Hopedale History
    March 1, 2014
    No. 247
    Hopedale High Became Church

    Hopedale in February  

    The G & U Steaming Along in 1890, by Gordon Hopper.

    Memories of George Bushnell   

    Formica- the big thing in countertops in the mid-twentieth century, but used to make Draper shuttles

    During the past two weeks, additions have been made to Milford & Uxbridge Street Railway (Hopper
    article, trolley sold)     Transportation in Hopedale in the Early 1900s (Hopper article added)   Recent

    Twenty-five years ago - March 1989 - State Education Department officials met with Milford and
    Hopedale officials to discuss a possible merger of the school systems. (Five days later a meeting to
    discuss regionalization between Hopedale, Mendon and Upton officials was reported.)

    Town election winners include Jaime "Hy" Wagman (Selectman), Jack Farrar (Road Commission),
    Rich Martin and Susan Hourihan (School Committee), Michael Cyr (Board of Health), Al Tarca (Water
    and Sewer Commission), Nancy Cyr, (Library Trustees), Gordon Lewis and Walter Swift (Planning

    Massachusetts bans six-pack plastic rings, which have been blamed for the deaths of one million
    seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals each year.

    Tim Berners-Lee produces the proposal document that will become the blueprint for the World Wide

    Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Alaska's Prince William Sound, the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels of oil
    after running aground.

    Fifty years ago - March 1964 - The absence of a single contest was blamed for a voter turnout of only
    230 out of 2556 registered voters.

    Fourth graders in Hopedale will conduct surveys of their homes and neighborhoods, looking for
    common hazards that can cause fire and accidents, as part of the Junior Fire Marshall Spring Clean-up

    In a notorious incident, 38 of her neighbors in Queens, New York City fail to respond to the cries of Kitty
    Genovese, 28, as she is being stabbed to death.

    The Great Alaskan earthquake (also known as the Good Friday earthquake), the second most powerful
    known (and the most powerful earthquake in the United States) at a magnitude of 9.2, strikes  Alaska,
    killing 125 people.

    Merv Griffin's game show Jeopardy! is broadcast for the first time on NBC; Art Fleming is its first host.


                                                Old Hopedale High Became Church

                                                                       By Gordon E. Hopper

    On June 18, 1935, Catholic residents of Hopedale learned that they would soon have a church of their
    own. It was planned to sell the former high school building on Hopedale Street to the Draper Corp.
    which would then present the structure, after being suitably remodeled, to the Roman Catholic Bishop
    of Springfield.

    Details of the plan were announced by Treasurer C.F. Butterworth of the Draper Corporation, co-
    incident with the publishing of a warrant for a special town meeting to be held in Hopedale on June 25
    for the purpose of selling the former high school property to the Draper Corporation.

    The new church would serve Catholic residents of Hopedale, Spindleville, Mendon and adjacent
    territory, who had been traveling to Milford for religious services every Sunday and on holy days. A
    tentative estimate placed the Catholic population of Hopedale as between 150 and 200, with another
    large group residing in Mendon

    The text of the announcement follows:

    "The Selectmen of the town of Hopedale, Massachusetts, have called a special town meeting to
    consider the question of selling and conveying to Draper Corporation certain real estate in Hopedale
    formerly used for high school purposes.

    "When the new high school was erected on Adin Street the old high school was abandoned and has
    not been used since that time for any purpose and it seems probable that it will not be needed for town
    purposes in the future.

    "It has therefore been suggested that the town vote to sell this property to Draper Corporation and it is
    the intention of the Draper Corporation, in case the town takes affirmative action upon this article in the
    town warrant, that Draper Corporation will immediately transfer this property to the Roman Catholic
    Bishop of Springfield to be used for parish purposes."

    At the special town meeting held on June 25, 1935, the sale of the building was voted to be sold to
    Draper Corporation for $100.

    When the property was turned over to the bishop, a small house situated near the school which had
    been in the possession of the Draper Corporation for many years was included in the transfer.
    The interior of the church was finished in tones of creamy tan with lighting fixtures of a bronze lantern
    type. An altar of oak, of simple dignity with a background tapestry in red and gold was enhanced by its
    oaken altar rail which was presented by the Catholic Women's Club of Milford.

    After three months of renovation work, the remodeling was completed and the first mass was said in
    the new Sacred Heart Church on October 26, 1935. It was estimated that between 750 and 800 people
    attended the two services held that day.

    Rev. Jeremiah Riordan, pastor of St. Mary's Church in Milford celebrated the first mass with the second
    one being celebrated by Rev. John Donahue, pastor of the new church. The church was dedicated on
    November 2 by Bishop Thomas O'Leary, who afterwards celebrated a pontifical mass. More than400

    A new church was built in 1964 because of the growing Catholic population in Hopedale, it having
    reached 2,100 parishioners. Bishop Bernard Flanagan dedicated the $300,000 church on August 29,

    The old church was converted for use as a parish hall. Funds were later acquired and in October 1983,
    final plans were made for the construction of a new unique parish center. The octagonal shaped
    structure utilized passive solar heat and a heat pump. It included seven meeting/classrooms, an large
    multi-purpose room with a capacity of 450 people, an expansion area for an additional 110 people, the
    parish thrift shop and an office for the religious education program.

    The old church building was razed in 1987 and the site is marked today by a stone of the original
    foundation, donated and placed by the Hopedale Historical Commission in 1988. Milford Daily News,
    October 15, 1994. Article by Gordon Hopper with material supplied by Paul Curran. Clipping from
    Hopedale history collection of Perry MacNevin.

      Now and Then - Hopedale High School - Sacred Heart Church         Ezine Menu             HOME   

Hopedale High School before addition.

Hopedale High School with addition.

Sacred Heart Church