Christening the Nipmuc - Hopedale wins the honor of naming a ship. Queena Draper smashes the champagne
    bottle on it.   

    Recent additions to pages on Draper Proposal (Draper property owner, Philip Shwachman, sues
    town, G&U Railroad, Lobisser Building, and others - see near bottom of page. Also another MDN article on the Draper
    Falls proposal published on December 4. Also a article from December 6.)     Deaths  


    At the present time much attention is being devoted to the teaching of the natural sciences. When the teaching is
    confined to textbooks they are dry subjects, but when the pupil has the privilege of experimental work on the laboratory
    table, a new world opens before him. Many towns are providing well-equipped laboratories for high school work. At
    comparatively small expense, a good workroom for experimental study of the sciences could be made in the
    basement of the high school building. Elmer E. Sherman, Superintendent of Schools, 1894

    This year a large tract of new territory on the eastern side of "Darling Hill" so called has been made accessible to the
    public by thinning, cutting the underbrush, and putting in new roads and foot paths. This section gives fine views of the
    pond and village and will add greatly to the beauty of the Park territory. With the completion of the work in this locality
    there will be upwards of six miles of roads and paths in our Park System. Charles Roper, Frank Dutcher, Frank Clark,
    Park Commissioners. 1912


                                                                   My Mother, Part 2

                                                                       by Lilla Bancroft

    For awhile after their marriage Father and Mother lived in Uxbridge but soon moved to Hopedale where with Eben and
    George Draper, who had married mother's sisters Anna and Hannah, he founded the Hopedale Machine Company
    and here in Hopedale their ten children were born.  Five died in childhood but five of us lived to maturity: Eben, Anna,
    Mary, Lilla, and Lura.

    It can truly be said that Mother "brought us up" for the only punishment I ever knew of Father's giving us was when he
    lifted his keen, black eyes, inherited from his lovely French mother, looked at us squarely for a moment and in a quiet
    way said, "Did you hear your mother speak?"  We did -- at once.  Mother's method was a gentle one.  Even Eben, who
    was rather a lively youth, once told me that after some little misdemeanor the look of sorrow on Mother's face made
    him swear he would never do such a thing again.

    My Mother was devoted to books and read in her spare moments (where could she find any in her busy day?) the best
    literature she could find in our tiny village.

    The village people were indeed plain in their living but remarkably advanced in thought -- real followers of the blessed
    Adin Ballou of revered memory.  It was her joy in books that after her death suggested the idea to Father of a Memorial

    He realized that her first great interest, outside the family, was her church; but already George and Eben Draper had
    built the lovely church now standing at the corner of Adin and Hopedale Streets in honor of their father and mother; so
    after talking it over with us he decided to build "The Bancroft Memorial Library."

    Father and Mother were Unitarians, Mother an ardent worker.  One of my most vivid pictures of her is as she sat in her
    own easy chair by one of the living room windows with The Christian Register in her hand, entirely absorbed in some
    sermon or item of religious news from a far-away land.

    When the Draper boys, George and Eben wanted to tear down the old church building that had served as church,
    theatre, and playground for years, Mrs. Eben Draper, (charming Nancy Bristow) came to Mother to ask if it would hurt
    her if this were done, for "the boys" were eager to build a church in memory of their parents.

    I was with Mother at the time -- and she smiled as she said, "I think it a beautiful thing to do -- beautiful."  

    "Oh! Aunt Sylvia," cried Mrs. Draper, "I am so glad you feel like that; the boys did not want to do it, if it would make you
    feel bad to see the old building go."  

    Mother, hesitating a moment said thoughtfully, "One mustn't hold back the march of progress."

    How she would have rejoiced in the fine new Community House which the generosity of G.A. Draper made possible.

    One winter she evolved a scheme for "table conversation," as we called it; both she and father abhorred gossip.  Each
    one of us was to bring to the meal some item gleaned from the papers that would be of interest to the family.

    Occasionally I inserted a witticism, but we usually brought good material that would cause a little eager discussion.  
    Lura was especially keen on this idea and sought for things of real importance.

    Father purchased a pleasant winter home in San Mateo, Florida, during the later years of his life and here we spent
    many winters on the beautiful St. Johns River.  Friends often came for long, happy visits.  It was a lazy life surrounded
    with birds and flowers; the house itself was large and attractive and stood in a small orange grove of three hundred or
    more trees.

    Father's brother, William, bought the house with him, and how they both tramped with sticks in hand through the
    grove, or went fishing all day up the creek with faithful old black Bose to row the boat.

    In those days no end of steamers went up and down the river carrying tourists to see the curving Ocklawaha alive with
    alligators and turtles, or to pick up the orange filled crates from our docks.  The automobile, alas! has changed all that
    and taken much from the picturesque beauty of the lovely spot, but the old river is there -- one of the most beautiful I
    have seen in any country.

    On pleasant afternoons Mother would take her sewing or knitting out on one of the broad porches and neighbors
    would drop in for friendly chats.  These neighbors came from far and near and Mother listened eagerly to their stories
    of life in the West or North making for herself there, as at home, a place in their hearts.

    To read the rest of Lilla's memories of her mother, click here.

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Above - The original church of the Hopedale Unitarian Parish.

Below - The Unitarian Church built in 1898 on the same site as the one above.

    The Bancroft Memorial Library, shown before the Statue
    of Hope was erected. The Bancroft home is on the right.