Hopedale History
    September 15, 2011
    No. 188
    Community Newspapers

    Hopedale in September   

    I received more comments on the September 1 Hopedale history ezine than I’ve ever had before. (I
    think I have enough on them now to use the term, ezine.) There were a good number who
    responded saying they liked the “You know you’re from Hopedale if…,” article, with five giving me
    more to add. (You can see their additions at the bottom of the page of No. 187.) Within a day, the
    count for the Statue of Hope page went up by more than fifty. I had an email saying that Hope’s
    sculptor, Waldo Story, was a friend of Jack, the Ripper. Mr. Story and Mr. Ripper were both part of
    the “art colony” in London in the early twentieth century. That would be Walter Siekert, one of the
    suspects in the case. A few people told me they liked the YouTube Hopedale history show, which,
    as I mentioned last time, Mr. Sandwiches found insulting to the town, etc., etc. The main result of
    that was, the count which had pretty much come to a halt at around 190, has reached 316 as I write
    this. Evidently a bad review is better than no review. I didn’t get any response on the Washington
    trip pictures, but the page received over 50 hits in a week. John Cembruch’s response to the Seven
    Sisters Gang article aroused some memories from a gentleman originally from that neighborhood,
    now living in New Hampshire. John’s stories of his life in Hopedale have found several fans
    recently, including one who stayed up until one in the morning reading the print version.

    Fisherman’s Island Eagle Scout project   

    Hopedale High baseball team photo, c. 1935  

    Mystery man – Do you recognize this face on a Draper ID badge?


    Please click on the link below and vote for my son, Jason Myles Goss, for the Northeast
    Singer/Songwriter competition. He's trying to make a living as a professional musician in NYC and
    we can use all the help we can get. Votes must be in by September 16th and your consideration is
    most appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    Bob Goss

    I have one of Jason’s songs about Hopedale on YouTube. It’s titled “A Shell.” You can’t vote on that
    one, but you can watch and listen.


                                                   Printing in Community Days

    As we all know, the era preceding the start of the Hopedale Community in 1842 was marked by
    intense interest in a number of causes. These included temperance, abolition of slavery and
    nonresistance. Lacking the present day means of communication, the opinions of the numerous
    groups were expressed in newspapers, pamphlets, tracts, and such manifestations of the printed
    word. For instance, William Lloyd Garrison started  The Liberator in 1831 to spread the news of the
    anti-slavery groups and their progress. In Milford and later in Mendon, Adin Ballou and George
    Whittemore Stacy were a printing firm publishing the Independent Messinger. Thus our friend,
    Ballou, and the printer who later became a member of the Hopedale Community joined hands in
    getting out the first paper printed in Milford. Stacy became a minister of the Universalist
    denomination before he came to Hopedale.

    As early as 1840, Adin Ballou and some of his followers started a magazine they named The
    Practical Christian. It was published in Mendon where Ballou was then a pastor. The paper as its
    description read, was, “Devoted to Truth and Righteousness.” Its purpose as stated in the
    prospectus was to be an organ “for a faithful exposition, defense and promulgation of  Primitive
    Christianity, in all the prominent characteristics, aspects and bearings of its theology, piety, and
    morality, and to bear aloft and magnify the standard of religious truth and duty for which Jesus of
    Nazareth died on the cross.” Ballou was editor-in-chief and publishing agent, while contributing
    writers bore names familiar to all student’s of Hopedale’s early history; David R. Lamson, George
    W. Stacy, Daniel S. Whitney, and William H. Fish.

    So it was the Practical Christian had taken from before the actual start of the Community in the Old
    House in the Dale. Volume 1, Number 10, gives the aim of this particular group and comments on
    other such community projects as Shakers, Moravians, Mennonites, and Friends. The editors
    suggest that the newly planned group should be called the Fraternal Communion

    There is no better way to study the story of Community days than in the old numbers of the Practical
    Christian, to be found bound and in good state of preservation in the Bancroft Library’s historical
    collection. While in the library I noted that students and writers from Columbia and from Yale spent
    a great deal of time on this magazine. While commenting intelligently on world affairs, attention is
    paid to local happenings. Literary articles and poems are to be found there. The pages contain
    fascinating reading.

    Naturally Adin Ballou was interested in getting the printing presses going in the Community as
    soon as ever it could be managed. Accordingly the presses were set up in the building recently torn
    down; that important early structure of which Mr. Charles Merrill has made a replica. On the main
    floor, in the southern part, papers, pamphlets, and song-sheets were turned out. In fact, by May 1,
    1842, Vol. III of the Practical Christian was published under the auspices of the Community. To
    finish the story of this important news sheet, after eighteen years of printing in Hopedale, it was
    finally suspended with Vol. XX. Adin Ballou was the editor throughout the paper’s life. An
    anonymous paper in the Hopedale Community Historical Society file at the Bancroft Library.

    Click here to read the entire paper, which includes paragraphs about several other Hopedale
    Community writers, including George Stacy, Ballou’s son, Adin Augustus Ballou, Bryan Butts and
    Harriet Greene.

    The Bancroft Library has the complete collection of the Practical Christian. The first year of it can be
    seen online at Digital Treasures.

                                           Hopedale History Ezine Menu                      HOME   

The scouts and scoutmaster of Milford Boy Scout
Troop 4 in front of the repaired fireplace/shelter at
Fisherman's Island, Hopedale Pond. Click on the
picture for more about the project.