The Garages

    When I was a kid, one of our forms of entertainment was to go to the Prospect Street garages, get up on the roof of one of
    them, and then jump from one to another to another. There were a good many of them, but  they were only about a foot
    apart, so it wasn't much of a challenge and it would be more accurate to say we stepped from one to the next than to say
    we jumped. In addition to the garages off of Prospect Street, there were others at the end of Jones Road, between Park
    Street and the intersection of Inman and Beech, Inman and Lower Jones, off of Hill Street, on Cemetery Street and on the
    west side of Bancroft Park. There may have been others I'm forgetting. (The brick garages of Lake Street and Lower Jones
    came later than the wooden ones; or probably replaced the wooden ones, in the early fifties.) The following story on the
    garages was taken from a newspaper article. I don't have the name of the paper or a date, but it was when you could buy a
    new Plymouth, the full sized, four-door model, for $695, according to an ad on the same page. It doesn't appear to have
    been the Milford News.

    The pretty homes of the workers of the Draper Corporation are not disfigured by unsightly garages, nor are the backyards
    of the town littered with a lot of junk and abandoned flivvers.  The motorists of Hopedale enjoy the advantages of
    "communistic garaging," which not only means much from an aesthetic point of view to the town in general, but serves to
    minimize the fire hazard. At strategic spots throughout the town large areas of land are set off and dedicated solely to
    garages. These spots are usually hidden from the roadway, and approached through lanes and paths lined with trees
    and shrubbery. In a clearing will be found the garages, all neatly arranged, Each man must build his own garage,
    conforming to plans laid down by the Draper Corporation. If the garage owner decides to clear out for another town, he is
    allowed to demolish his garage and take the pieces with him. (I think they were built of "shop wood," which included
    packing boxes and other wood, available free or at very little cost at the Draper shop.) He may sell his garage - not the
    land, though, for that belongs to the Drapers.

    Here's a story Carol Whyte told me recently. Frannie Fogan, who grew up on Inman Street in the fifties, entered a contest
    and won a horse. Having no other place to keep it, her family asked for and received permission from the Draper official in
    charge of such things, to keep the horse in their garage. It was one of the group between Park and Inman. A bit of the
    nearby woods was cleared and the garage was moved onto it. I don't know how long the horse lived, but it seems to me
    that the stable/garage was still there in the seventies.

    Here's another comment on the garages.  The segment on the garages was particularly interesting.  I have lived in a lot of
    towns since leaving Hopedale and have never again encountered anything like those communal garages.  We lived on
    Prospect Street and Dad had one of the garages back there, but not one of the ones in the photos.  Cannot believe that
    after all these years, I recognized the Prospect Street garages (relics as they were) on first sight, before reading the
    caption.   One of them, the brown double, was close to Mr. Drisko’s house.  He was a history teacher and cross country
    coach. Thanks for sharing all year long.

    John Workman

                                      Short Stories and Pictures Menu                       Buildings Menu                        HOME


    Prospect Street garages in foreground. There were
    more of them than can be seen in this photo.

    The Lake Street area garages can be seen near the bottom of the
    picture, just a bit to the right of center. The wooden ones seen here
    were later replaced by brick garages. At the middle upper-right edge,
    you can get a faint glimpse of several of the Bancroft Park garages.

    The picture below was taken where Inman Street meets Beech
    Street. The ones above were behind Prospect Street.