HOPEDALE - Hopedale's Town Hall was formally dedicated on Oct. 25, 1887 and at the
    request of George Draper, Sr., the building was presented to the town by his children as
    a memorial to him.

     The building was built from blocks of Milford granite with Longmeadow brownstone
    trimmings and is built in the Romanesque style of architecture. Its outside dimension
    measures 69 by 75 feet. At the time of its dedication it included a basement, it is two
    stories high and it has a large hall under the roof. In the basement there are two rooms,
    storerooms, heating equipment and closet

     On the street level there is room for two stores and the main entrance to the Town Hall.
    Above this is an audience hall with a seating capacity of 350 people and a stage that
    measures 24 by 52 feet. Above this is a large hall that covers the full extent of the

     Construction plans were drawn by Fred Swasey, an architect, and the building was
    erected by Mead, Mason & Co. of Boston at an expense of about $40,000

     Exercises on the dedication day started with an outdoor concert by the Milford Brass
    Band. This ran from 10 to 11 o'clock and at that time, Gen. William F. Draper called the
    gathering to order and Rev. Adin Ballou invoked the divine blessing.

     The Weber quartet of Boston sang "Nearer My God to Thee," after which Gen. Draper
    made the opening remarks.

     Gen. Draper said that he regretted the fact that his father did not live to preside over the
    occasion. He said that his father had planned, built and paid for the new building and that
    the occasion seemed incomplete without him. "His memory, however, is with us and will
    last while this granite structure endures to serve as his monument," the general said.

     "I am also saddened by the fact that within two or three days I have followed to yonder
    cemetery the body of my uncle, E.D. Draper, who with our revered pastor, Mr. Ballou,
    founded the Hopedale Community and gave the village its name more than 40 years ago,
    and who was my father's partner in business from the time he came to Hopedale till 1868.

     "Your local prosperity today depends very largely upon the prosperity of the business of
    the firm of which I am left as the senior partner. I fully realize that at the present time any
    loss of business, any lessening of production, will be disadvantageous to my neighbors
    and to our town as a whole.

     "Feeling this, I desire to pledge myself to do my best to maintain and increase these
    industries so long as I have the support and cooperation of my neighbors and

     The general then spoke about the bright prospects for the future. He spoke of the good
    streets in Hopedale, good roads, the best of schools, concrete sidewalks, public water,
    gas and electric street lights. A new horse railroad to connect with Milford was expected,
    he said.

     He said that the residents had received this building for public purposes. Since our town
    was organized, one new manufacture has been established here. This is contributing
    largely to our prosperity. Others have a settlement her in contemplation. We are very
    glad to see here so many of our friends from outside including many of those who
    assisted in the establishment of our town corporation.

     Gen. Draper then introduced former Gov. John D. Long who spoke substantially. Long
    made reference to Rev. Adin Ballou and the failure of an industrious and peaceful
    Christian brotherhood in Hopedale. The near bankruptcy was averted to become a line of
    practical business when George Draper took over operations of the plant.

     Long also said that the building stands for the New England town meeting and that the
    hall commemorates a noble New England life. "George Draper deserves this strong and
    simple memorial, he was a strong, simple, massive character. There was granite in his
    foundations and on it he erected a substantial and useful life. He had the vigor of mind
    and purpose which commanded confidence and respect," Long said.

     Long gave a brief outline of George Draper's life, his struggles and successes and he
    paid a glowing tribute to his energy and uprightness of character. He then dedicated the
    new building to the memory of George Draper and to the use of the people.

     Following the address by Long and music by the band, Rev. Ballou gave some
    interesting statements of "the hard labors and trials of the founders of the original
    community and their personal sacrifices, claiming for them their share of honor."

      After the quartet sang "The Old Oaken Bucket," Rev. L.G. Wilson briefly alluded to the
    benefit that Hopedale had derived from the moral influence of George Draper. George A.
    Draper, son of the late George Draper, then presented the keys of the building to J.B.
    Bancroft, a selectman who accepted the gift in the name of the town.

     After the exercises had been concluded, an excellent dinner was served by caterer
    Mathewson in a tent set up on the nearby church lawn to some 450 people. Milford Daily
    News, June 8, 1996

              Now and Then at the Town Hall                   Town Hall stained glass windows            

The Town Hall Spa, 1940 - 1957 - Memories of Don Handley   

Town seal in glass                Town Hall grafitti  (Mainly play cast names)    

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Hopedale Town Hall Built In 1887

By Gordon E. Hopper  

From the Hopedale Village Historic District National Register Nomination.

    The town hall was dedicated
    in 1887, not 1877.

Timeline by John Butcher

             Now and Then at the Town Hall                   Town Hall stained glass windows            

The Town Hall Spa, 1940 - 1957 - Memories of Don Handley   

Town seal in glass                Town Hall grafitti  (Mainly play cast names)    

Buildings Menu                 Draper Menu                  HOME