Former School Will Be Sold To Draper Corp.

Hopedale Special Town Meeting
O.Ks Article By Unanimous Vote

Small House To Go With School
Building to Be Remodeled
And Presented to Bishop

HOPEDALE, June 25 [1935] – The former Hopedale High School building on Hopedale Street today at a special town meeting was unanimously voted to be sold by the selectmen to the Draper Corp. for the minimum price of $100, in order that the corporation may present the building, remodeled, to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield for  parish purposes. The meeting was attended by 19 voters and lasted about 10 minutes.

Following the election of C. Fred Butterworth as moderator, article 2 was immediately taken up and voted. The article: To see if the Town will vote to sell and convey to the Draper Corp. and cause to be executed a proper deed of that tract of land on the easterly side of Hopedale Street in Hopedale, formerly used for school purposes, and the sewer bed and sewer lines for the same, being the premises conveyed Hopedale Machine Company to the Town of Hopedale by deed recorded with Worcester District Deeds, the premises conveyed William F. Draper, et. al. to the Town of Hopedale by deed recorded with Worcester District Deeds, or take any other action with relation to the foregoing.

Last week announcement was made by the Draper Corp. officials of the plans to turn over the property to the bishop for parish purposes and by this will enable Hopedale residents of Catholic faith to have a church of their own in the near future. The new church will serve Catholic residents of Hopedale, Mendon and adjacent territory. The school was constructed in 1887 and the first class to graduate was in the following year. Until a few years ago the building was used as the Hopedale High School.

When the property is turned over to the bishop a small house, situated near the school and which has been in the possession of the Draper Corp. many years, will also be included in the transfer. Milford Daily News (Beverly Sparhawk Orff was born in the house mentioned, five years before it became the Sacred Heart rectory. Click here for her memories.)

                                         Hopedale Church Presented Gifts

                                               Mr. and Mrs. B.H.B. Draper
Give Beautiful Altar

HOPEDALE, December 26 [1936] – Rev. John P Donahue, pastor of Sacred Heart Church, announced at all masses Christmas morning that two gifts had been made to the parish. One was a beautiful altar, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. B.H. Bristow Draper, and the other a holy water fount, made and presented by Nerrino A. Cirioni, 183 Mendon Street.

The altar of oak, matching in tone the main altar, with antique gold candle sticks, occupies a niche on the east side of the auditorium. The background of tapestry in scarlet and gold enhances its beauty and casts a warm glow over the life size statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Gold leaf, used with infinite artistry on the oak, dignifies its sim- End of clipping – Milford Daily News

 The old high school, shown in a post card picture below, served as Sacred Heart Church until 1964, when the present church was built.  It was razed in 1987. While it was a church, it was painted white. The stained glass windows shown on this page are in the new church.

                 Don McGrath’s memories of the early days of Sacred Heart Church      

                       Hopedale High School Becomes Church, by Gordon Hopper   

Now and Then at the Old High School/Sacred Heart Church

                                           Fr. Reilley Center, Building and Dedication   

                                   Stained glass windows            Parish Website

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Hopedale High School, which became Sacred Heart Church in 1935.

The four pictures above show the building as it looked when it was Sacred Heart Church. As you can see in the one immediately above, the photos were taken after the new church was built in 1964. Thanks to Jack Ghiringhelli for sending them.

Thanks to Giancarlo BonTempo for the article above. I’m assuming that the “Brick City” was Prospect Heights. That’s just over the hill (less than a ten minute walk) from the Delano Patrick land mentioned below.

The news item above is from the Milford Gazette and was found in a book of clippings at the Bancroft Library.  An 1898 map shows that Delano Patrick owned a fairly large amount of land from the north side of the east end of Freedom Street, extending along the area that was later covered by the houses on Oak Street, Jones Road and Maple Street. The 1911 article about plans for a church indicate that it would go in the area of what later became the section of Oak Street that is between Northrop and Freedom streets. At some point the church purchased the Charles Roper home, 50 Freedom Street, which is just a bit downhill from where the Patrick property was, and it seems that for some time it was intended that the church would go there. The item below is also from the Gazette and appeared in the June 18, 1918 issue.

Milford Gazette, June 14, 1918.

According to the 1917 clipping, the barn on the estate of Delano Patrick was being torn down to make room for the new Catholic church. On the 1898 map above, the symbol for a barn was a square with an X in it. There are two of those next to Delano Patrick’s name.

On this map, the street running left to right a bit below the middle is Freedom Street. Williams Street branches off from it at the right. Northrop Street was later extended up from the upper left, through lot 68 and on to the intersection of Freedom and Williams Street. (By 1900, the numbered lots became part of the Town Park.) The Gilbert Thompson lot was one lot down from where Oak Street would later meet Freedom Street. It seems that Oak Street must have passed through or very near to where the two barns were, so it appears that the church was going about where the section of Oak Street between Freedom and Northrop was later built.

I grew up at 7 Oak Street. My guess is that our house must have been very close to where the barn on the left is shown. (The one just to the right of the N in the name THOMPSON.) I have a vague memory of my father saying that the land our house was on had once been owned by the church, but I wasn’t paying as much attention to such things then as I would now. At some point the church, the Springfield Diocese, that is, bought the Charles Roper estate. It seems that there was a plan to build the church there, but before that happened, the school that you’ve seen on this page became available. I’d say that worked out much better by the time most families had cars. Parking space would have been much more limited on the Roper site.

In the nineteenth century, there were three octagon homes in Hopedale. They are gone now, but there are still two octagonal structures here. One is the Father Reilly Center at Sacred Heart Church,shown above in a Google Earth view. The other is the George Albert and Jessie Preston Draper mausoleum at Hopedale Village Cemetery.

Click here to go to a page about the Fr. Reilley Center.

Timeline by John Butcher. Thanks to John for the Sacred Heart demolition article and the Fr. Reilley Center dedication article, also.