Historic Harrison Block In Hopedale
Has Many Firsts
HOPEDALE - Harrison Block at 60 Hopedale Street, now owned by George A. Mongiat, proprietor of
the Hopedale Pharmacy, one of the oldest business blocks in town, was erected more than 70 years
ago by the late Gen. William F. Draper and named in honor of President Benjamin Harrison, 23rd
president of the United States.
The property was owned by Draper Corporation many years and was rented by many and various
types of businesses. The first drug store was located there under the ownership of Lucius A.
Lamson, who came here from Milford where he conducted the drug store, later owned by Charles
Collins, at Exchange and Main streets, now the site of the Soda Shop. Another first tenant on the
street floor was Almon Andrew, who conducted a men's furnishing store, later owned by William L
Beals, who also sold women's shoes. At the rear of the store, his father, the late William P. Beals, had
a cobbling shop.
The first watch and clock repair shop and jewelry store in town was situated on the second floor,
under the management of Frank H. French. Later this room was leased as a barber shop, and was
conducted by Harry Nichols, only barber in town at that time. On the second floor there was a tailor
shop and a hall, where the Maspenock Social Club met for card and billiard games. The hall was also
used for rehearsals by various musicians, among them being the late Joseph Marsh, violinist, and
Elmo Simpson, drummer and pianist. George Draper Lodge, Knights of Pythias, met in the third floor
halls, as did the Pythian Sisters. Later the Mr. and Mrs. Club held bi-monthly dances there.
The Lamson Drug Store was purchased by Josiah J. Gibbs and still later by Milton Bishop, druggist,
who sold to the present owner, Mr. Mongiat.
The first bowling alley in town was erected at the rear of the block many years ago by James
Quimby, who also served lunches at the site.
Tenants of the block now have garages where the alley once stood. These were erected when two
of the top floors were converted into modern apartments. The building has many firsts in its long
history, such as first drug, shoe, jewelry, barber shop, tailor shop, men's furnishing store and
cobblers shop in town, as well as the first apartment block. There are six tenants situated on the
second and third floors. Milford Daily News, February 17, 1960
The Harrison Block, 1984
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asked about the names of the men in the picture. Nothing happened until Renee Ruggiero Oliviera
brought the matter up again in December. Renee, Shari Deiana (with help from her mother, who worked
at the drug store lunch counter for 20 years), and Fred Oldfied contributed and came up with the
following names: left to right - Duino Ruscitti, Vascen Boggigian, Stenson Hattersley (Fred's grandfather)
and Elmer "Snap" Bradley. Bill thinks the car belonged to Tyke Small.
The paragraph above is from the National Register Nomination.
In 1991, the Hopedale Pharmacy moved from the
Harrison Block to Route 16. See article below.
Click here to read about what the
Chiacchia's did with the building.
Stella Williams - For many years one of the best known people in town. Now
if someone can send me a picture of George Mongiat I'll add him here.