Hopedale History
    November 15, 2013
    No. 240
    The War at Home, 1917

    Hopedale in November

    As some of you discovered, the link I sent for Hopedale in October didn't work. In case you're still
    interested in seeing what the town looked like way back then, try here and see if it works this time.

    The Role of Women in Hopedale, a Nineteenth-Century Universalist-Unitarian Utopian Community in
    South-Central Massachusetts by Deirdre Corcoran Stam. It was published this summer in the
    American Communal Studies Quarterly. Stam graduated from Hopedale High School with the class of
    1958. Her paper includes a few observations of the town at that time.

    Now and Then - The Adin and Mendon Streets Corner.   

    Now and Then - Hammond Road.   

    Recent Hopedale history website additions to previously existing pages: Larry Heron (Obituary)     
    Hopedale Pond before 1910 (More Edwin Darling photos added)     Fanny Osgood (Photo of the
    Osgood children with their nanny)     Bridges of Hopedale Pond (1929 Rustic Bridge photo added and
    some text changes)     Recent deaths     


    The bids for the new $50,000 central fire station were opened last Thursday and the contract was
    awarded to Walter L. Mellen of Worcester. About a dozen bids were received. Work will be commenced
    at once and the building finished by September 1. Milford Gazette, March 12, 1915

    The first firemen's muster ever held here was conducted by the Hopedale fire department Saturday, in
    connection with the dedication of the new central fire station. The affair was held under ideal weather
    conditions and in the presence of about 1500 persons, including firemen from all surrounding towns
    and several who formerly lived in this section. Milford Gazette, October 13, 1916


    Back when the United States entered World War I in 1917, the involvement of businesses,
    organizations and ordinary citizens was very different than it is now. Here are some items that were
    published in the weekly Milford Gazette in those days.

    The recent concert at Town Hall for the National Allied Relief Fund netted $148. The money has been
    sent to the Star & Garter house of English soldiers who have been permanently crippled in the war.
    Jan 19, 1917 (This is an example of the fact that people didn't wait for the U.S. to enter the war before
    picking sides and helping out.  War was declared on Germany on April 6, 1917.)

    Tuesday in a telegram to Senator Lodge and Weeks the plant of the (Draper) corporation and all its
    facilities is placed at the disposal of the government in case of need and the government is invited to
    send here any engineer or other agents necessary to carry out the offer. With some changes in
    machinery, easily made, munitions of war could be turned out at the plant at short notice. Feb 19, 1917

    The directors of the Draper Corporation adopted resolutions Monday to meet the crisis now
    confronting the country. The treasurer of the corporation was instructed to make financial
    arrangements to take up for the company war bonds of the United States to the amount of $1,000,000.
    It was voted to provide suitable employment to all men now in the company employ, who enter into the
    service of the United States, upon their return from such service. All families of enlisted men be
    allowed to continue in Draper Corporation tenements. It was deemed wise to defer other action until
    the needs of the situation are more fully known. Apr 13, 1917

    Department 20 of the Draper plant held flag raising exercises Monday afternoon. The men sang
    patriotic songs and George Joslin recited “The Yankee Men.” Apr 20, 1917 Other similar ceremonies
    were reported for that week by the women of the temple department, and at the main office where the
    Hopedale Brass Band participated.

    Employees of the Grafton & Upton Railroad held a flag raising at the local station Saturday noon.
    Master Robinson Billings (who was killed in WWII) unfurled the new flag. J. A. McKenzie gave bugle
    calls, George Foster, a short patriotic address, and the men sang ”The Star Spangled Banner,” and
    “America.” Apr 27, 1917

    Under the plan of action mapped out by the council on national defense, B. H. Bristow Draper has
    been selected as chairman of the sub-committee on securing textiles for the United States. Work is
    already well underway, and Mr. Draper will devote his entire attention to the work of the committee as
    long as his services may be needed. Apr 27, 1917

    A big parade, the unfurling of a new flag on the Town Hall building, and an oration by Guy A. Ham of
    Boston were features of the big patriotic celebration here Saturday afternoon. Over 1,000 persons
    participated in the parade. Apr 27, 1917

    William Northrop has taken examinations for the Plattsburg training camp. Edward Dufresne has
    secured employment at the torpedo station at Newport, R.I. (These reports in the May 11 paper were
    followed by many similar ones over the next year and a half.)

    The Hopedale Suffrage Club recently purchased a “Lafayette bag,” which was sent to France, and an
    acknowledgement had just been received from the French soldier to whom it was given. May 18, 1917

    At the Union Church Sunday morning, Colonel Adam Gifford provincial officer of the Salvation Army for
    the New England States, gave a forceful address on “The Selective draft.” June 1, 1917

    Applications for Liberty Loan bonds and information regarding payments, etc. may be obtained at the
    local post office. The Draper Corporation has distributed notices to its employees urging all who can to
    subscribe for Liberty Loan bonds, and offering its aid in securing the bonds through small weekly
    payments. The corporation agrees to purchase the bond, should it be necessary to sell it, at cost to the
    subscriber.  June 1, 1917

    A largely attended war prohibition meeting was held in Town Hall last evening. Rev. Paul Revere
    Frothingham of Boston was the chief speaker and the high school pupils furnished music. June 8 War
    prohibition? That sounds as though it could have been an anti-war meeting (hardly the spirit of the
    times, though), but actually Rev. Frothingham was against alcohol, not war.

    Mr. and Mrs. John Raymond received a telegram Monday that their son John, 17 years old was struck
    by a train while guarding a railroad bridge near Warwick, R.I., and died from his injuries four hours
    later at a Providence hospital. June 8, 1917

    Employees at the stores of H.L. Patrick had subscribed nearly $1500 in Liberty Loan bonds up to
    yesterday afternoon. June 15, 1917

    Reports from the local Red Cross campaign show 275 members and $450 collected., $40 being
    donated by the Roundabout Club. June 15, 1917

    Click here to go to a page with this story continued to the end of the war and a bit beyond.

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    World War I honor roll that once stood on the
    lawn between the town hall and Depot Street.
The War at Home, 1917