Hopedale History
    January 1, 2010
    No. 147
    The Pleasant Valley

    Hopedale in December          

    The railfans keep track of progress on the G & U so you don’t have to. Here’s a link to a G & U Railroad
    discussion site. The page covers a couple weeks in December.  It has links to pictures of what’s going on
    with the railroad in Grafton and Upton.

    Where is Edgar Allen Poe buried? How about Helen Keller? The several times buried body of John Wilkes
    Booth? Find out at Find a Grave.

    Here’s a blog site called A New Hopedale. I don’t know who does it, but I thought one or two of you might be
    interested. An introductory paragraph says, “The following is a log of thoughts on sustainability, home
    improvement, and life spurred by buying my first house in a town struggling to rebuild its identity after the
    closing of the factory that dominated it for more than 100 years.”

    I recently ran across a site of “battlefield art” that had a picture contributed by Harold Moody of Hopedale. Is
    anyone familiar with that name? Here’s a link to the site. Go to Image #4, Engineers Take the Infantry Across
    (Crossing the Rhine at Bonn.)

    The Hopedale recycling center, (over the river and through the woods at the end of Thwing Street, off of
    Hopedale Street, near Sacred Heart Church) will be closed January 2 and will reopen on January 9. The
    winter schedule will be in effect through the end of March – Saturdays, 9 – 1. Click here to see the town
    recycling page – or here for the recycling center price list.

    The final H1N1 flu clinic offered by the Hopedale Board of Health will be held on Monday, January 11, 2010, 3:
    00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Hopedale Jr./Sr. High School. Click here for more on this at the town website.

    It was two years ago when the Travis-Sawyer family’s home was destroyed by fire. Click here to read a
    Milford News article about their move into their new house. (Pictures of the inside of the original house a few
    days before the fire.)

    I’ve recently added some more of the old email stories to my Hopedale website. They are: 48, Best Town -
    Low Taxes, No Lawyers; 49, Local News, 1887; 50, The Fifties; 81, Letter from Newbern; 82, Milford, 1780;
    and 83, The Golf Course. Click here to go to the menu where you can find links to them.

    George Otis Draper’s school days memories in No. 146 prompted this response by Dave Atkinson. “My
    father once kicked Miss C in the shins and she told me about it when I got her. Miss G (third grade, Chapel
    Street School) once strangled me so hard (because I was out of the line waiting to go into school) she left
    marks on my neck that my grandmother noticed when I went to her house for lunch. Ah, school days.”


                                                                    The Pleasant Valley

           Occasionally I name these pieces using a phrase from the text. For this one I could have gone with
    “Correspondingly Dilapidated” or “Run Down in Culture,” but I decided to start off the new year with the more
    positive, “Pleasant Valley.” The establishment of a commune had been in the planning stage for many
    months before the meeting described below in Adin Ballou’s account of the purchase of the Jones Farm and
    the naming of Hopedale. Had the farm not been for sale at that time, or had Ballou preferred another site, the
    Draper brothers would have eventually established their business elsewhere and Hopedale would still be a
    section of Milford.

           The third meeting took place in connection with the quarterly conference at Millville, Brother Wm. H. Fish’
    s parish, August 26 and 27 (1841) following. The executive council made a cheering report of progress in the
    march of affairs. Localities for the Community had been examined and one selected as decidedly preferable
    to all others. This was a farm in Milford, containing 258 acres, which had a considerable stream of water
    called Mill River running through it, with a good fall for mill sites, and other natural advantages suited to our
    prospective needs. The land, however, was much run down in culture and the buildings were
    correspondingly dilapidated. It had long been known in the vicinity as the “Jones Farm,” deriving from an
    early proprietor, and was sometimes called “The Dale,” by reason of its situation. It had been offered for sale
    on moderate terms and was likely to find a ready purchaser. It seemed so well suited to our purposes that I,
    on my own responsibility, fearing the chance of obtaining it might be lost, had closed a bargain for it on the
    30th of June, two months before. The council had examined the estate critically, approved of my action, and
    concurred with me in recommending its purchase by the Community. The recommendation was accepted,
    and our whole proceeding was unanimously and joyously ratified by our constituency. This included the
    christening I had given the domain, “Hopedale,” – a name which united the high expectations we cherished
    for the future of our movement with the previous appropriate designation of the pleasant valley in which these
    expectations were to be realized. All our members hailed the name with delight as most happily chosen and
    befittingly applied.

           At this meeting, important resolves were passed, by-laws, rules, and regulations were adopted, and all
    necessary preparations authorized for taking possession of our new home at the earliest possible date.
    Groups of friends soon after made pleasant excursions to Hopedale, and all were enthusiastically impatient
    to inaugurate the contemplated undertaking there. In the opening autumn I decided upon the general
    outlines of a village site and had it surveyed and laid out by my ever kind friend, Newell Nelson, Esq., who
    had previously taken the measurement of the fall in the river with a view to its subsequent utilization for
    mechanical purposes, his services being rendered gratuitously as a token of his good will towards me and
    the cause. In October, Brother Henry Lillie, one of our council, settled himself and family in a part of the
    ancient Jones domicile accorded to him by the resident tenant, Cyrus Ballou, a nephew of mine, through
    whom, as agent, I had purchased the premises. About the first of December, Mr. Ballou, by mutual
    arrangement, moved out of the house altogether, and Brother Nathan Harris with his wife and four children
    took possession of the rooms thus vacated. Adin Ballou, Autobiography of Adin Ballou.


    Recent death:

    Dorothy R. (Dutcher) Horne, 87, December 23, 2009, HHS 1940.

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