HOPEDALE - Anyone living in this town, or those taking up residence here just seem to know where
    "Billy Draper's" is. The first place youngsters become aware of is "Billy Draper's" which in reality is
    officially the Draper News Store.  

      It is and always has been, an important part of life for all ages. Youngsters go to the store in droves,
    both before and after school to fill little brown paper bags with penny candy. For some reason, though
    the years, penny candy has always been sought after, and even though the price has risen in some
    cases to two cents for each piece of candy, the store continues to offer a variety of penny candy,
    including Tootsie Rolls.

       Adults have visited the store daily through the years to obtain the daily and Sunday paper. It is the
    only store in town dealing in newspapers.  

      The store has been purchased by the Garland family of Upton, and Sunday the grand opening of the
    store which has been undergoing changes at a rapid pace will be held.  

      Everyone is invited to stop by, browse through the store and view the many changes which the long-
    time business has undergone.  

      Grand opening hours will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those adults visiting the store will be served
    apple-cider donuts (donuts made with apple cider). Youngsters, accompanied by their parents will
    receive penny candy and balloons.  

      Arthur Johnson, who is responsible for the early shift operations at the store, will serve as official
    greeter for the grand opening. Johnson, who is in his 70s, is well known in the town and a familiar
    figure on the main street.  

      In conjunction with the grand opening celebration, a benefit sidewalk sale will by conducted on the
    lawn at the Community House, directly across the street from Draper News Store. Any non-profit
    organization wishing to raise money for its group is invited to attend and set up a table, from where its
    items may be sold.  

      The store is a delightful trip back though the years with pickles stored in ceramic crocks, country
    jams and jellies, antique toys, sewing and artists' supplies, school supplies, roasted peanuts and
    other similar items displayed.  

      In addition to the newspapers and penny candy, the store has magazines and books. Soda and
    milk are sold and bulk products range from rabbit pellets to lawn seed, tools and hardware items.  

      The tobacco, candy and newspaper selections have been expanded and include numerous
    additional brands and types.  

      Goals planned for the store are first to continue to expand as a news agency which is the store's
    primary function and secondly, like the early country store, to become a place which has a little bit of
    everything.  

      The owners specialize in items produced by local small business persons. Already available is
    milk in returnable glass bottles supplied by Town Line Dairy, donuts, breads and pies, homemade by
    Bill Toby of Upton, a former Draper Corp. employee and handcrafter ceramic bells and hanging
    flowerpots made by potter Lawrence DeJong.  

      Walls, ceilings, and windows have been completely replaced and the old wooden floor was sanded
    down to its original surface. All the shelves and racks were built-in, made out of pine. A pine counter
    and display windows were added. Everything was hand built for a specific purpose, including the
    cigarette racks, which were made of wood.  

      Finishing touches made this week at the store were to complete the back room, which has never
    been open to customers before. It had been equipped with plants and tools.  

      The back room has been labeled "The Barn."  The old oak candy case is the one piece of furniture
    which remains following the store restoration. An old oak-cased gumball machine, which still
    dispenses a gumball for one-cent has been located by the Garlands and is in operation at the store.  

      An antique brass scale will eventually be used to weigh out bulk candy. The owners have stated that
    they wish all their antiques to be functional.  

      The Garlands have employed their nephew, J. Dennis Robinson as store manager. Their sons,
    Scott and Barry Garland are also employed at the local store.  

      New store hours will become effective Monday and the store will be open Monday through Saturday
    from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Milford Daily News, October 3, 1975.

                                                                 <><><><><><><><><><>

      My memories of Billy Draper's go back to the mid-fifties when I was in seventh grade. The guy who
    ran it was named Bill, but not Draper. As you'll see in the clipping below, Bill Draper died in 1948. Bill
    Pierce was the name of the guy that I remember. There were a good many Drapers in Hopedale at
    that time who weren't related to the Drapers of the Draper Corporation, and the William Draper who
    gave his name to the news store business was one of those "other Drapers." To add to the
    confusion, there were Williams and Georges in two of the three unrelated Draper families, and many,
    perhaps most, of the other Drapers worked for Drapers.

      But to get back to Billy Draper's. In the fifties, and for years before and after, that's where kids with
    paper routes would go after school to pick up their papers. Routes were in big demand at that time
    and when a kid was ready to "retire" from delivering papers, he'd sell the route. I think the price would
    range from about $15 to $30, depending on the size of the route. A small route might have about 30
    customers and a large one could have over 100.

     I never had my own route, but for thirty cents a day, or perhaps I should say for thirty cents for a half
    hour or so, I was what you might call an assistant paperboy. My first job was with Dave Harris. He had
    inherited his route from his brother, Jimmy. It wasn't a house to house job. Instead, we'd put stacks of
    five different papers into a wagon and pull it up to the main door at Drapers. I remember that we sold
    the Milford News, the Worcester Gazette, the Boston Traveler, the Boston American, and one other. I
    can't remember if the Globe had an afternoon edition or not, but that might have been it. When the
    men would get out of work, 3:30 in those days, we'd be very busy taking money and making change
    for about five minutes. Then we'd pull the wagon back to the paper store, often stopping to talk with
    Arthur, the guy in the guard shack at the Hopedale Street entrance to the loading dock area. When we
    got back to the store, I'd get my thirty cents and spend some of it on a Devil Dog and a soda. Probably
    five cents each. The rest I'd save for my old age. I'm sure I have it around here somewhere.

