This Wednesday's (August 1) concert at the town park features Fourcast with Hopedale native, Derek
    Walker. Also in the band are Hopedale native Dan Sutton on bass, and Milford native Chris Rando on
    sax. Rain date is Thursday at 7pm.

    Recent deaths


    Twenty-five years ago – August 1987 – First Meeting of Hopedale Friends of Elders to Be Held

    The FCC rescinds its Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and tv stations to fairly present
    controversial issues.

    Two Manned Soviet Spaceships Orbit Earth

    Fifty years ago – August 1962 – Marilyn Monroe dies.

    Draper Sales Climb, Loom Output at High Level

    (George) Romney Romps in Primary to Hike Presidential Stock


                                                                  Model Company Town

    It comes at no small sacrifice to our democratic form of government and free enterprise economy that
    private and unrestricted land development so often results in poorly conceived and socially disruptive
    urban environments. Nowhere was the lack of planning, design and management more evident than
    in the nineteenth-century industrial town. Little thought was given to environmental issues as
    businesses prospered and factories expanded. But one type of industrial town, despite its other
    failings, proved to be an exception.

    Though born of the “age of enterprise” and once a symbol of exploitation and repression, the “model
    company town” also embodied positive advances in planning and architecture. It was a forerunner of
    the “garden city” and “new-town” in that it imposed long-range planning goals for controlling growth
    and avoiding decline. Its purpose was to provide and then to maintain a productive environment for the
    interest concerned. The idea has been around for some time, but it has never been widely adopted,
    Designed communities tend to limit personal initiatives in land speculation and construction. Though
    this sometimes produces good architecture, it also restricts certain kinds of business and
    employment. The result usually benefits the controlling interests more than the individual worker or
    tenant. But during the middle decades of the nineteenth –century, the negative and visibly corrosive
    aspects of the Industrial Revolution, stemming from a lack of planning, called attention to the need for
    taking comprehensive measures in hand. For a time, at least, the model company town served as a
    favorable alternative to other types of industrial settlements.

    In America the company town appeared first in the Northeast, especially in New England, and
    elsewhere thereafter. Its history is tied to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the
    factory system. Though barren in soil and harsh of climate, New England contained some of the first
    experiments in American town planning and management, and as agriculture gave place to
    manufacture it became a proving ground for later industrial settlements.

    To harness waterpower for factories, to excavate or drill for metals and minerals, or to mill timber,
    entire towns were constructed by single businesses. Each laid streets and built houses to
    accommodate a work force. Some of these towns were superior to others and therefore termed
    “models.” One of these was Hopedale, a small communitarian settlement purchased in its entirety in
    1856 by George and Ebenezer Draper, who founded the Draper Company. The Drapers made textile
    machinery to supply cotton mills with spinning and weaving equipment. Although two small shops and
    several dozen houses had already been built, they proceeded to expand these and to build a town of
    their own design. Expansion continued until 1916, after which the business declined and construction
    ceased. Not until the 1950s, however, were the houses sold off; and much of the town still remains
    with the enterprise, which became a division of Rockwell International in 1967. (The book was
    published in 1984.) The Draper family controlled every aspect of the business and the town, including
    decisions regarding planning and architecture. They took pride in their manufacture as well as in their
    town and were of the opinion that attractive surroundings drew the best workers. They employed two
    landscape architects, Warren Henry Manning and Arthur A. Shurcliff, to lay out subdivisions and a park
    in the period 1886 – 1916. Manning and Shurcliff were former associates of Frederick Law Olmstead
    and among the founders of the American Institute of Planners. Fred Swasey and Robert Allen Cook,
    among several architects employed by the Drapers, designed a variety of handsome buildings.
    Hopedale received from them a practical as well as an attractive landscape, and their initiatives in
    urban design were carried forward in later years in new-town experiments. A result of this professional
    employment, to cite one example, was that the Draper Company dwellings received awards from
    international housing congresses held at trade fairs in France, Belgium, Italy and the United States.

    If, in instances, the model company town would seem to appear as a “New Jerusalem” among
    otherwise “dark satanic mills,” then of course the subject will have been misrepresented. There was
    nothing saintly about Hopedale or the other towns of its type. Despite the sentiments of some
    observers, these places were hardly “industrial paradises.” But neither were they as grim and
    oppressive as sometimes depicted. Workers were probably better off in company housing than in city
    slums. And despite the big-brother implications of paternalism, many employers made a genuine
    attempt to attract, satisfy, and retain skilled labor. What is more, initiatives in architecture and planning
    with long-term benefits emerged from the best of these places. John S. Garner, The Model Company
    Town, preface.

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