The Hopedale Community – 1841 – 1856

Summary of Edward Spann’s Hopedale: Commune to Company Town      

Short Biographies of Prominent Hopedale People  

The Religous Evolution of Adin Ballou  

Farm in Cumberland   Ballou’s description of his early life on his family’s farm.

Abbie Ballou  

Ballou Home in Hopedale   

Adin Ballou Park   

The Ballou family – Hopedale Village Cemetery  

Descendants of Adin and Abigail Ballou   

From Christian Utopia to Company Town: Communal Life and Paternalism in 19th and 20th Century Hopedale, Massachusetts, by Anita Cardillo Danker.

An Account of the Community and the Town from a History of Worcester County.   

A Utopian Dream in Hopedale   

Hopedale and its Founder by Lewis Wilson, New England Magazine, 1909.

Amusements in the Hopedale Community Not obvious from the title, this article contains material on abolitionist meetings, temperance meetings, holiday celebrations, peace activities and seances.

Community Declaration   Think you would have liked to have been a member of the Community? Take a look at the “Declaration.”

List of Community Members   

Selection of a Site for the Community   

A Beginning Made     From A History ot the Hopedale Community, Ballou’s description of the early days in the Old House.

The Community in 1842 …and more from 1842  .. and from 1843   

Thanksgiving at the Mechanic’s Shop   Adin Augustus Ballou

The Original School and Chapel   

The Home School   

Henry Lillie house, with shop and sawmill  –  Description by Frank Dutcher

The Hopedale Community and Adin Ballou by Peter Hackett

The Hopedale Community by Rev. John K. Hammon   

A Thriving Little Village – Edward Spann, Hopedale in 1846

Christmas in early Hopedale, by Edward Spann,  Anna Thwing Spaulding,  Charles Merrill, Abby Hills Price, and Frank Dutcher

Visitors to the Community   

Underground Railroad  

Underground Railroad House  

Abolitionism in Hopedale   Seven short articles on the subject.

Abolitionism in Hopedale   A 1938 newspaper article by Ernest Dalton.

Rosetta Hall  The only escaped slave mentioned by Adin Ballou as living in Hopedale.

Jonathan Walker “The Man with the Branded Hand”

Abolitionism Plaque  

Ballou, Tolstoy and Gandhi   

The Role of Women in Hopedale, a Nineteenth- Century Universalist-Unitarian Utopian Community in South-Central Massachusetts by Deirdre Corcoran Stam

The Uxbridge Connection   An article about the Bancrofts, Thwings, and Drapers, written by Peter Hackett

Joseph Bancroft   There’s not really a lot here about the Community, but Joseph and Sylvia were members and you might find something of interest.

Sylvia Bancroft  

Ebenezer Draper  

George Draper  

General William F. Draper This story from the general’s autobiography, Recollections of a Varied Career, is about his memories of Hopedale, from his arrival in 1853 at the age of eleven, until about the time he joined the army in 1861.

Dr. Emily Gay   

Elizabeth Humphrey   

Abby Hills Price  

Address of Abby Price to the Worcester Women’s Rights Convention    

Article by Abby Price concerning the 1853 state Constitutional Convention  

Abby Price and the “Free Love” Episode

Gilbert Thompson   Thompson, who grew up in Hopedale after his mother joined the Community in 1849, was one of the 33 founding members of the National Geographic Society and the first American to use fingerprints for identification.

Almon Thwing       the Thwing Mill site   

The Thwing Family  

Cora Scott   

Octagon Houses  

Abby Kelley Foster   

The Wilmarths and the Water Cure  

Hopedale and the Drapers   A summary of Hopedale’s history by Lewis Hovey, written in 1909.

The Hopedale Parish             Hopedale Parish Centennial   

The Practical Christian  The Community newspaper. It was published from 1840 to 1860. So far, only the papers for 1840-41 are online.

History of Hopedale by Adin Ballou – Published in the 1889 edition of History of Worcester County.

Hopedale Reminiscences Menu   Memories from childhood of people who grew up in the Hopedale Community.

Patricia Hatch and the Hopedale Community – discoveries, comments and questions about the Community and its members.  

Ballou’s History of Milford   

Hopedale Community Centennial Pageant, 1942   

List of Hopedale Community books, papers, records, etc on microfilm and in the safe at the Bancroft Memorial Library.   

   Hopedale Remimiscences               HOME    

                    Articles on the Hopedale Community by Ernest R. Dalton

Ernest Rockwell Dalton grew up at 135 Dutcher Street, and graduated from Hopedale High School (then, of course, called General Draper High School) in 1933. He spoke at graduation, giving an address titled The Qunshepaug Plantation. In 1937 he graduated from Bowdoin College, and by the fall of the year, he was at Harvard. In June and July of 1938, the Milford Daily News printed the twenty-eight articles on the Hopedale Community that are listed below. As he relates in the first of them, The Story of Hopedale, he wrote “this short history of the Hopedale Community” was done as part of a discussion group in American Social History conducted by Prof. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. The 1939 Hopedale census gives Dalton’s occupation as teacher, but I don’t know where. The only other things I’ve learned about Dalton is that in 1940 he received a Littauer Fellowship, (see below menu) and in 1947 he wrote a 762 page book, published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, titled A Study of the Metropolitan-industrial Area of Southern Worcester County, Massachusetts, in Regard to Its Structural Organization for Education and Related Governmental Services.

I first became aware of Dalton’s articles several years ago when I ran across most of them in a scrapbook at the Bancroft Library. I was able to get the rest at the Milford Library. (Later improved by scanning better copies from a collection of Hopedale articles and clippings saved by Perry MacNevin.) From what I’ve seen so far, Dalton’s source seems to have been entirely Ballou’s writing, so there’s probably nothing new or previously undiscovered here. However, it might be helpful to some to be able to look at the titles and go to a topic of interest more quickly, rather than going through Ballou’s extensive writing.

Dalton Articles Menu

Page 1       The Story of Hopedale

                    Ballou Founded Hopedale on Religious Inspiration

                    College Education Denied to Hopedale’s Founder

                    Adin Ballou – Preacher and Reformer

Page 2       Community Founded on Humanitarian Principles

                    Ballou Announces His Plan for a Community

                    Preamble Gives Clear Idea of Community Scope

                    Fraternal Communion No. 1 Formed by Thirty-two

Page 3       Officers, Qualifications for Membership Listed

                    First Major Crisis in Community Came in 1842

                   “Stricter” Moral Regulation Called for in 1850

                    Depended in Large Measure on its Financial Condition

                     Houselots Sold to Members in Hopedale Community

Page 4       Community Members Paid 50 Cents for Eight-Hour Day

                    Hopedale Community Has Interesting Social History

                    Village Improvement Society Was Created

                     School Admitted Pupils from Surrounding Villages

                     Hopedale Juvenile and Collegiate Home School

                    Religious Attachment to Work and Education

Page 5       Did Not Detach Themselves from Social Movements

                    Robert Owen Visited Community in 1845

                    Peace Movements Were Readily Supported

                     Ballou’s interest in Spiritualism Intensified

                     Hopedale Was Fraternal Communion No. 1

Page 6       Community at High Point of Prosperity in 1854

                   Efforts Extended Outside of Hopedale in 1855

                   Deficit at End of 15 Years of Activity

                   Social-Religous and the Economic Aspects