Hopedale History
    May 1, 2006
    No. 59
    The Garages

    Bancroft Library director, Merrily Sparling recently put 20 pictures of the Draper plant onto a site called
    Digital Treasures. You can also view historic pictures from other central and western Massachusetts
    cities and towns on the site.

    The Statue of Hope has been uncovered for the summer. There are plans to have the fountain
    operating on Memorial Day, Hopedale High graduation day, and on Day in the Park.

    The Hopedale High School Alumni newsletter that is mailed out each spring, contains a list of
    deceased alumni. Since some of you who don’t receive the newsletter might be interested in seeing
    the list, I’ve added it to the website.  

    The Friends of the Hopedale Library will present an evening with artist Karen Pendleton on Monday,
    May 1, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. Karen will display her drawings and photographs and will demonstrate her
    pen and ink technique.

    I’ve added pictures of the original Union Church and one of the fire that destroyed it in 1962 to the
    Hopedale history website. Click here to see them.


                                                             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. Since they were only about a
    foot apart, 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, 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; 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; I think it
    was a Boston paper. I’m sending only a small part of the article, but I’m including all of the section; not
    just the part about the garages.

    When the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., August Hechsher and others
    were wrestling with the problem of model homes for workingmen and their families, the Draper
    Corporation, without fanfare or beating of drums, went ahead and built a model town around its great
    industrial plant.

    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 shop.) He may sell his garage – not the land, though, for that belongs to
    the Drapers.

    There is another side to Hopedale – Adin Street – where dwell in splendor the nabobs of the royal
    house of Draper. No ordinary lot of mortals these Drapers, for every man among them was a king.

    Adin Street is a short, winding and beautifully paved thoroughfare, flanked on each side by mansions,
    such as will probably be found nowhere else in the world at the present time.


    Things other than cars were kept in the garages. 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.

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