Princess Boncompagni Turns Over
                                                Memorial Library Keys Today

                                                Simple Ceremonies Mark Opening This Afternoon
                                      of the Elaborately-Outfitted Room In Hopedale High School

    Hopedale -- With simple ceremonies the elaborately outfitted Memorial Library in the General Draper
    High School at Hopedale was dedicated today in memory of her father, General William F. Draper.  
    Present were members of the family of the Princess, Hopedale school committeemen and town

    Following the brief exercises the room was open for inspection to the residents of Hopedale, Milford
    and Mendon, who also had the privilege of looking over the magnificent new school building, which
    now boasts of a library equaled in no other community except in colleges and private schools.

    Princess Boncompagni was given deserved praise from all for her generosity in giving the library,
    which has been equipped and furnished, regardless of the cost, with the main objective being to
    provide every comfort and convenience to the students during their final educational courses in

    The ceremonies this afternoon included brief remarks by Princess Boncompagni, who then
    presented the keys of the room to Frank J. Dutcher, veteran chairman of the Hopedale school
    committee, the latter accepting the handsome donation in behalf of the committee.

    Princess Boncompagni had intended to have a program of entertainment in connection with the
    dedication, coupled with more elaborate exercises, but the recent death of Mrs. E.L. Osgood, her aunt
    and father's sister, caused her to alter the arrangements.  She plans, however, to have the pleasure
    of entertaining her friends in the community at the High School at a later date.

    All who gathered at the school this afternoon were given an opportunity to meet the Princess, who
    made plans to remain at the building until after 5 o'clock.

    The Memorial library is situated at the northwest end of the school building and has two entrances;
    one from the main corridor and the other on the west side from the English classroom.  The room is
    done in American English finish hand carved by Irving & Casson, leading decorators of the country
    and whose interior work adorns many large churches.  It is a Georgian room, with the Georgian shell
    carved over each of the corner shelves.

    The floor is of Italian marble, which is used also in the construction of the large open fireplace, from
    which electric heat is radiated through magic coal and creates a most cheerful atmosphere.  the floor
    is practically hidden by an expensive Persian carpet from England, with English embroidery, while
    colorful draperies are hung along the north windows.

    Over the fireplace is a huge copy of an oil painting of General William F. Draper with a frame
    handcarved to match the general decorating scheme.  The original painting was the work of Robert
    Hickey, a New England artist of renown, and its copy was the effort of Leslie Thompson, a Boston

    All the books, numbering 1094, from the original library of General Draper, each beautifully bound
    and rare editions, are in position at the Memorial room and Princess Boncompagni has added many
    volumes, including two illuminated manuscript books.

    There are three chairs from the General Draper library in the room, together with a Dante statue and
    other effects from the old library at the Draper home.  The furniture is of special design and is
    upholstered in deep red English morocco leather and needle point finish.

    Special articles in the library are a desk lamp from England and a large vase purchased in France.  
    There are also two small end tables of a neat pattern to be used in connection with the reading
    chairs.  There are open and closed shelves for books on both the east and west sides of the room.  
    The lighting system is of an indirect nature.

    The seating capacity is in excess of the usual ratio for a library in school having the same enrollment
    as Hopedale High.  On either side of the corridor door are memorials of General Draper, each in a
    large frame.  On the right as one enters are his degree from Washington and Lee University, at
    Lennox, Va., appointment as Ambassador to Italy under President McKinley's administration during
    the reign of King Humbert, a letter from John Hays of the Department of State and one from the then
    Minister of Affairs. Milford Daily News, April 6, 1929


    An article titled Princess At Library Dedication, written by Gordon Hopper in 1994, tells largely the
    same story as seen above, but has the following information on early Hopedale schools not included
    in the 1929 story.

    During the course of his remarks in accepting the keys of the Hopedale Memorial Library from
    Princess Boncompagni, Frank Dutcher, chairman of the School Committee, stated that in December
    1854, a private school for older persons was opened on the same site as that on which the new
    Hopedale High School stands, from which the General Draper Home was removed.

    At that time, the property was included in the town of Milford from which Hopedale was set off in
    1886.  It was known as the Collegiate and Classical Institution and it was in operation for several

    It was succeeded by what was known as the Hopedale Home School on the site near the Town Hall
    formerly occupied by the American Legion quarters.  [Now the site of the police station.]

    The school was in charge of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Hayward, Mrs. Hayward being the daughter of the
    Rev. Adin Ballou. Material used in the preparation of this feature item was supplied by Paul Curran of
    Milford. Milford Daily News, September 17, 1994

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Click here for more on the Dante bust.

Thanks to Draper Place resident Dot Smith for sending the item above.