Hopedale History
    No. 336
    November 15, 2017
    The Old House - Ballou

    Hopedale in November   

    During the past two weeks additions have been made to the following hope1842.com pages: The
    Harrison Block (Hopedale Pharmacy - picture of Stella Williams.)     Deaths   


    Your committee has discussed with the Draper Company the subject of furnishing electricity for lighting,
    and a contract can be made with the Draper Company which will be to the advantage of the town. Geo. A.
    Draper, E.A. Darling, Town Report, 1915 (My guess is that this referred to street lighting.)

    Shall the proposed law which provides for an additional method of nominating candidates for
    nomination, at the state primaries in September, by members of political parties, for these offices to be
    filled by all the voters of the Commonwealth at a state election be approved? Yes - 570     No - 237     
    Blanks - 563  Town Report 1932


    The story below is a continuation of the one sent on October 1.

                                                 The Old House at Hopedale

                                                           By Rev. Adin Ballou.

    In  the first sentence below, the letter referred to was written to George Farquhar Jones, the great-great
    grandson of John Jones, the original settler of what much later became Hopedale, and the builder of the
    original section of the Old House.

    After the visit to Milford, a letter came from the Rev. Mr. Ballou, in which he says: "In the multitude of
    matters hurriedly talked over when you and your brother were here, I strangely forgot some relics and
    mementos. I also entirely forgot a historic sketch of "The Old House," written by me and printed in the
    Milford Journal, in 1874, the year it was demolished. I wrote this before I had traced your great-great-
    grandfather (Elder John), to his original home in Hull, Mass. I have only two copies of the journal
    containing this article. I am sure you will be interested in reading it, and, therefore, enclose herein one of
    these copies." If those who were never related to our family can be interested in all that refers to the old
    mansion, it must certainly be to us a matter of great interest. They could hardly entertain any other feeling
    than curiosity as to matters regarding the house and its former inmates, but to us, their descendants,
    everything appertaining to it and to them must be highly interesting. I, therefore, give Mr. Ballou's
    description, or sketch, as he calls it, making one or two slight corrections and with some omissions:

    Messrs. Editors: In compliance with your request and recent announcement, I present your readers the
    following historical sketch relating to "The Old Jones House" in our village, which has just been
    demolished. That venerable mansion has been the centre of many interesting associations,
    transactions and occurrences. I have not been able to fix with certainty the exact dates of some important
    particulars in its history, but with the aid of reliable records and oral traditions, feel warranted in
    assuming the general correctness of my statements. It was a two-story structure facing south, 40 by 30
    feet in dimensions, and until a few years ago, had a one-story kitchen appendage on the north, 26 by 20
    feet, covering the ancient well, still the best in our whole village. The great stone chimney contained not
    less than 3,300 cubic feet, or 200 perch, or nearly 26 cords. It had, below and above, five fireplaces and
    the same number of ovens, the latter mostly of brick. Of the three fireplaces below, the largest had stone
    jambs 8 feet apart in the flue, with a huge oak mantel-beam 14 inches square, and it was capable of
    taking in fuel 6 feet in length. The whole stone-work was laid in clay mortar. The cellar was 6 feet in
    depth, and so fashioned as to leave a square body of earth under and south of the chimney, 20 by 10
    feet, but strongly walled up, affording ample space east, north and south for domestic convenience. The
    timber frame was of solid oak, and found to be nearly all sound, with ponderous beams 12 inches
    square, girts 14 by 6 inches, and other pieces of corresponding strength. Some of this timber was
    sawed, and the western half of the house walled with solid plank, fastened to sills, plates and girts with
    wooden pins. Antique spikes and nails were used in other parts of the structure. The inside ceiling and
    ornamental work was of nice pine stuff, and has been safely stored away for preservation, as also such
    relics as were deemed valuable to antiquaries.

    This ancient dwelling was erected at two different periods. The oldest half was built by Elder John Jones,
    according to my present best information, between 1700 and 1704, and the youngest half jointly by said
    Elder John and his son, Mr. Joseph Jones, in 1730 to 1735 — the last date having been inscribed in
    antique figures on a wooden tablet in the western gable, and now carefully preserved. I have not found,
    as yet, any conclusive written evidence of the exact date at which the oldest half was built. Some 25 years
    ago, the Rev. David Long, the second regular Pastor of the Milford Congregational Church and Parish, a
    man of great accuracy, as well as information in all such matters, told me that it must be then about 150
    years old. If so, it must have been built not far from the year 1700, and certainly not later than 1703 or

    This accords well with an ancient deed from Seth Chapin, a near neighbor to Elder John Jones, in which
    a certain " drift-way " is re- served 3 rods wide, running by Jones' house on the south side towards "
    Magomiscock Woods," then covering the highlands northeast of Hopedale. This deed dates back to
    1703 or 1704. It also accords with the well-remembered statements of the late Mrs. Roxa (Rawson)
    Rockwood, last wife of Deacon Peter Rockwood, and of her venerable brother, Jared Rawson. His
    deceased sister was a living chronicle of olden times, events and traditions, and he is scarcely less so.
    Their testimony is a positive tradition that the oldest section of the Jones house was the first framed one
    in the whole territory now included in the town of Milford. Thus we arrive at the conclusion that the first
    built portion of this edifice was at least 170 years old at the time of its demolition, and that the second
    built portion was 137 years old.

                       Hopedale Reminiscences - The Old House           Ezine Menu               HOME   

    The plaque shown above is near the statue of Adin Ballou at Adin Ballou
    Park. Click here to go to the story of another Old House plaque.

Thanks to Dick Grady for sending this.

Typo - In the third row, that's Squire Kay, not Squire Kag.

    In the 1950s and 1960s, Draper Corporation was making an attempt to
    survive by diversifying. They bought a number of companies at that time.
    Two names I remember hearing back then were Blue Jet chain saws
    and Granite State lawn mowers. Thanks to John Athanasopoulos for
    sending the Blue Jet items below. He found them on Ebay.