The pictures on this page were sent by Alexander Montville in May
    2020. Here's the first message I received from him. Attached were
    three of the pictures. A day later he sent the other five.

    Good morning,

    My mom recently gave me a wooden/iron desk and chair combo that
    came from the Dutcher Street School in Hopedale. I'm told her mother
    got it in the 60s when the school closed, but all the graffiti inside seems
    to be from the 40s and 50s. The company that made the desk is
    Kenney Bros & Wolkins out of Boston, and they made school furniture
    from 1900 to the late 30s. I included a few pictures of the desk/chair
    combo on my porch as I was cleaning it up, but don't worry, it's not
    stored outside!

    Anyway, the most visible piece of graffiti is by someone named Ray
    Midgley (pic attached) and I see he wrote an article for your website:  

    The graffiti itself is fantastic it reads:

    If you have any way to contact him or anyone in his family, I'm sure
    they'd love to see it!  

    Thanks and take care,
    Alexander Montville

    Well, as luck would have it, as the saying goes, I had an email address
    for Ray Midgley. I forwarded Alexander's message to him. Here's his


    Good to hear from you!. I will forward this to my remaining classmates.  
    I need a favor. Could you down load a picture of the graffiti for Shirley
    Butcher? Her cousin Carlo is on it!.  She lives in South Hopedale and
    has no internet..

    The desk is from the high school, not Dutcher Street. I sat in the back
    row of the main room that held about 120 desks
    Ray HHS-52

    Of course I agreed with Ray. Amazing. His message, written in 1952,
    getting back to him 68 years later.

    I wrote to Alexander again, forwarding Ray's message. Here's his reply
    to that.

    That's awesome, and thank you! My mom (Susan Eddy) swears it was
    at the Dutcher Street school when her mother got it in the 60s though.
    Most of the graffiti (like Ray's) mentioned 4 year spans which make
    sense for high school, but some of the more recent names on the desk
    only have 2 year spans, which would fit more with a middle school. My
    best guess is the furniture was updated for the high school at some
    point and the middle school inherited these as hand-me-downs, but I'm
    unsure. There is one picture I attached that looks like the name was
    Richard Paul Collins from 1956-1957, which is the clearest example of
    this, and appears to be the most recent date on the desk. I also
    included two pictures with Carlo's name; the one near Ray's which we
    saw before, and one other that I found on the inside of the top which
    looks like Carlo used a push pin to "stab" his name into the wood. I
    also included a close up of someone named Shirley Brescia who
    appeared to be dating someone named Butch at the time, and another
    couple named Tim and Ally, whose last names were not written.

    Feel free to use these images as you see fit!

    As to Ray's high school desk turning up at the Dutcher Street School,
    here's what I think happened. At Hopedale High, up until 1957, all
    students began and ended each school day in what was called the
    main room. As Ray said, it had about 120 desks. By 1957, the classes
    were getting larger, and the main room system was no longer
    workable. It was divided into three classrooms. There were probably no
    more than 30 desks put into each of the three,,so the rest, Ray's
    included, were sent to Dutcher Street. Anyway, that's my guess.

                   Here's another page of name graffiti              HOME   

Thanks very much to Alexander Montville for these pictures.