Above - Milford Water Company's Echo Lake reservoir. Click here
    to see more.

    Below - The foundation near The Larches for the Hopedale water

    Hopedale History
    October 1, 2015
    No. 285
    The Milford Water Company

    Hopedale in September   

    Parklands Eagle Scout project by Mark Andolina - Map and other information on the distance markers.
    Thanks to Don Howes of the Park Commission for passing it on to me.



    Twenty-five years ago - October 1990 - Tim Berners-Lee begins his work on the World Wide Web, 19
    months after his seminal 1989 outline of what would become the Web concept.

    First Walmart in the Northeastern United States opens in York, Pennsylvania.

    East Germany and West Germany reunify into a single Germany.

    Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War
    tensions and reform his nation.

    Fifty years ago - October 1965 - Pope Paul VI visits the United States.

    The first group of Cuban refugees travels to the U.S.

    Vietnam War: The Catholic Worker Movement stages an anti-war protest in Manhattan. One draft card
    burner is arrested; the first under the new law.

    In St. Louis, Missouri, the 630-foot (190 m)-tall inverted catenary steel Gateway Arch is completed.

    An 80-kiloton nuclear device is detonated at Amchitka Island, Alaska.

    Near Da Nang, United States Marines repel an intense attack by Viet Cong forces, killing 56 guerrillas. A
    sketch of Marine positions is found on the dead body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who sold drinks to
    the Marines the day before.

    In Washington, D.C., a pro-Vietnam War march draws 25,000.

    The news items above are from Wikipedia. Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago can be seen
    further down on this page.  They're Milford Daily News, Milford Gazette, and Milford Journal articles from
    the Milford Library and the Bancroft Library.


    In the era when electricity, telephone service, trains and trolleys were appearing in the area, water piped
    conveniently right into the house was becoming available in Hopedale. Water was supplied to customers in
    Hopedale by the Milford Water Company until 1948. At that time, the town established its own water

    As stated in the third paragraph below, Moses Joy, Jr. was the man who started the water company. He was
    from Nantucket. Also from Nantucket and at work establishing the water company was William H. Barney.
    Barney eventually moved to Hopedale where he became the manager of the Hopedale Coal & Ice
    Company. He was also an amateur photographer, and many of his photos, taken from glass slides, were
    used in the book, Images of America: Hopedale, and are on this site. Another local Nantucket connection
    was Lilla Joy Draper, who was the first wife of Gen. William F. Draper.

                     Reservoir Company Was Formed in Milford for Mill Fire Protection

                                                                         By Gordon E. Hopper

    In June 1880, a water reservoir company was formed in Milford for the benefit of mill owners on the Charles
    River and to protect the town against loss by fire after a charter for the Milford Water Works had been signed
    by Governor John D. Long.

    According to Adin Ballou in his 1882 "History of the Town of Milford," the Milford Water Company had a
    chartered right to issue capital stock to the amount of $100,000.

    "Moses Joy, Jr. has contracted to build and complete the works on or before July 1, 1882," Ballou wrote.
    The reservoir company was organized in March 1881, with Moses Joy, Jr., Charles W. Shippee, John P.
    Daniels, E. L. Wires and Charles F. Claflin as directors. Officials included Joy as president, Daniels as
    treasurer and Shippee as secretary.

    On May 7, 1881, the Town of Milford made its first contract with the Milford Water Company for water needed
    for fire-fighting purposes. Sixty hydrants were called for at an annual rental of $2800. Water services were
    inaugurated in Milford when fires were started in the company pumping station boilers by E.L. Wires.

    Water main extensions into Hopedale were started in September 1882, and land was purchased at the
    corner of Congress and Fountain streets in 1886 for the location for a standpipe.

    In 1887 the townspeople of Milford voted not to purchase the water works.

    In June 1887, a 400,000 gallon well was installed making a total of three wells and a storage capacity of
    900,000 gallons of water.

    Agitation about purchasing the water company rose again in 1891, with the Town Solicitor, J.H. Wood
    advising that the town could not legally buy the water works. At a Special Town Meeting held in April that
    same year, it was again voted not to purchase the company.

    The main source of Milford's water supply has always been at Echo Lake in Hopkinton, a reservoir owned
    entirely by the Milford Water Company. A 22-foot high dam was built there in order to form a large reservoir.

    Company records indicate that in 1890, the company supplied water to a 5,000 gallon wooden tank owned
    by the Grafton & Upton Railroad, when the railroad's yard was located in Milford.

    On June 28, 1901, it was reported in the Framingham Tribune, "The Milford Water Company has taken land
    from several farmers in the Hayden Rowe section of Hopkinton and a valuable spring from Mr. Bowker. They
    intend to enlarge their source of water."

    By 1905, four filter beds had been built at the Dilla Street pumping station and the dam at Echo Lake had
    been rebuilt from granite blocks quarried at the site. The pumping station was built of bricks and masonry
    with a slate roof at that time. It was equipped with a steam engine and a direct acting pump. The steam
    engine required the use of a 75-foot tall chimney; a landmark for many years.

    Under plans developed by the civil engineering firm of Metcalf and Eddy, the old dam was undermined and
    a stout wooden cofferdam was constructed in t he lake about 50 feet in front of the existing dam. Workmen
    dug under the dam and installed a larger foundation that was capable of supporting the additional
    stonework needed to raise the spillway by ten feet. The lake covers 165 acres and, when full, contains 384
    million gallons of water.

    The Dilla Street filter system was rebuilt during the 1930s and three large diesel engines were put into
    operation at that time. Several large electric motors were installed in the early 1950s.

    The Draper Company in Hopedale announced on January 23, 1930 that it had taken over the controlling
    interest of the Milford Water Company, a condition that continued until 1949. Stock in the firm had been
    controlled by Draper since 1919. Controlling interests were held by Allen Symonds and Ralph White from
    1949 until their passing, at which time the interests were controlled by their estates. Milford Daily News -
    Clipping from John Butcher's Hopedale history collection.

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