I ran across lots of interesting material in The Practical Christian while helping Elaine with her
upcoming talk to the Friends of Adin Ballou. Here's a sample for your spare time reading. I've seen
most of it elsewhere but there were a few items that were new to me.
The Practical Christian
We have now on the Hopedale Estate about 45 persons great and small. These are all boarded in
one general family. There are 13 men, 12 women, and 20 children and youth under fifteen years of
age. We have 13 cows, 4 yokes of oxen and steers, 2 horses and 6 swine. We have planted with
garden sauce for market and our own use some 3 acres, with Indian corn 4 or more, with potatoes
and beans 10 or more; in all from 17 to 20 acres. We have made numerous repairs in and upon our
old buildings, erected a new building 32 by 14 feet, one and a half story above the basement;
calculated for a Printing Office, schoolroom, two upper sleeping rooms and two basement shop
rooms, all of course on a small scale. The brethren have just commenced building a dam and the
foundation for a Mechanics shop to be 30 by 40 feet, two stories high above the basement, designed
for various machines to be operated by water power. The erection and furnishing of this
establishment will occupy all the labor and resources, which we can spare from other demands for
several months to come. Our little school will go into operation shortly. We might have many boarding
scholars, if we could accommodate them; but this we cannot do at present. A few scholars in the
vicinity, who can board at home, will probably be taught in the school. Our business is multiform and
arduous. There is everything to do and small means with which to operate. Division of labor is also
difficult; but we have got along better than most people would normally imagine, and hope for better
days to come.
Ballou refers to the shop completed in 1843 as a mechanic shop so I had thought that must be the
Little Red Shop. However, the size of the shop completed in 1842 seems more like the Red. The
1843 shop sounds like it could have been the one that eventually became the Dutcher Temple
Company. I wish The Practical Christian had more to say on such matters but there is very little. I was
looking through some from 1855 today and saw that by then they had (he had, I suppose) started a
local column that I found quite interesting. Now I’ll have to look and see how far back that goes. I
know I haven’t seen it in the earlier years. Here’s the quote that made me think the 1843 shop was the
Little Red. Any thoughts about any of this?
The mechanic shop was completed in the early Spring , and the first story and basement were
supplied with a considerable amount and variety of labor-saving machinery for facilitating work in
carpentering, joinery, box-making, and kindred callings. The story above was so partitioned and fitted
up as to afford tolerable accommodations in its southern part for the printing press and its
accessories, while the northern was made convenient and comfortable for school purposes and for
services of public worship; in which twofold capacity it met our needs, in a rude fashion to be sure,
until we were in a condition to erect a building for the same purposes the following year. Adin Ballou,
The History of the Hopedale Community, p. 110.
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The Old House - the first home of the Hopedale Community.