      Later I worked for Jack Hayes. He had a house delivery route; a big one with more than 100
    customers, I think. He also had Roland Boucher as another assistant. We'd often sit at the Boucher
    kitchen table in his house at the corner of Hopedale and Thwing streets on Friday afternoons, and
    count the collection. Dan Malloy, April 2008.

                                                                  <><><><><><><><><><>

    Again have thoroughly enjoyed your series of articles!!!!! The one about Bill Draper brought back
    REAL MEMORIES. I started peddling an evening route down Hopedale Street, up Mendon Street and
    into "White City."  That was in 1939. It was really rough for a 9-year old. When World War II came
    along I got a morning route from Bob McCulley (who joined the US Marines) and held that route until
    about 1948 when my brother Bob took on the task.

    I'd get my papers between 5:30 and 6:00 A.M. depending on when the Boston papers arrived. It was a
    lot different from today. At that time I had the Boston Post (greatest number of subscribers), The
    Record American, The Worcester Telegram, The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. In the winter
    we sure hoped that Billy or his daughter were there to open the store--it really got cold some
    mornings.

    Some things change for the worse and I think paper deliveries have really gone down hill. I recall
    having to put the paper inside the storm door for most of my customers in the winter or whenever the
    weather was bad (wind, rain, snow). I used to get two cents per customer per week for six days
    delivery when papers cost 12 cents a week. I don't know how they are delivered in Hopedale any
    more but here in Texas, they just throw them and I pray they land in the grass when raining and in the
    driveway when weather permits. Art Holmes, May 2014.

                                              Business and Buildings Menu                    HOME
"Billy Draper's" Is Landmark

Hopedale Country Store Renovated

By Virginia Cyr

Watercolor by Ray Andreotti

    I have attached a picture of George and Adele's oldest  
    three Moriarty grandchildren in front of the paper store.
    ("Billy Draper's")  We assume it must be our Grampa Bell
    with them, but the picture is so old the face and cap don't
    look familiar to Maureen the oldest...could or could not be
    when comparing them with photos we have. The photo
    would be probably about 1937 judging by the ages they
    look.  Meredith Kennedy

The pictures below were taken on November 17, 2016.

Above - December 14, 2016

Below - December 15, 2016

    The stones in the truck shown above are from the foundation of the store.
    They are being saved and may be used as part of a project in town.

                                    
    HOPEDALE - For decades, the old, red shop at 44 Hope St. was the place to grab a copy of the latest newspapers,
    a bottle of soda or a couple of Tootsie Rolls.

    Although the store has not been open for years, local residents said they are still sad to see it go after the shop,
    commonly known as "Billy Draper's," was demolished Wednesday.

    A parking lot will take its place - a change that will help to ease congestion on nearby streets and provide
    additional parking spaces, according to Bernie Stock, maintenance director at the Hopedale Community House.

    "We're very limited in this area in Hopedale for off-street parking," he said Thursday.

    The community house, located across the street from the site, purchased the storefront in October for $135,000,
    according to town records.

    Stock said the shop - which was used as a residence in recent years - had several building issues, including
    asbestos.

    The structure was also not connected to the town's sewage system nor was it up to building codes.

    "It didn't even have its own water supply," Stock said, adding that the parcel was too small to develop.

    William N. Draper opened the store, - officially named the Draper News Store - which dated back to at least 1896,
    according to local historian Dan Malloy.

    Customers once purchased penny candy, sodas, tobacco products and a variety of magazines and newspapers.

    "If we had basketball practice that's where you went to get candy and a soda before practice because there was
    nowhere else," Stock, a 70-year town resident, said.

    The shop switched owners over the years through the 1990s.

    Stock said the community house bought the property intending to turn it into a parking lot, though the organization
    thought of possibly moving the building if the structure could be sold.

    But inspectors deemed that it was not possible to do so, he said.

    "I don't think it took more than 20 seconds for the whole thing to come down," Stock said. "It wasn't very well
    constructed."

    Some of the building's stone foundation will be brought to a Hopedale cemetery to be used as part of a building
    expansion, Stock said.

    Residents on social media and in the neighborhood recalled "Billy Draper's" as a setting for their childhood
    memories.

    Chip Cook, who resides on Hopedale Street, said visits to his grandmother's house - in which he now lives - were
    spent walking around the corner, with the "pocket change" she gave Cook and his sister in hand, to pick up a few
    pieces of penny candy in the 1980s.

    Once back at the house, the pair would devour their findings while sitting on the porch, he said.

    "It was good," Cook said. "It's sad it's going away."

    Malloy said he often would help out his friends on their paper routes in the late 1950s. His earnings were later
    spent on goodies at the shop, he said.

    "I think I'd usually get a Devil Dog or a root beer or something with some of my 30 cents," Malloy said.

    He said he is also sad to see the building torn down, but noted that parking is an problem in the area.

    "At least the site will be put to a good and needed use," Malloy said. Milford Daily News, December 16, 2016

                                                                                                 HOME   
.

December 21, 2016.