Memories of Robert "Zeke" Hammond
family to be born in Hopedale. My grandfather, Adin Augustus Messinger, was born in Hopedale. My
mother, Flora Messinger Hammond, was born at 94 Hopedale Street. I was born at 8 Union Street.
I asked my father for five cents during the Depression. He was making thirty-five cents and hour and
working ten hours a week - $3.50. He told me to ask my brothers. They were making more selling
When I got to high school we'd pay twenty-five cents a month to a kitty for the Washington trip in our
senior year. In my senior year, we'd pick up newspapers. Draper Corporation supplied a driver and
string to tie the papers. On Monday morning, they'd come to the Bancroft Barn. Drapers used the
papers to pack castings that they sold. They'd pay us top dollar for the papers.
When I was a youngster a bell would ring at 8:55 every evening for five minutes. That was the
curfew. If you didn't get home on time, you'd be kept in the following night. I'd never tell if I'd done
anything wrong because if I did, I'd get another night tacked on.
I used to peddle papers from a little red wagon. I was ten when I started. I'd start at 6 A.M. in front of
the main door at Drapers. I also had a huge paper route. I'd begin on Hope Street, go up to 200
Dutcher Street (both sides of the street), all of Inman Street, go through the woods to Park Street,
and up Northrop to Oak Street. From there I'd go to Jones Road (up to 99), then Maple Street, down
Freedom Street and end at 61 Prospect Street. I did this twice a day and I made $6.00 a week. I'd
begin my morning route at seven and finish around eight-thirty. I'd start my afternoon route at four
and end about six. I'd do this six days a week. The papers cost two cents a day. The customers
would pay fourteen cents a week. I'd keep the extra two cents. Some would give me more, like a
piece of cake or an apple.
Part of the Boston Post Road went through the cemetery.
I used to slide down Northrop Street.
If you were downtown in winter and throwing snowballs, Officer Louis Barrows would tell you to
stop. If you didn't, he'd BOOT you. If you didn't tell your father, he would.
In back of the Harrison Block there used to be a restaurant called Butterfield's. There were two
bowling alleys there. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Carron (my in-laws) owned it. When Mr. Cox, who owned
the Brae Burn Inn (where the parking lot across from the post office is now) left, the Carrons took it
over. That was 1926. They ran it until 1950. The Brae Burn Annex used to be where the post office
I remember a restaurant at the corner of Social and Dutcher streets. [The other side of Social Street
from the fire station.] Craddock's Fish Market was in back. Harley's Shoe Repair was also there.
Memories Menu HOME
Zeke mentioned at the corner of Dutcher and Social streets. Note that there's also another little
building beyond the restaurant, and then a house. The house is still there, but the two other buildings
were torn down long ago. There's a two-car garage on the lot now. More at the Dutcher Street page.