February 1, 2007
    Hopedale History
    No. 77
    Dredging the Pond

    Hopedale has been selected to participate in the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s
    Heritage Landscape program. There will be a meeting at Draper Place on February 21 at 7 PM to
    discuss and decide which areas of Hopedale would benefit. The public is invited to offer
    suggestions. The department will provide technical assistance and training for the preservation Click
    here to go to the DCR web page on historic landscape preservation.

    Another piece of architecture in Hopedale will be going soon. The cupola at the high school has to be
    removed. There’s a problem with a leaking roof, and it would be a hugely expensive project to repair
    and retain it. It may be possible to preserve it and put it on the ground somewhere, but at nearly 20
    feet in height, that won’t be easy either. Another cupola that I’ve mentioned here in the past that we
    hope to save and return to town is the one on the lawn of Paul Curran in Milford. It was once on the
    carriage house behind the Adin Street mansion of Eben Draper Bancroft. The plan right now is to
    move it to the piece of town-owned land where Adin Street meets Route 16.

    The Crystal Ball will be held on February 3. This will be the third time the Friends of Historic
    Hopedale have held the event as a fund-raiser for the Little Red Shop restoration.. I hope to be able
    to tell you in the very near future that the Red Shop job has gone out to bid.

    Thanks to Peter Metzke of Melbourne, Australia for his interest in and contributions to my Hopedale
    website for the past several months. He created the banner that’s now at the top of the homepage.

    Congratulations to Hopedale High junior, Jessica Peacock, who reached the 1,000 point mark in a
    Hopedale basketball win over Nipmuc on January 19.


    In 1949, I was eight; old enough to have become accustomed to the idea that every summer
    afternoon would be spent at Hopedale Pond. That year, however, things were different. They were
    dredging the pond. I don’t know when the job was finally finished, but it seemed to me that it went on
    forever. I still went to the park in the morning and probably spent some of my time building a hut in
    the woods with Billy Hall and Kurt Anderson, and making dams in the brooks where Tammy Road is
    now, but I really missed going to the pond. Here’s a Milford News article about the project.

                Hopedale Pond Cleanup Biggest Operation Attempted In Area

    HOPEDALE – Hundreds of “ sidewalk superintendents” watched one of the biggest excavation and
    cleaning operations in this area, yesterday at Hopedale Pond.

           A huge crane, with an 80-foot arm and a scoop bucket with a capacity of nearly three yards, was
    the center of attention as it loaded huge trucks in two sweeps. The trucks can carry over six yards of

           Operations began near the beach section of the pond, and the depth of slime and silt at this
    point was more than four feet.

           The W.J. Halloran Co. of Providence is doing the work, which is supervised by Supt. William
    McCarthy and William Polleys, manager of the crane department. The crane operator is Fred
    Bourasso of Woonsocket.

           The plan is to work around the pond, towards the Draper Corporation plant.

           A 20-ton bulldozer and two trucks are now being used, but later more equipment will be brought
    in. Earlier this week a smaller crane was at work laying a gravel road to the site of the digging, and a
    small bulldozer became mired in the mud and had to be pulled out.

           This is the first time such a large cleaning job has ever been attempted in this area. The pond
    has been drained except for a small stream which still flows through the center. Milford Daily News,
    April 23, 1949   Click here to go to pictures of the dredging project.


    On the tract of land covering the easterly side of Darling Hill, [uphill from the railroad tracks, in the
    area in more recent years known as the Lookout] paths and trails are in the process of construction.
    The roadway extending from Freedom Street to the highest point of land in town (525 feet above sea
    level) is well underway, more than 1800 feet having been completed. From points adjoining this road
    may be seen The Great Blue Hills, Dean Academy, Sharon Heights, Cumberland Hill, Peppercorn
    Hill, Wachusett Mountain, Wigwam and Miscoe Hills, as well as a large stretch of the surrounding
    country. Report of the Park Commissioners, 1917.

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Click on the picture for more photos of the dredging job.