September 15, 2007
    Hopedale History
    No. 91
    The Parklands - 1899 -- 1905


    Yes, it's finally happening! Thanks to the taxpayers of Hopedale and the rest of
    Massachusetts, town officials and employees, the Friends of Historic Hopedale, and private
    and corporate donors, work to restore the Little Red Shop has begun. The estimate is that it
    will be completed in about three months. I'll be taking pictures of the job as it moves along.
    You can see them here.

    Hopedale in September    
     
    Hear author-historian Edward Lodi discuss ghosts, mysteries and other curiosities about
    King Philip's War at the Bancroft Library, Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 PM. Lecture is
    free. Refreshments will be served.                                               

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                                       The Parklands - 1899 - 1905  

     It's hard to say what is the best time of the year to take a walk in the Parklands, but there
    should be a lot of beautiful days coming up in the next few weeks. If you read the excerpts
    from the park commissioner's annual reports below, it will be a reminder that this wonderful
    area didn't just appear on its own. It's the result of the foresight and hard work of many
    people for more than a century.  

                                                                             1899
      The large area bordering on the edge of the pond was taken rather in reference to a
    probable distant future use, than with intent of spending any large amount of development
    in the near present. As access at the present time is rather difficult, the inhabitants of the
    town can hardly appreciate the natural beauty of the scenery included in this tract; but when
    a system of park roads and bridges can be afforded, they will undoubtedly prove that the
    voters showed wisdom in their anticipation of future necessities.

                                                                             1900
      In the area bordering on the pond a notable improvement has been made, by taking
    advantage of the situation when the pond was drained by the Draper Company. A force of
    laborers was enabled to remove the projecting snags and tree limbs, which formerly made
    the upper tract unsightly, and interfered more or less with boating. Several large boulders,
    which were dangerously situated with relation to the usual river channel, were also
    removed by blasting.

                                                                             1901
      The Maroney grove, which includes the best tract of pine timber in town, has been cleaned
    up, and put into attractive shape for use by picnic parties. We have also started a roadway
    commencing at Hazel Street and continuing over the new bridge, and through the woods to
    the Grafton & Upton Railroad. With the trolley cars running on the Grafton & Upton road, the
    public can easily reach this new territory from the western side. There are three good
    springs in the vicinity, and the general attraction of the environment can only be appreciated
    by investigation.

                                                                             1902
      The old brookway between Dutcher Street and the pond has been covered in by a very
    substantial and permanent stone drain, at a considerable expense.

                                                                             1903
    The park commissioners wish to call attention to the fact that the upper part of the Park
    property is now well cleared and adaptable for use by picnic parties and others. It can be
    reached by team from Hazel Street, the cross street leading from the Upton road north of the
    connection of the Upton road with the extension of Dutcher street. The electric cars will stop
    by request, and an entrance on the west side of the property. The whole territory is, or
    course, available by boats, and a boat landing has been built near the bridge. While Park
    property is intended for advancing legitimate pleasure, it is not the purpose of the
    commissioners to encourage its use for questionable purposes. A region intended for use
    by all citizens, including women and children, is not the place for drunken carousels, and
    after noting several violations, the commissioners succeeded in arresting four out of six
    parties who had brought intoxicating liquor on the premises, and they were served by the
    court with the maximum penalty for such offense.

                                                                              1904
      We are continuing trimming and thinning on our wood properties during the winter
    months, the sale of the wood about balancing the expense. The upper end is now well
    reached from Hazel Street, but the lower end of our property is somewhat swampy in
    places, necessitating more in the way of culverts and filing to even allow a proper foot-path
    to be laid out.

                                                                              1905
      During the year we have arranged a complete system of pathways on the eastern side of
    the pond from the bath house to the "second bridge" so called, with a branch from Dutcher
    Street and connection side path loops. Care has been taken to provide dry footing through
    the swamps and brooks, and this whole region is now available for foot passengers at any
    period of the year. We find many availing themselves of the opportunity to use these paths,
    and thereby for acquaintance with a very interesting portion of the park reservation.

      The Park Commissioners during the years covered here were Charles Roper, Frank
    Dutcher and George Otis Draper.

              A Walk Through the Parklands          Park Department History           Parklands History  

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      Here's some Hopedale trivia sent by Dick Orff.  Did you know that Roy E. Westcott served
    the Town of Hopedale for 125 man-years from 1920 until his death in 1960 ??   Inspector of
    Kerosene for 18 yrs. Police Officer for 41 years Public Weigher for 25 years Measurer of
    wood & bark for 41 years       
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    Recent deaths:

    Arthur Cornacchia, 83, September 5, 2007
    Margaret P. (Baker) Concannon, 98, September 7, 2007.
    Mary C. (MacNeil) MacDougall, 91, September 10, 2007.
    John F. Power, Jr,. 80, September 12, 2007.

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