Clayton "Buster" Wright passed away on November 23. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7,
    at 10:00 AM at Union Church, 25 Dutcher Street, Hopedale. Click here to read the obituary.


    Twenty-five years ago - December 1991 - The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NAC-C) meets for the
    first time, on the same day on which the Soviet Union ceases to exist.

    The Cold War ends when the Supreme Soviet meets and formally dissolves the Soviet Union. All Soviet
    institutions eventually cease operation on December 31.

    Fifty years ago - December 1966 -The United States carried out a test to determine whether the sound of an
    underground nuclear explosion could be muffled. The test, made at a depth of one half mile below the
    Tatum Salt Dome in Lamar County, Mississippi, made "no audible sound", no measurable increase in
    radiation, at the surface.

    Walt Disney dies while producing The Jungle Book, the last animated feature under his personal

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas, narrated by Boris Karloff, is shown for the first time on CBS, beginning an
    annual Christmas tradition in the USA.

    The first experimental equatorial synchronous satellite was launched. It could take full photos of the Western
    Hemisphere every 30 minutes, and transmit them back to Earth.

    The news items above are from Wikipedia. For Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago, from the
    Milford Gazette and the Milford Daily News, see below this text box.


                                          The Draper Companies, 1878 - 1892

    Following his brother's (Ebenezer) departure from Hopedale and the admission of his eldest son (William)
    as a partner in the business, in 1868, George Draper changed the name of the company from E.D. & G.
    Draper to George Draper & Son. The name was changed again in 1877 to George Draper & Sons when
    another son, George Albert Draper (1855-1923) was admitted to the partnership. A third son, Eben Sumner
    Draper (1858-1914), was admitted in 1880. Upon the death of the senior George Draper in 1887, William F.
    Draper assumed the presidency of the company. Two of his own sons, William F. Draper, Jr. (1865 - 1910 )
    and George Otis Draper (1867-1923) were admitted shortly thereafter.

    In The Model Company Town, John Garner described the Draper textile machinery business as very
    profitable in the years immediately following the Civil War. By 1875, the business "employed approximately
    two hundred men, sold $504,750 worth of machinery, and operated with a capital of $284,000." Garner
    reports that business was hardly affected by the national depressions of 1873-1877 and 1893-1895, which
    he suggests may have reflected a tendency for textile mills to use slow periods for retooling. Total
    employment numbered 350 persons in 1881 and 500 in 1886. By the late 1880s, the company owned three
    types of employee housing: single family houses rented by managers (with an option to buy after ten years),
    double house units rented to married workers, and boardinghouse rooms rented to unmarried workers.

    During its earliest phase of development in the third quarter of the 19th century, the Draper operation
    encompassed about twenty detached buildings, among them three machine shops, two foundries, two
    finishing mills, a pattern shop, coal sheds, lumber sheds, storage shed, livery stable, and an office building.
    These buildings occupied a street grid between the present Hopedale Street and the so-called Lower Pond,
    south of Freedom Street. The factory buildings were massive, utilitarian structures with spare Italianate and
    Second Empire-style detailing and stair towers typical of New England industrial architecture of the period.
    With the exception of the Mechanic Shop, none of the buildings from this period appear to be extant. Both the
    original street grid below Hopedale Street and the Lower Pond were eliminated by the expansion of the plant
    later in the 19th century. Surviving historic resources from the period are components of the water power
    system: the Hopedale Pond dam (ca. 1875) located directly under Freedom Street, and the Hopedale Pond
    dam raceway. (ca. 1875)

    The Draper plant was still oriented around the Upper and Lower Ponds in 1892, and divided into the North
    Works at the Freedom Street end, and the South Works. This division was characterized by different
    functions that were perpetuated in the later evolution of the plant. The North Works was a cluster of attached
    machine, woodworking, and assembly shop buildings located in the rectangular area bounded by Hopedale
    Street, Freedom Street, and the Lower Pond. The South Works, south of the Lower Pond dam in the area
    west of Social and Union streets, included ferrous and nonferrous foundry operations. Two tailraces flowed
    south from the South Works, one of which survives. Kathleen Kelly Broomer, Preservation Consultant,
    Hopedale Historic Village National Register Nomination,

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Hopedale News - December 1991

Hopedale News - December 1966

Hopedale News - December 1966

    The article below mentions the Upper and Lower Ponds. The Upper Pond later became known as Hopedale
    Pond.  The Lower Pond, which originally provided water power for the Dutcher Temple Company, was eventually
    drained in the 1890s, as mentioned in the caption above. In the drawing above, Social and Union streets crossed
    Hopedale Street and continued into the shop area. Evidently Chapel Street hadn't been built at that time.