Hopedale History
    April 15, 2005
    No. 36
    Who Fired First?

    Last time I asked if any of you knew anything about Lilliputian weddings.  I had a response from a
    classmate of mine, Phil Roberts.  Phil was the groom in one of them. He looked through old family
    photos and found one of the “wedding.” Here’s a bit of what he had to say about it.  “I'm wearing a
    bowtie that's bigger than my head, a tuxedo with striped lapels, and I'm carrying a top-hat.  I look like a
    circus barker. The picture's dated March 12, 1949--it was taken by James S. Peavey!” Evidently there
    were at least three of these weddings. A guest book that I found at the library had names and pictures
    from one in 1940, and names but no date for another one. (Based on the ages of the participants, I’m
    guessing that one took place in 1947.) They were put on by the Community House Women’s Club.  I’ve
    put the information from the guest book down at the bottom, below the “Who Fired First?” story. It
    includes over seventy names.  If you lived in Hopedale in the forties or fifties, the list will probably bring
    back lots of memories.


    Who fired the first shot at Lexington?  Evidently the question was being discussed within days, or
    perhaps hours, after the battle. I ran across the following story while looking through some old Cotton
    Chats and I thought that Patriots’ Day would be the time to send it.

    Cotton Chats
    By the Secretary of the Draper Company
    Hopedale, Mass.
    No. 17. April 1903

                                 What Happened in April 128 Years Ago

    Lexington, April 25th, 1775.

    I, William Draper, of lawful age and an inhabitant of Colrain in the county of Hampshire, and Colony of
    Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, do testify and declare, that being on the parade of said Lexington
    April 19th instant, about half an hour before sunrise the Kings regular troops appeared at the meeting
    house of Lexington. Capt. Parker’s company who were drawn up back of said meeting house on the
    parade turned from said troops making their escape by dispersing, in the mean time, the regular
    troops made an huzza and ran towards Capt. Parker’s company who were dispersing, and
    immediately after the huzza was made, the commanding officer of said troops (as I took him) gave the
    command to the said troops “fire! damn you fire!” And immediately they fired before any of Capt. Parker’
    s company fired, I then being within three or four rods of said regular troops:  And further say not.

                                                                                                                                    William Draper


    Here’s the rest of the story on the Lilliputian wedding of 1940.

               Hopedale Woman’s Club Entertains With Lilliputian Wedding

    The bridal group of the Lilliputian wedding sponsored by Hopedale Woman’s Club in the Community
    House in which nearly 50 youngsters, representing personages in Hopedale, took part.  Helene
    Draper, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Bristow Draper, Jr., was bride, and the groom was portrayed by
    Robert LaFountain, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert LaFountain.  (Picture caption, Milford Daily News)

    From guest book, dated February 13, 1940:

    Wedding party:
    Bride – Helene Draper
    Groom – Robert LaFountain
    Best Man – Daniel Steincipher
    Maid of Honor – Priscilla West
    Flower Girl – Lynda Kate Sadler
    Ring Bearer – Gerald Hazard
    Bridesmaids – Barbara Clark, Janet Moon, Rosalind Thayer, Ellen Brown, Cynthia Clark, Frances

    Signatures in guest book:

    Sylvia Stare
    Gladys D. Grant
    Doris Bell
    Grace M. Steincipher
    Isobel Callahan
    Helen MacLeod
    Helene Creamer
    Helen E. Peavey
    Betty Mathewson
    Robert Bruce Smethurst
    Robert LaFountain
    Cynthia L. Clark
    Frances Webster
    Dorothy Young
    Rosamond Thayer
    William T. Coy
    Joan Thatcher
    James Peavey
    Priscilla Sadler
    Frances Ammen
    Danny Steincipher
    Janet Lapworth
    Beverly Markham
    Garfield Moon
    Donald Webster
    Edith Barrows
    Robert Noyes
    Jane Bridgham
    Harland Scribner
    Nancy Gibson
    Richard Draper
    Susan Dewar
    Colton Bridges
    Harriet Thayer
    Claude Snider
    Mary Louise Stare
    Gladys Grant
    Jean Newhall
    Dorothy Murray
    Olive Day Bramhall
    Priscilla Scribner
    Gladys Sanborn
    Jeanette Andrews
    Shirley Webster
    Nancy Calhoun
    Barbara Bell
    Judith Ripley
    Jane Newell
    Elinor FitzGerald
    Carolyn Henderson
    Virginia Steeves
    Joanne Kearsley
    Beverly Sparhawk
    Yvonne Scanlon
    Pauline Shanahan
    Richard Callahan
    Mrs. Eugene S. Newhall
    Shirley Mathewson
    Hilda Chegwidden

    A few days after finding these names and thinking that’s all there were, I came across more names in
    the guest book.  Evidently they were from some time in between the 1940 and the 1949 weddings, but
    no year is given. They are:

    Bride – Patricia Perry
    Groom – Billy Ohlson
    Bride’s father – William H. Thayer
    Soloist – Donald Seastrom
    Bridesmaids – Sally Lawrence, Lorna Smethurst, Patty Draper, Judy Nelson, Glenis Bishop, and
    Joanne Lemon
    Ushers – Russell Goff, Tommy Draper, David Miles, Robert Iacovelli, Albert Carl Gray and Roger

    For more on the weddings, go to http://www.hope1842.com/lilliput1949.html


    I added Dot Stanas’s memories of Hopedale to the website this week.  To read about the days when
    the wash was done in set tubs and you could watch the Fourth of July fireworks over the pond, go to

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