today at a special town meeting was unanimously voted to be sold by the selectmen to the
Draper Corp. for the minimum price of $100, in order that the corporation may present the
building, remodeled, to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield for parish purposes. The
meeting was attended by 19 voters and lasted about 10 minutes.
Following the election of C. Fred Butterworth as moderator, article 2 was immediately taken
up and voted. The article: To see if the Town will vote to sell and convey to the Draper Corp.
and cause to be executed a proper deed of that tract of land on the easterly side of Hopedale
Street in Hopedale, formerly used for school purposes, and the sewer bed and sewer lines
for the same, being the premises conveyed Hopedale Machine Company to the Town of
Hopedale by deed recorded with Worcester District Deeds, the premises conveyed William F.
Draper, et. al. to the Town of Hopedale by deed recorded with Worcester District Deeds, or
take any other action with relation to the foregoing.
Last week announcement was made by the Draper Corp. officials of the plans to turn over
the property to the bishop for parish purposes and by this will enable Hopedale residents of
Catholic faith to have a church of their own in the near future. The new church will serve
Catholic residents of Hopedale, Mendon and adjacent territory. The school was constructed
in 1887 and the first class to graduate was in the following year. Until a few years ago the
building was used as the Hopedale High School.
When the property is turned over to the bishop a small house, situated near the school and
which has been in the possession of the Draper Corp. many years, will also be included in
the transfer. Milford Daily News (Beverly Sparhawk Orff was born in the house mentioned,
five years before it became the Sacred Heart rectory. Click here for her memories.)
Hopedale Church Presented Gifts
Mr. and Mrs. B.H.B. Draper
Give Beautiful Altar
HOPEDALE, December 26  - Rev. John P Donahue, pastor of Sacred Heart Church,
announced at all masses Christmas morning that two gifts had been made to the parish.
One was a beautiful altar, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. B.H. Bristow
Draper, and the other a holy water fount, made and presented by Nerrino A. Cirioni, 183
The altar of oak, matching in tone the main altar, with antique gold candle sticks, occupies a
niche on the east side of the auditorium. The background of tapestry in scarlet and gold
enhances its beauty and casts a warm glow over the life size statue of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus. Gold leaf, used with infinite artistry on the oak, dignifies its sim- End of clipping -
Milford Daily News
The old high school, shown in a post card picture below, served as Sacred Heart Church
until 1964, when the present church was built. It was razed in 1987. While it was a church, it
was painted white. The stained glass windows shown on this page are in the new church.
Buildings, Churches, Town Departments Menu
Don McGrath's memories of the early days of Sacred Heart Church
Hopedale High School Becomes Church, by Gordon Hopper
Now and Then at the Old High School/Sacred Heart Church
Fr. Reilley Center, Building and Dedication
Former School Will Be Sold To Draper Corp.
Hopedale Special Town Meeting
O.Ks Article By Unanimous Vote
Small House To Go With School
Building to Be Remodeled
And Presented to Bishop
Postcard view of the building when it was Hopedale High School
The four pictures above show the building as it looked when it was Sacred Heart
Church. As you can see in the one immediately above, the photos were taken
after the new church was built. Thanks to Jack Ghiringhelli for sending them.
The news item above is from the Milford Gazette and was found in a book of clippings at the Bancroft
Library. An 1898 map shows that Delano Patrick owned a fairly large amount of land from the north side of
the east end of Freedom Street, extending along the area that was later covered by the houses on Oak
Street, Jones Road and Maple Street. The 1911 article about plans for a church indicate that it would go in
the area of what later became the section of Oak Street that is between Northrop and Freedom streets. At
some point the church purchased the Charles Roper home, 50 Freedom Street, which is just a bit downhill
from where the Patrick property was, and it seems that for some time it was intended that the church would
go there. The item below is also from the Gazette and appeared in the June 18, 1918 issue.
Thanks to Giancarlo BonTempo for the article above. I'm assuming that
the "Brick City" was Prospect Heights. That's just over the hill (less than a
ten minute walk) from the Delano Patrick land mentioned below.
Milford Gazette - June 14, 1918
According to the 1917 clipping, the barn on the estate of Delano Patrick was being torn down to make room
for the new Catholic church. On the 1898 map above, the symbol for a barn was a square with an X in it.
There are two of those next to Delano Patrick's name.
On this map, the street running left to right a bit below the middle is Freedom Street. Williams Street
branches off from it at the right. Northrop Street was later extended up from the upper left, through lot 68 and
on to the intersection of Freedom and Williams Street. (By 1900, the numbered lots became part of the Town
Park.) The Gilbert Thompson lot was one lot down from where Oak Street would later meet Freedom Street. It
seems that Oak Street must have passed through or very near to where the two barns were, so it appears
that the church was going about where the section of Oak Street between Freedom and Northrop was later
is shown. (The one just to the right of the N in the name THOMPSON.) I have a vague memory of my father
saying that the land our house was on had once been owned by the church, but I wasn't paying as much
attention to such things then as I would now. At some point the church, the Springfield Diocese, that is,
bought the Charles Roper estate. It seems that there was a plan to build the church there, but before that
happened, the school that you've seen on this page became available. I'd say that worked out much better by
the time most families had cars. Parking space would have been much more limited on the Roper site.
In the nineteenth century, there were three octagon homes
in Hopedale. They are gone now, but there are still two
octagonal structures here. One is the Father Reilly Center
at Sacred Heart Church,shown above in a Google Earth
view. The other is the George Albert and Jessie Preston
Draper mausoleum at Hopedale Village Cemetery.
Timeline by John Butcher. Thanks to John for the Sacred Heart demolition
article and the Fr. Reilley Center dedication article, also.
Click here for more on the Fr. Reilley Center.