Here and There With the Employees of the Draper Corporation

                                                           A Column Dealing With Their Activities

                                                               Thomas Gaffney


    On Nov. 7, [1934] Thomas H. Gaffney will complete a half century of continuous
    employment with the Draper company.  While he is not the oldest employee in years of
    service, only a very few have a record equal to his.  Mr. Gaffney enjoys good health and
    appears much younger than his shop record would indicate.  He is looking forward to many
    more years of pleasant relations with his shop friends.

    Mr. Gaffney started working in the Screw department about the time the late Charles F.
    Roper invented the first automatic screw machine. Following the introduction of this
    machine the screw business boomed for several years.  He remained in this department
    for 38 years and then transferred to the Pattern Safe department where he is now
    located.  Only six men were employed in the screw business at the start but this number
    was increased to several hundred within a few years.

    When Mr. Gaffney was a boy he passed the home of Adin Ballou every day on his way to
    school.  Mr. Ballou greeted the school boys and often gave them apples.  Mr. Gaffney
    recalls distinctly the time that the Ballou house was moved to its present location on
    Dutcher street.  The house is now occupied by Alfred Howarth of the Foundry.

    Thomas Gaffney was one of the six charter members of Hose 2, which was formed about
    40 years ago.  These hose houses located in different sections of the town made up the
    only fire protection. When a fire occurred at night it was necessary to arouse the late John
    French in order to secure his horse to haul the hose wagon.

    When Almon Thwing, brother-in-law of George Draper, lived at the corner of Hopedale and
    Hope streets he had a large clock on the front of his barn.  It was the only clock of its size
    in town and everybody referred to it as the Town Clock.  It was built and maintained by Mr.
    Thwing with a great deal of pride.  The house in which Mr. Thwing lived is now
    located on Union Street. (The link goes to a page about the possibility that it was an
    Underground Railroad house.)   (In Frank Dutcher's memories of Christmas in early
    Hopedale, he mentioned that Thwing had made a clock that was on the roof of the
    Community chapel/school. It seems likely that after that building was no longer used for its
    original purpose, Thwing moved the clock to his barn.)

    Mr. Gaffney's father, Michael F. Gaffney, was employed in Worcester.  He worked nights
    and came to Hopedale on week-ends. After finishing work on Saturday night he would take
    a train to Northbridge and then walk to his home here.

    Mr. Gaffney says the Old Red shop, which now stands on the south end of Hopedale
    pond, opposite the Freedom street side of the shop, is the original Sheet Metal
    department. It was then located near where the Screw shop now stands. Later it was
    moved to the east side of Freedom street [???], south of the dam, where it was still used
    for the sheet metal work.  It was moved from there to its present location. [When this article
    was written in 1934, the Little Red Shop was north of Freedom Street and west of the
    pond, near Progress Street. It was moved to its present location on the east side of the
    pond in 1951.]

    Mr. Gaffney's memory of what happened in Hopedale goes back vividly for 60 years. He
    can recall the many changes in both the plant and the layout of the town. From
    conversations which he had as a boy with his parents and also his grandparents he knows
    considerable about the history which covers the doings of the Hopedale community and
    the days before Hopedale was set apart from Milford. One thing which is seldom
    mentioned is the old Eight-rod road.  This was an old stage coach route from Worcester to
    Providence which went through this section.  It is now grown up to woods but in many
    places a stone wall which lined either side of the road is still standing. The boundary line
    between Hopedale and Mendon follows this old road, Mr. Gaffney says.  The Milford
    Daily News.

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