Inman Street in 1920, looking north toward the corner of Elm Street.
The intersection of Inman and Elm.
Inman Street - Building the fieldstone curbs that used to be in all of the Draper neighborhoods. The house at the end is on Lower Jones Road.
37 to 49 Inman Street - c. 1913.
37 to 49 Inman Street - c. 1913.

When we first moved to Inman Street in 1970, we had a neighbor whose name was Lynwood Wrenn. His parents had lived on the street since the houses were first built, or shortly after. He told us that the street had been named for the Inman Farm that had been here before Drapers bought the land and built the houses. The owner may have been Fenner Inman. He was listed in the census of 1850 and also 1860.

Click here for more on Delano Patrick including a map showing his land that is referred to in the article above.

To clear lots for numbers 1-3, 5-7, and 9-11 Inman Street, a large amount of rock was blasted and removed. At the time that was done, there was still a good deal of space where houses could have been built that were no further from the Draper plant, so I wondered why they did that. Then it occurred to me that it served a double purpose. In addition to providing space for three more duplexes, it also provided rock for foundations. It seems likely that the house foundations on the rest of Inman Street and possibly elsewhere came from here. The rock breaks leaving flat surfaces so it would have been much better for building foundations than most of the other rock found around town. Similar rock, just below this area, on Dutcher Street, was removed and probably also used for foundations. Thanks to my son, DJ for identifying the rock for me and sending a pdf from the Office of the Massachusetts State Geologist. It’s quartzite. The geologist who studied it, named it Hopedale quartzite. It’s a metamorphic form of sandstone. The pdf included the picture below. It shows unweathered quartzite. I presume that it’s because of its iron content that as it weathers, it becomes rusty looking. Click here for more on the geology of the area.

When Tammie Road was being constructed, it was necessary to blast a lot of rock. Further up the street, they’d been able to do the work without using matts. It didn’t occur to the men, who were perhaps learning the job as they went along, that the quartzite was different. When the charge went off at the end near Inman Street, a large amount of rock went all over the road, and some of it hit a couple of the houses. Reno Caprini, who lived in one of them, was quite unhappy about the situation. At the time, my son, DJ, was working for the summer at Consolidated Coatings, one of a dozen or so companies operating out of one of the Draper buildings. He said it was probably 1985, and it would have been at least a half hour after the blast went off when he waked by on his way home. The men were still picking rocks up out of the road.. A couple of days later I went down and brought back a few dozen pieces. I have a wall in the backyard made from them.

The three photos above show the rock behind 1-3, 5-7 and 9-11 Inman Street. The picture below shows where it extends out to the edge of Inman Street, near the corner of Tammie Road.

Quartzite by Inman Street.
Quartzite from Inman Street was used for many Draper house foundations.

By the mid-80s when these houses on Tammie Road were being built, the time had long passed since stone was being used for foundations, but some of the quartzite was used for walls.

The National Register Nomination, (page for Inman Street houses below) which the Historical Commission had done when it applied for National Park Service recognition of a Hopedale Historic District, gave the years ca.1913 and ca.1916 for the building of houses on Inman Street. None were listed as having been built after that. I know that the NRN has some mistakes in at least several cases when giving the year houses were built. With the ca., i suppose they could be off by five years or so, but in the case of the house where I grew up, it was off by 18 years. Consequently, I’m inclined to believe the Milford Gazette article saying 14 were completed in 1921. To find out which ones were built first, I went to the Bancroft Library to look over poll tax lists and street listings. The earliest poll tax book is for 1916. It gives street names but not numbers. I was hoping to find some of the same names in the first street listing book, which was for 1922, but it also gave the previous year’s address for each resident. Of the eight names on Inman Street in 1916, only one was there in 1921. That was Wilson at Number 3. Assuming that the Wilson family didn’t move during those years, it means that the end of the street where the rock was removed was done first. That would make sense if the plan from the start was to use that rock for foundations for all the houses on the street. However, other sources indicate that most of the houses north of the Elm Street intersection were completed several years before those south of the intersection. Probably the stone came from the south end, but they didn’t build on that site until later.

I found it interesting to see that the 1921-22 list contained a number of names that were still on Inman Street when we moved here in 1970; in most cases the next generation. They include Scott, Adams, Wrenn, Gorman, Gould, and Scahill.

At the Inman/Beecher corner, this is one of the few remaining Draper era garages.

Hopedale Village Historic District National Register Nomination

The pictures below are from Draper photography department films in the Bancroft Library Hopedale history collection. I would have included them with the other early pictures at the top of this page but I found them long after I had first put this page together. There’s just too much here to be dragging down to make room for the additions. The pictures of individual houses are in envelopes all dated 7-22-21. Also “Copied 1-27-60. The first three below are from negatives. The individual house photos are on translucent film which at a glance appear that they are negatives, but are actually positives. I’m sure a photography studio could get better results, but the advantage of the procedure that I use to put them up here is that it’s free.

The house on the other Inman-Elm corner (3 Elm Street) is a mirror image of the house shown above. The house at the corner of Inman and Beech was also built to the same plan.

It appears that most of the houses on Inman Street between Elm and Lower Jones were built in 1913 and the ones between Elm and Beech were built in 1920-21. Two exceptions are 3 Elm and 33-35 Inman. The Inman Street home shown below, was built with the second part of the development. I vaguely recall Arline (Peterson) Belmore, who lived at 35 for many years, saying that she had heard that the workers who had started building the house went on strike before it was finished. It was completed by another company, and as a result there were some differences between the two sides of the house (inside, not visible from the outside) that would not have occurred otherwise. The house at 3 Elm Street, and possibly one or two beyond that were also part of the second building period.



Numbers 1-3, 5-7 and 9-11.

If you compare the second house on the right (just past the big tree trunk) in this view, with the fourth picture from the top of the page, (the one with the kids standing in a very unfinished street) you’ll probably notice the porch roofs on the house in the foreground have changed. The early picture shows that the porches on that house originally had shed roofs. A few years ago, the owner decided he preferred the peaked roof look to the shed roof style and changed them

Was Inman Street named for Asa Inman? I don’t know. There was also a Fenner Inman in town in the early years. In his memories of Christmas in early Hopedale, Frank Dutcher mentioned Asa Inman. The stone is at Hopedale Village Cemetery.

Then and Now – Inman Street

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