The Eben and Nannie Draper home at 90 Marlborough Street, Boston.

    Hopedale History
    June 1, 2017
    No. 325
    The Height of Luxury

    Hopedale in May   


    Recent additions to existing pages on hope1842.com include: The Cumberland Farms Project (More
    photos.)      Vanilla Coke (Jack Hanley identified his father and added a bit more to a 1983 photo of four men
    in front of the drug store on the page with Mike Cyr's Hopedale Pharmacy memories.)      Colburn family
    (Family photos.)      Osgood family (Family photos)      Deaths   

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    Twenty-five years ago - June 1992 - A 'Joint Understanding' agreement on arms reduction is signed by U.S.
    President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin (this is later codified in START II).

    Two skeletons excavated in Yekaterinburg are identified as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra.

    The Supreme Court upholds the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 5-4
    decision.

    Fifty years ago - June 1967 - The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, nicknamed "The
    Soundtrack of the Summer of Love;" it will be number one on the albums charts throughout the summer of
    1967.

    Six-Day War begins: Israel launches Operation Focus, a preemptive strike on Egyptian Air Force fields; the
    allied armies of Egypt Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Iraq invade Israel.

    Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall is nominated as the first African American justice of the United States
    Supreme Court.

    400 million viewers watch Our World, the first live, international, satellite television production. It features the
    live debut of The Beatles' song, "All You Need Is Love."

    The first automatic cash machine (voucher-based) is installed, in the office of Barclays Bank in Enfield,
    England.

    News above is from Wikipedia. Hopedale news for 25, 50 (Milford Daily News) and 100 years ago (Milford
    Gazette) from the Bancroft Library is below this text box.

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    Dorothy Draper was the daughter of Gov. Eben Sumner and Nannie Bristow Draper. In 1911 she married
    Thomas Brattle Gannett. They lived in Milton and had five children. Gannett died in 1931, and in 1939 Dorothy
    married Paul Hamlen, and moved to Wayland. Two of her sons, Jack and Bill, moved to Hopedale in 1949
    where they worked for the Draper Corporation.

                                                           The Height of Luxury

                                                      Dorothy Draper Gannett Hamlen

    I had a happy girlhood with the exception of the anxiety which originated in the uncertainties of my brother
    Bristow's dissipated years. We lived in Hopedale, where my parents kept open house for their friends as well
    as for those of their children, until around the late 1890s when we moved to Boston for the winter months.

    We lived at 90 Marlborough Street, a large, comfortable double house, one house away from the corner of
    Clarendon Street. It is now the Chamberlain School of Retailing, following a long tenure by the Katherine
    Gibbs Secretarial School. It had an old fashioned "lift," not a real elevator, beside the back stairs. It was really
    an open platform manipulated by ropes which reached from the roof to the cellar, which made my mother
    nervous because of the possibility of fire with such an unlimited open space for down and up drafts. Soon, I
    think 1903, my father bought 150 and 152 Beacon Street from Mrs. Jack Gardner (Isabella Stewart Gardner)
    and after demolishing these two houses he built his really beautiful city home on this double lot. It was of
    steel construction throughout, completely fire-proof as to the standards of the period.

    Mr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Waddie Longfellow) was the architect, a short, dumpy little man who
    bounced as the walked, and who possessed a pair of intensely blue eyes and a Van Dyke beard.
    Consequently, everything of material or sentimental value was moved into this house for the sake of its extra
    safely; family portraits, my grandfather Bristow's valuable library which my mother had inherited, and
    heirlooms of all kinds from both sides of the family. My father was a considerable expert on paintings, and
    had a very fine collection of pictures.  I remember especially a beautiful Zorn (purchased in St. Louis at the
    1903 World's Fair) several Corots, a charming Henner whose red-haired model was the subject for much
    teasing of my father by his friends - he loved red hair (and so do I!) a Ziem of Venice, a colorful Vibert of some
    very jovial looking Cardinals, a rushing river of Thaulow, French soldiers by Detail, two Remingtons, the little
    Rosa Bonheur fox which was taken to Hopedale for the summer and so escaped the fire. This came to me
    after my brother Eben's death and it now hangs in my parlor above my mother's cherry wood desk which I
    also acquired at the same time.

    (I searched for "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow architect," but the only Longfellow who had been an architect
    who turned up was Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow Jr. He was a nephew of Henry. My guess is that Dorothy
    heard him referred to only as "Waddie," and assumed that his first name was Henry.)

    I had a bedroom, sitting room, guest room with two bathrooms on the fourth floor, across the front of the
    house; the height of luxury as my father took pains to remind me, fairly frequently!

    When my mother and I were in Paris in the fall of 1909 - staying at the Hotel Meurice on the Rue de Rivoli
    while my "coming-out" clothes were being made, we came in late one afternoon from an exhausting day of
    shopping and fittings, and I found a notice in our rooms saying that a cablegram was waiting for us in the
    office. This was a little unusual, as ordinarily the cable itself would be propped up on our table, so guided by
    some sixth sense I went along to get it without mentioning the message to my mother. Now, 55 years later, I
    can quote it verbatim. It said - "October 5, 1909 - Boston house and every single thing in it destroyed by fire
    last night. Start rebuilding next week. Have rented 310 Berkeley Street for the winter. Love, Eben."

    I still feel the irony of having moved form 90 Marlborough Street because of the fear of fire to a supposedly
    safe, modern, fireproof house, only to have this one burn up.

    Apparently when the housecleaning crew went into the house to get it ready for the winter under the
    supervision of our butler Nils A. Loven (more about him later) an electric switch was turned on in the pantry -
    this was not turned off when the workmen left and showed no danger signal when Loven also locked up and
    returned to Hopedale. Presumably a crossed electric wire smoldered all night. Nothing was noticed until a
    milkman driving across the Harvard bridge at 4 in the morning saw the flames burst out of the roof and called
    the fire department. The structure of the house was fireproof but the contents were not - everything was
    destroyed with the exception of a few scorched books, and small fragments of the tightly rolled and very
    beautiful Persian rugs.

    After getting word of this debacle my mother and I sailed for home on the "Mauretania," earlier than planned.
    As the only available stateroom was an inside cabin before the days of air-conditioning, this was a rough and
    exhausting trip. My poor mother was just plain seasick during the entire crossing and I felt guilty because I
    wasn't.

    My father who was still Governor of Massachusetts had to go to Baton Rouge for the dedication of some
    monument that autumn but I did not go south with my parents - instead I moved into 310 Berkeley Street, the
    John Phillips House - very large and commodious - very dark and inconvenient, thoroughly Victorian as to
    furnishings and decor, and tried to help in getting it settled for their return for the winter. On this plot of land
    now stands the ghastly modernistic Lutheran Church. I can't bear to look at it as we drive towards the Storrow
    Drive, on our way home to Wayland after mornings or days spent in Boston. Dorothy Draper Gannett Hamlen,
    1964

             
          More on the Fire            More history of 150 Beacon Street at backbayhouses.org   

                                    
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150 Beacon Street after the fire of October 5, 1909.

Hopedale News - June 1992

Milford News and Milford Gazette clippings below are from the Bancroft Library.

Hopedale News - June 1967

Hopedale News - June 1917