October 15, 2004
    Hopedale History
    No. 24
    Town Report – 1886

    Some of you who read the article about Princess Boncompagni, sent out on September 17, may be
    interested in knowing a little about Prince Boncompagne’s second wife.  Thanks to Glenis Bishop
    Hachey (of Hopedale High School Alumni Website fame), I have the story. It’s at http://www.

    I’ve been sending some rather long stories for some time now, so for a change, here’s a shorter one.  
    Town reports from the earlier years had lots of interesting information you don’t find in more recent
    ones.  Below are a few items from Hopedale’s first year as a town, 1886.

                                                   Town Report 1886

    No person shall throw stones or other missiles; nor play at base ball or football, nor fly any kites, in any
    of the streets in the town.

    Three or more persons shall not stand in a group or near each other on any sidewalk or street in such
    a manner as to obstruct or impede free passage, after having been requested by any constable to
    move on.  (I’ve heard mention of this one several times over the years.  It had been suggested that it
    was adopted at the time of the 1913 strike, but here it is, twenty-seven years earlier.  They may have
    been thinking that sooner or later there would be a strike and they weren’t about to wait until the last
    minute to prepare for it)

    No person shall fasten any horse to any ornamental or shade tree in any street in the town, or
    wrongfully injure or abuse such tree in any manner.

    No person in a state of nudity shall bathe in any of the waters of the town between the hours of sunrise
    and sunset, in places exposed to public view or in the vicinity of any dwelling-house.


    Among other peculiarities (left over from Community days) there has never been in the village a place
    where intoxicating liquors could be purchased, and it is hoped by us that this peculiarity may long
    continue.  (Hopedale remained a “dry” town until the 1970s)

    School budget - $4,565.02
    Balance unexpended - $0.90
    Number of pupils – 210
    Town population – 926

    Report of Overseers of the Poor

    The Overseers of the Poor have not been called upon to assist any person belonging to the town.  You
    have looked after all such by your private contributions.  Let us continue to do the same.

    Twenty marriages recorded

    29 of the parties born in Massachusetts
    1 New Hampshire
    2 Vermont
    2 Nova Scotia
    1 Spain
    1 Wales
    1 Pennsylvania
    1 California
    1 Wisconsin
    1 Ireland

    Oldest, 62; youngest, 17.

    First marriage of 37 of the parties, 2nd of two and 4th of one.

    14 births recorded
    10 deaths recorded
    64 dogs licensed


    The first two pages of the 1886 Town Report contained the story of the separation from Milford.  This
    seems to be a sanitized version of the event.  If I find more on this, I’ll send it another time.  To read it,
    go to http://www.hope1842/sepfromMilford3.html

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