Mystery person of the month. He was the first American to use finger
    prints for identification. He was a founding member of the National
    Geographic Society. He grew up in Hopedale and worked in Adin
    Ballou's print shop. Click on his picture for more about him.

Hopedale in December

Hopedale in November 2018

Hopedale in December 2017

Ezine for December 1 - Sylvia Bancroft, Part 1   

Ezine for mid-December -
Sylvia Banroft, Part 2  

Ezine Menu                HOME   


    Recently when Carl Glatky and I were emailing back and forth,
    somehow the name, P. Eugene Casey came up. I told Carl that I
    have some vague memories of him, but not really much at all.. Carl
    wrote back with a bit of a description. I'm sure most people in the
    area when hearing the name now would only think of the pool on 140
    near the hospital. Here's Carl's description of him, so that the next
    time you pass the pool, you'll have a bit of an idea of who he was.

    Dan, I'm sorry you never met PEC.  He was a larger than life kind of
    guy, not only personality-wise but physically as well.  He was
    perhaps six one or two in height, barrel chested and strode down the
    street like he owned it. (In that way, not too dissimilar than the local
    mafia franchisee.)  One difference between the two is that the mafia
    guy always had a distinctly serious, unfriendly expression as he
    strolled Main Street, while PEC had a continuous happy smile on his
    face and greeted everyone he passed with a friendly greeting.  He
    stopped and tipped his hat to every female walking past him and if
    the woman had a baby with her he was almost sure to kiss it.  Really
    a very colorful guy.

    Here's the gravestone of Lizzie Humphrey, next to one of the
    big, old beech trees in Hopedale Village Cemetery. Her parents
    were among the most significant members of the Hopedale
    Community, and Lizzie gained some fame of her own. Click
    here to read about her, and to see some of her paintings.

                                         A memory of Hopedale in the 1960s by???

    We loved the Wednesday night summer band concerts at Hopedale Park. The American Legion
    used to bring two gas fired popcorn machines on wheels to the band concerts. They used to cook the best
    hot dogs under the bandstand. We kids didn’t care much for the band type music back then, but always
    enjoyed teasing the girls and filling up on the goodies there. There were jail cells in the Town Hall
    basement, and also in the firehouse. Charlie Watson would lock Jackie and me in there now and then if
    we bugged him enough. The VFW held clam bakes on Spindleville Pond every summer. Steamed clams
    served with corn on the cob, chowder, and either lobster or chicken. Yummy!  

    Click here to see who wrote this, and to read his many other memories of Hopedale in the 1950s and

    Message (and question) from Mike Bresciani:

    In your Jan 15, 1918 ezine, I noticed a mention that Arthur Durgin, HHS class of 1909, was
    not going to be playing professional baseball for the 1918 season. On the website, I noticed that Mr. Durgin played minor league baseball for 4
    years. Do you have any information on Mr. Durgins baseball career?

    As an aside, I believe 5 other Hopedale residents or high school graduates went on to
    play minor league baseball. They are:

    Dennis Lamothe 1956

    Tom Stock 1961-63

    Joe Small 1974

    Joe Mantoni 2013-15

    Ian Strom 2016-18.

    Do you know of any other Hopedale boys who went on to play professionally?


    Mike Bresciani

    If you can add any names to this list, email me and I'll include it/them on the January 2019
    "month page."

    Hopedale's first assessor's report was printed in the first town
    report, issued in 1887. At the left is part of one page. Women were
    only listed if they owned taxable property on their own. That means
    only unmarried women and widows would be here. Most of the men
    in the report paid only the two dollar poll tax. Since women weren't
    allowed to vote at that time, they didn't pay the poll tax, so very few
    women's names are in the report.

    On this report, we see that Adin Ballou had managed to save $1100,
    plus having a house, which was  where Adin Ballou Park is now. It's
    interesting to see that not only did Joseph Bancroft have two horses
    and a cow, but also had two swine, right in the middle of town. I
    wonder where his 30-acre cranberry meadow was. Maybe near the
    upper end of Hopedale Pond, beyond where the Rustic Bridge is
    now. Darling pasture was probably on the hillside west of the pond,
    in what is now the Parklands. The area was then known as Darling's
    Hill. It's covered with trees now, but in Bancroft's time it was pasture.

    The assessor's report is filled with insights into what life was like in
    Hopedale in the late nineteenth century. It also has a lot of mysteries.
    Click here to see the full report.

    Here's a diver in the water near the dam at Hopedale Pond on November 30. I asked Don
    Howes what was going on. His reply - "Removing boards the hard way." Evidently it hasn't been
    possible to do it the old way (the easy way) since the new railing was put up a few years ago.

    The gentleman setting up the frame for the Statue of Hope cover designed it in 2001 after an
    extensive cleaning job was done on the statue. He told me that the person who made the
    cover for it was surprised to learn that it lasted this long. It's now in need of replacement,
    however, and a fund-raising project for it has been completed. More about the statue.

    This article is from a December 1919 issue of the Milford
    Gazette. Click here to see more of the story of the Niipmuc
    and of Queena Draper.

G&U yard, December 5. Photo sent by Don Howes.

    From the Charah Solutions website.

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    Hopedale residents - want to see what your neighbors' lots look like, or a few other places
    in town? Go to MuniMapper. You'll have to zoom in to see views that look like these.

Hopedale Pond, December 9.

Median Household Incomes - 2013 - 2017

Milford - $75, 854
Upton - $119,392
Mendon - $ 125,816

Highest in state - Dover - $204,018

    Thanks to John Gagnon for this. John put it on Facebook. From
    what I've seen on Hopedale Pond, I figured a half inch was
    considered good enough for ice fishing. Or maybe it's a quarter inch.

December 15 - Ice on pond + 50 degree humid air = fog.

    Earthrise - 50 years later, a look back at ‘the good Earth’

    By David M. Shribman, Globe Correspondent

    In a year of conflict and war, it was a moment of conciliation. In a year of death, it was a
    moment that affirmed life. In a year of disbelief, it was a moment remembered for its
    words of faith. In a year unlike any other, it was a moment like no other.

    There never has been a year quite like 1968, with war raging in Southeast Asia and in the
    streets of America; with assassinations depriving the nation of two inspiring leaders;
    with a presidential campaign catapulting to power a man who vowed to “bring us
    together’’ even as his election drove Americans apart; and, 50 years ago this week, with
    a tiny contrivance of humankind leaving the surly bonds of earth and permitting earthlings
    for the first time to transit the dark side of the moon.

    The 45 minutes of silence when the Apollo 8 spacecraft, on the eve of Christmas,
    slipped behind the moon and out of radio contact, were heart-stopping for all alive in that
    hour. The crackly return of the astronauts’ voices was a moment of grace and
    unspeakable relief to all who listened in — which was just about everybody.

    And then there was the earthrise, the first ever seen by humans.

    At the Memorial Day service at the cemetery in the 1950s there was
    a quartet that sang each year. I'm wondering if anyone remembers
    who was in it. If you do, email me with the names. If I get a
    response I'll put the names on the Hopedale in January page.

Above - Hopedale Pond, December 23.

Below - Hopedale Pond, December 24

G&U Hopedale yard, December 23.

    Click on the picture of the book cover to go to Gordon
    Hopper's 142-page history of the G&U Railroad.