Field Days

      The program for the Thirty-first Annual Draper Corporation Employees Field Day lists seventy-
    one entrants inside the front cover. Included are many names that would be familiar to those of
    you who lived in Hopedale in the mid-twentieth century. Among others are: Alfred Alves, Joe
    Bianchi, Irvine Broome, W.F. Burrill, A. Dalio, Earl Draper, C.L. Kayberry, Frederick Lescoe,
    Doris Lutz, Millard Lovejoy, Helen Moore, Raymond Midgley, Lawrence Peavey, C. Snodgrass,
    Gus Safstrom, Janet Sadler, Russell Tiffany, F. Volpicelli and R. Weaver.

                                                                   Refreshments At Cost

     Ice Cream cones 5c; coffee 5c; hot frankfurter with roll and mustard 5c; Ham Sandwich 5c;
    Soft Drinks 5c.  Ice Cream cones and Cracker Jack will be distributed gratis to children from
    five to ten years of age by special ticket. Please return empty bottles to booth.

                                                                      Saturday Evening

     The Evening Program will take place on Saturday, after the sports.  There will be a Doll
    Carriage parade for Girls, Float, Express-wagon and Horribles for Boys and Girls, and a
    Character and Costume parade which is open to all regardless of age. Residents, those
    employed in Hopedale, and the families of those employed in Hopedale are invited to enter.  
    The Parade, headed by the Hopedale Drum and Bugle Corps and the Boy Scouts, will start at 6:
    45 from the Union Church Grounds, and finish at the Town Park, where the prizes will be
    awarded. There will be special features following the parade.  Hopedale Community House,
    Inc. has very kindly offered to furnish a moving picture, Buster Keaton in "The General" to be
    shown on an out-door screen at the Town Park.
                                                                   Prizes for Baseball

     The first player on either team to make a home run will be awarded a special prize of $5.00.
    Also, the player making the longest hit will receive $5.00. (The winner of the home run prize
    cannot receive the prize for the longest hit.)


     A Merchandise Certificate for $5.00 will be given by the Committee to any contestant who
    breaks any of the previous records made at any of the Draper Corporation Field Days

    The notice above was followed by a list of the record for twelve events. Evidently records were
    for men only. The oldest record that had survived up to 1931 was held by F.B. Sweet for the
    shot put in 1906; 41 feet, 5 inches. Fred Phipps held the records for the quarter mile run (57
    1/5 seconds), the half mile run (2 min, 12 3/5 sec), the mile (5 min), and the three mile run (18
    min 36 4/5 sec). C.E. Barrows was the pole vault champ at 9 feet, 2 inches, and W.M. Mitchell,
    the high jump star at 5 feet 7 inches. J. Halloran was the record holder for the running broad
    jump at 19 feet 6 inches.

     The  "Order of Events" pages list twenty-five contests beginning with the 100 yard dash for
    boys under 15, quoits, and men's singles tennis finals at nine, and ending with a ball game
    (base ball as they wrote it at that time) between Hopedale and Whitinsville that started at three.
    Other events during the day included a potato race for girls, dashes and runs of various
    distances, ladies' singles tennis, tug-of-war (prize - box of cigars), swimming races and diving
    contests, a kindergarten race and life saving contests. Boat and canoe races were held in the
    earlier years but there is no mention of them in the 1931 program. I haven't seen programs for
    all the years, but of those I've seen, there is no mention of canoe races after 1914.

     The 1913 event had a swimming race, a boat race, a man overboard canoe race, a tail end
    canoe race and a double paddle canoe race. In 1914, and for some years after, there was a
    tub race.

     It appears that the first bicycle race was held in 1918.

     The program for the 1919 field day lists the donors of sixty-six prizes. Most of them were cash.
    The others included pictures, a year's subscription to the Milford Gazette, tennis shoes, cigars,
    five pounds of coffee, fountain pen, base ball glove, gold piece, Gillette safety razor, box of
    candy, Jonteel toilet combination, one cord shop wood, one years subscription to the Milford
    Daily News, and an umbrella.

     The 1919 program also notes that contestants in the shoe race were to wear high laced
    shoes. The year's events also included a spoon and potato race for girls, a three legged race,
    a relay race between the town and the shop fire departments, a rifle shoot, and a relay race
    between several Draper departments. There were also a number of baseball related events,
    including throwing for distance, throwing for accuracy, bunting and running, fungo hitting for
    distance, base running for time, ladies throwing ball for distance. The ball game that year
    featured a team of married men against  a team of single men.

     In addition to the usual races, the 1922 field day included a walking race, a stilt race for boys
    under 15, and a push ball contest. This seems to have involved a ball with a diameter of about
    five feet being pushed by teams of five. There was also a pipe and tobacco race, a sack race
    for girls, a ladies' clothes hanging contest, a tug of war, hose coupling, an infants' race (under
    five), a boys' pie eating contest and a ladies' button-sewing event. The ball game that year saw
    the shipping department playing the main office.

    Based on the programs and newspaper accounts, evidently the last year for the field days was
    1931.. Probably they were a victim of the Depression. They were revived in 1975 and 1976 as
    part of the national bicentennial celebration.

Field Day, 1929                    Field Day Photos (19 pictures, two pages)    

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