The Garages

    When I was a kid, one of our forms of entertainment was to go to the Prospect Street garages, get up on
    the roof of one of them, and then jump from one to another to another. There were a good many of them,
    but  they were only about a foot apart, so it wasn't much of a challenge and it would be more accurate to
    say we stepped from one to the next than to say we jumped. In addition to the garages off of Prospect
    Street, there were others at the end of Jones Road, between Park Street and the intersection of Inman
    and Beech, Inman and Lower Jones, off of Hill Street, on Cemetery Street and on the west side of
    Bancroft Park. There may have been others I'm forgetting. (The brick garages of Lake Street and Lower
    Jones came later than the wooden ones; or probably replaced the wooden ones, in the early fifties.) The
    following story on the garages was taken from a newspaper article. I don't have the name of the paper or
    a date, but it was when you could buy a new Plymouth, the full sized, four-door model, for $695,
    according to an ad on the same page. It doesn't appear to have been the Milford News.

    The pretty homes of the workers of the Draper Corporation are not disfigured by unsightly garages, nor
    are the backyards of the town littered with a lot of junk and abandoned flivvers.  The motorists of
    Hopedale enjoy the advantages of "communistic garaging," which not only means much from an aesthetic
    point of view to the town in general, but serves to minimize the fire hazard. At strategic spots throughout
    the town large areas of land are set off and dedicated solely to garages. These spots are usually hidden
    from the roadway, and approached through lanes and paths lined with trees and shrubbery. In a clearing
    will be found the garages, all neatly arranged, Each man must build his own garage, conforming to plans
    laid down by the Draper Corporation. If the garage owner decides to clear out for another town, he is
    allowed to demolish his garage and take the pieces with him. (I think they were built of "shop wood,"
    which included packing boxes and other wood, available free or at very little cost at the Draper shop.) He
    may sell his garage - not the land, though, for that belongs to the Drapers.

    Here's a story Carol Whyte told me recently. Frannie Fogan, who grew up on Inman Street in the fifties,
    entered a contest and won a horse. Having no other place to keep it, her family asked for and received
    permission from the Draper official in charge of such things, to keep the horse in their garage. It was one
    of the group between Park and Inman. A bit of the nearby woods was cleared and the garage was moved
    onto it. I don't know how long the horse lived, but it seems to me that the stable/garage was still there in
    the seventies.

    Here's another comment on the garages.  The segment on the garages was particularly interesting.  I
    have lived in a lot of towns since leaving Hopedale and have never again encountered anything like
    those communal garages.  We lived on Prospect Street and Dad had one of the garages back there, but
    not one of the ones in the photos.  Cannot believe that after all these years, I recognized the Prospect
    Street garages (relics as they were) on first sight, before reading the caption.   One of them, the brown
    double, was close to Mr. Drisko’s house.  He was a history teacher and cross country coach. Thanks for
    sharing all year long.

    John Workman

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    Prospect Street garages in foreground. There
    were more of them than can be seen in this photo.

    The Lake Street area garages can be seen near the bottom
    of the picture, just a bit to the right of center. The wooden
    ones seen here were later replaced by brick garages. At the
    middle upper-right edge, you can get a faint glimpse of
    several of the Bancroft Park garages.

    The picture below was taken where Inman Street meets
    Beech Street. The ones above were behind Prospect Street.