Click for more on Robinson Billings.

    Since I've gone through the new words in the Merriam-Webster for fifty years
    ago in the last few months, I decided to end the year with some from one-
    hundred years ago. Back in 1919, if you felt like a basket case after getting
    home from your dead-end job, you could lie on a beach towel and be deloused.

    This picture showing Draper workers leaving the main
    door on Hopedale Street was probably taken in 1969. The
    picture on the right was cropped from it because I wanted
    to see if I could tell if there were paperboys selling papers
    there. I think there are, a bit to the left of center. Papers
    would be brought there in a wagon from Billy Draper's
    Store. It looks like that could be a wagon wheel just to the
    left of the man whose foot is stepping off the curb.

    I wouldn't have given any of this about the papers a
    thought, except that I did that for a while, probably in 1954,
    give or take a year. My classmate, Dave Harris, owned the
    "route," having inherited it from his brother, Jimmy. We'd
    fill the wagon with the Milford News, the Worcester
    Gazette, and three Boston papers - the Traveler, and the
    American. I don't remember the third. Maybe the Globe
    had an afternoon edition then.

    The Highway Department removing the snowbanks on Hopedale
    Street by the Main Office. More Highway Department photos.There
    wasn't a date on the picture, but I think it's from the '60s.

Hopedale - December 2019

Hopedale history ezine for November - Letters to Her Son   

Ezine for December -
Princess Boncompagni on   

Hopedale in November 2019

Hopedale in December 2018  

Ezine Menu                  HOME


And the next meeting 1924?

    Where is 118 Dutcher Street? What's there now? The numbers
    on the street skip from 114 to 120. My guess is that the market
    was just a little building that eventually went out of business
    and was torn down. In the picture below, the house on the left is
    114 and the one on the right is 120.

    Thanks, DJ. Here's Charlie's wife handing him a
    sandwich (why not hand him a nickel?) as the train
    goes rumbling through. Here's the tune on YouTube,
    along with the lyrics to help you sing along.

    Thanks to Anne Lamontauigne for these pictures
    taken on Fitgzgerald Drive a few years ago.

Hopedale Pond - Christmas 2015

    Fitzgerald Drive on December 1, 2019. Click here for
    more about it, and the Fitzgeralds it was named for.

    Sunday morning, December 1. Did
    somebody say it's going to snow?

December 2

From Local Town Pages - Hopedale

    After the dogs above and the birds below were sent by
    my brother, I offered him the job of potty
    humor editor. He held out for the position of vice
    president. If you know Ted, you can now call him Veep.

Hopedale Pond - December 3

    It must be really cold up there. I hope they
    have down vests under those feathers.

    Click here to read the story of Nancy Adams,
    who escaped from slavery three times. She
    lived in Uxbridge for the last 21 years of her
    life, and is buried there.

Friday night lights - Fireworks in Mendon - December 6

Christmas in early Hopedale, by

Adin Ballou

Edward Spann,  

Anna Thwing Spaulding,  

Charles Merrill,

Abby Hills Price,

and Frank Dutcher

                                                     Christmas in 1838

       I presume that the reputed anniversary of our Savior's birth was never celebrated in my
    ancient Mendon parish, nor elsewhere in the vicinity, until the year 1838. Traditionary  
    prejudice, an inheritance from our Pilgrim and Puritan ancestors, was strongly against it.
    But I suggested and encouraged a change from the long-prevailing custom, to which my
    people readily consented. Our sanctuary was accordingly appropriately and gracefully
    trimmed and well lighted for the evening of December 24, when I delivered a specially
    prepared discourse to a large and deeply interested congregation. My text was Isa. 9: 6, 7:
    "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given," etc. Since that time celebrations of the
    event have prevailed more and more in the churches of this general region and indeed
    throughout the land, the descendants of the founders of New England of all shades of
    belief, vying with their Episcopalian and Roman Catholic brethren in making them
    attractive, significant, and impressive. Autobiography of AdinBallou, pp. 305-306.

    Thanks to Nancy and Vincent Arone, Jr. for these posters, the crutches,
    and a number of other Eben S. Draper, Jr. items. Draper served in the
    Massachusetts House and Senate in the 1920s. In 1928 and 1930, he
    ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. One of his main campaign
    themes in the 1930 election was his opposition to Prohibition. The
    posters are about 38 inches wide and twice has high.

    At some point in his life, Eben was using crutches. He was really a big
    man, as you can see by the crutches leaning up against the inside of my
    front door. Click here to read more about Eben S. Draper, Jr.

    Our potty humor editor has decided to go in a
    different direction, and send items he finds
    more in keeping with this festive season.

    Above - Looking toward the intersection of Jones,
    Northrop, Freedom and Willimas streets.

    Right - Jones Road. Both photos taken on December 11.

    Above, part of a painting found in a cave in Indonesia that is at least
    43,900 years old. In a paper published on Wednesday, scientists
    said it’s “the oldest pictorial record of storytelling and the earliest
    figurative artwork in the world.” New York Times, December 12.

Yet another contribution from our humor editor.

    Before the Bancroft Library opened on December 14, 1899,
    the town library and reading room was in the town hall,
    occupying what is now the town clerk's office and the
    Draper Room. Click here to go to a history of the library.

December 14

From Teresa Hanafin's Boston Globe newsletter, Fast Forward.

    Click here to see Out of Ashes, one of John Trainor's series of
    Mendon history videos recently put on YouTube - Out of Ashes.

    Click here for another of John's videos, Mendon Radicals.

    Links to more of them can be found near the bottom of the
    Mendon Menu.  


    Above - Hopedale Pond, December 24.

    Below - Blackstone River, Woonsocket, December 28. That's
    my son, DJ in the picture. We'd walked by the river a couple of
    days earlier and knew it wasn't covered with ice. With the temp
    in the upper 40s on the 28th, we decided to get out in the
    kayak one more time this year.

    Hopedale Pond in December.
    What year? Click here to see.
Welland Seaway Mall, Welland, Ontario