Hopedale History No. 12

    I had several responses to the story about the 1913 strike.  Here’s what Bill Barney had
    to say:

    I read this article with interest.  My dad used to talk about it once in a while.  He evidently
    learned some Italian back in the 1890's when he was in charge of the [Milford] water
    works.  He used to go to Boston to meet ships coming in.  Many of the immigrants spoke
    no English.  He would hire them on the spot and have to locate them in Milford. That way
    he got to know the old timers in town.  During the strike, it turned out that he was only
    Draper official who could speak Italian. Knowing them and dealing with them he was fairly
    involved in some of the negotiations.  A bit of trivia.  

    Rick Espanet has been working on a website for the Park Department and one section of
    it has a huge amount of material on the history of the Park and Parklands.  If you’re
    wondering when Willard Taft served on the board, what the department budget was in
    1911, or how many swimmers made use of the pond in 1972, this is the place to find the
    answers. It covers 1899 to 2003.  Here's a link to it. https://www.hopedale-ma.gov/park-
    commission/pages/vision-becomes-reality.  Go to the link to the PDF near the bottom of
    the text box headed with Vision Becomes Reality.

    If you’re over 70 or so, you probably remember who owned the first TV in your
    neighborhood.  In my part of town it was the Spencers on Oak Street.  They were
    extremely good about letting any and all of the kids in the area go in to watch and there
    were often fifteen to twenty of us there.  We’d watch cartoons and western serials in the
    late afternoon and usually go back for more after supper.  I also remember watching
    Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and Don Winslow of the Navy but that may have been a
    couple of years later.  It was probably a year or more before there was another set
    around to help thin out the crowd at the Spencers.  The Hall’s (parents, Arthur and Ethel,
    kids, Billy, Galen and Wayne) on the corner of Oak and Northrop were next in that
    neighborhood to move into the new era of entertainment.  A few hundred yards in the
    other direction, at 54 Freedom Street, the Chilsons had been the first to host crowds of
    kids eager to see if Howdy Doody would defeat Mr. Bluster in the election for president of
    Doodyville and other significant events of the era. What a relief when the results came
    in.  The Chilson's tv, being the first set in the area, made the news.

                                        TV Image Received In Hopedale

    HOPEDALE,  Atmospheric conditions are credited with the clear and distinct television
    reception on a recent evening when four stations, three from New York and one from
    Philadelphia, were brought into the home of Clarence E. Chilson, Freedom Street.

    Mr. Chilson, well-known radio technician explained the unusual situation as due to
    temperature inversion, which to the average person means cool ground and warm air

    If the inclement wet and humid weather was good for something it is news to everyone
    and should help to raise the morale.

    Mr. Chilson has been studying television in his spare time for several years.  He was the
    first person in this area to receive a TV image.  His home-constructed set brought in a
    station in 1941.

    The present set is another that he constructed himself.  On Friday night he and several
    friends were able to witness a boxing match from Madison Square Garden for nearly two
    hours, without interruption.  In addition, Mr. Chilson receives the test patterns daily, now
    being sent out from the Boston station.  The Milford Daily News, June 1, 1948

    I drop in on Hester Chilson every now and then and she always gives me more old
    Hopedale stories.  She’s 98 and has lived in town since 1920.  A couple of weeks ago
    she gave me the clipping with the story above.  For more of Hester’s memories, click

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