death last February prevented his
seeing the finished structure and being present at its opening in June.
It was in 1919 that Mr. Draper, who had often talked of the need in Hopedale of a proper
community center, decided to meet that need at his own expense. He called together seven
leading citizens of the town and gave a general outline of his plan and what he was willing to
do in the way of providing funds to make possible its consummation. These seven men, later
the Trustees of Hopedale Community House, Inc., were Frank J. Dutcher, E.D. Bancroft, C.E.
Nutting, W.I. Stimson, D. F. Butterworth, F.A. Darling and Dana Osgood. Mr. Dutcher, is
president of the corporation, Mr. Darling, secretary and Mr. Butterworth, treasurer.
To these seven men, Mr. Draper left the working out of the details of the plans and the
determination of what town activities should be provided for in the new community home.
They accepted their duties as a sacred trust and devoted more than two years to study of
the work of similar institutions in all parts of the country and careful thought and discussion
of the special requirements of our own people.
The plans for the building were made by Edwin J. Lewis, Jr., of Boston, and the contract was
awarded early in 1922 to the Casper Ranger Construction Co. of Holyoke. Work was
commenced that spring and the building was turned over to the trustees at a simple formal
opening on June 23 of this year, the keys being presented by Mrs. Helen Draper Taft,
daughter of Mr. Draper, and received by Mr. Dutcher for the trustees.
The house has been open for use since August 1. The regular winter program of activities
with gymnasium classes will begin October 1. These classes, open to men, women, boys and
girls, will be under the direction of Robert E. Gourlie, recently of Newport, R.I., who has been
appointed instructor and supervisor of the building.
The House Committee is Wallace I. Stimson, Dana Osgood and C. Fred Butterworth.
The pictures of succeeding pages show the excellent plan and splendid equipment of the
building. The Banquet Hall is also used for gymnasium classes. It had not been equipped for
this work when the pictures were taken. Cotton Chats, September 1923