Parkside Dairy Farm

    The farm at 200 Dutcher Street started as simply a small home farm of very little acreage. My
    grandparents, J. Charles and Nettie M. Henry bought the land from grandpa's uncle, John S. Mead of
    Milford and in 1895 built a house and barn. There they lived with their three children, Ruth, Willard and
    Norman (my Dad), Grandma's mother, Sarah Olira Cummings and cousin Anna Chapin. They had
    one or two cows and a horse for their personal use.

    Dad went to UNH for a two-year agricultural course and graduated in 1911 or '12, I think. However, I
    don't know how much farming he did until after World War I. He was in the army. After that he worked
    at the YMCA in Brockton, Mass. It was there he met my mother.

    Ill health brought Dad back to Hopedale in about 1921. It was then he built a greenhouse and started
    a nursery/truck farm business. After several years plus the arrival of three children, he moved from
    growing plants to developing a dairy farm. He enlarged the barn and had a herd of twelve to eighteen
    or so cows and established a milk route in Hopedale and Milford.

    There were a few small farms in South Hopedale, such as Pete Gaskill's, now the site of Rosenfeld's
    Sand & Gravel and Wilcox's, not far from the Green Store, but in Hopedale we were the only farm in the
    factory town.

    Sometime in the late 1930s, the task of delivering milk fell to Richard, Muriel and Phyllis. Richard
    drove our little red pick-up truck every day while the girls alternated weeks.. I well remember those
    years. Talk about service!! There was one house where I had to put the milk in the refrigerator, and
    there were some where the bottles were taken into the house. We had to coast down the hill on
    Dennett Street because the noise of the truck and bottles disturbed someone's sleep. We would start
    around six and get back just in time for breakfast. Then Dad drove us to high school. As we went
    down the street we picked up 10, 12 + kids who were hoping we'd come along. Many times the last
    bell was ringing as we arrived.

    My parents anniversary was the same as my aunt and uncle's - August 1. Every year we'd celebrate
    with a picnic in the Parklands. There would be about seven or eight adults and a dozen or so children.
    My father would pick different places for the picnic. I remember one being at Maroney's Grove, and one
    year my father borrowed a rowboat and we had our celebration at Fisherman's Island.

    When Richard graduated and went on to a two-year course at Stockbridge, Dad drove the truck and
    we girls delivered. Then I graduated and Charles and Phillis delivered. After Phil left, it was up to Dad
    and Charles.

    Haying was a big part of summer. We all pitched. For many years Dad, Grandpa and the hired man,
    Linwood or Elmer Hammond - later Freemie or Lowell Hammond and still later, Bob Hammond,
    scythed and later cut with an iron wheeled tractor, did the mowing, teddering, raking and bringing in
    the hay. My job was to build the load so it wouldn't all slide off. Some of the fields we hayed were in
    Upton but the main hayfield was across the road at George Schultz's. It went right up to Route 140.
    Our pastures went behind the barn and house, right down to the Parklands. Dad rented land next to
    our house, down to the Driftway. He bought the land including the Driftway that went as far as what
    was then Millers, then Kalpagians. This also went back to the Parklands. The pastures were curtailed
    when Draper Corporation sold house lots to Tommy Eckles, John Ackerley and Otis Rose. Drapers
    had rented this to us for years.

    By now Wayne Patenaude was working after school at the farm. Eventually he lived there too. At about
    5 P.M. it was time to bring the cows in for milking. They were often right at the gate waiting, but
    sometimes one or two of us kids would have to go looking for some laggards. Sometimes we'd find a
    cow that had just calved. In good weather, mothers would bring toddlers or little kids in strollers to see
    the cows come home.

    Another attraction was a huge chestnut tree that grew near the road but inside the fence of the calf
    pasture. When the chestnuts started to fall, all the kids in the neighborhood would show up to pick
    them up. Dad had some rules. 1. You can't climb on the fence or get into the pasture. 2. You can't
    climb the tree. 3. You can't shake or try to hit the branches.

    Things changed after World War II. In the fall of 1941, Richard went to Stockbridge where he studied
    poultry. I think in his second year he did a work-study at Mayo's Duck Farm in Orleans. He then joined
    the Air Force. After the war, he came back to Hopedale where his interest was poultry, not cows.

    In 1946, Dad sold the milk route to Arnold VanderSluis of Mendon and the milk we produced was sold
    to Lowell's. Richard started his poultry and egg business. He, with the help of Gilbert Beal and
    Charles, still in high school, had a chicken range down back, but built a 4-story hen house where a
    small apple orchard had been. Capons were his specialty. Up near the road he installed his Egg-o-
    mat, the first of its kind in the area. I was married and away by this time so I don't remember many of
    the details. I remember the egg candler in the cellar that kept my folks busy. On Fridays, sometimes
    Thursday too, things were hectic; killing, de-feathering and cleaning chickens and capons ordered for
    the weekend. This phase ended in about 1957 when Richard stopped this and raised chickens on
    contract for a big poultry business. Farming was over for the Henrys. My parents moved to Mendon.
    Richard became a CPA and moved to Westminster. Bill and Claire Larson bought the farm and it
    became their private home. Muriel E. Tinkham, July 24, 2005

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    The Henry house is at the center of this 2010 satellite view. Most
    of this area and more was once part of the Parkside Farm.