Massachusetts Travel >>>Hopedale MA
The Amazing Story of Hopedale MA
Hopedale Town Hall and Town Common Restaurant all in one building (photo by Eric)
restaurant's location suggests a dining spot that's about as
"townie" as one could get. We see standalone townie restaurants in our
downtown districts, at the strip malls, and as roadside shacks on
remote streets. I can't recall ever seeing a restaurant located in a
me digress for a moment from the main story here...This beautiful small
town was once a Utopian village in the 1840s, and then later evolved
into an industrial giant with the birth of the former Draper
Corporation (once the largest manufacturer of automated cotton looms in
America). People lived and worked in this town and with Draper leading
the way built a community with a disciplined, committed almost modified
socialist political, social and economic platform for the benefit of
the residents only. Everyone made some kind of contribution to the
town. As the textile industry became more global, Draper,
unfortunately, ceased production in the mid 1970s and the building has
been vacant since.
The dynamics of the town are a bit different today, as Hopedale is, more or less, a bedroom suburb to Boston, Mass., Providence, R.I., and Worcester, Mass. But to this day, Hopedale is not a typical suburb. Hopedale features incredible, one-after-another examples of stunning pre and post Industrial Revolution architecture in the form of old homes and municipal buildings. Churches, schools, municipal buildings (including a recreation center with a bowling alley!), community park and the town common are centered around the downtown -- the way things used to be like in New England. Along the way, you'll find street names that clearly reflect the town's vision during its industrial heyday: Social St., Freedom St., Hope St., and Progress St.
Hopedale's history is wonderfully expressed in the Little Red Shop
Museum, located at the corner of Hopedale and Freedom Sts., overlooking
the Hopedale River. Open the first and third Thursdays of each month
from 1-4 p.m., the Little Red Shop Museum pays homage to the Draper
industry by featuring "looms, town and regional artifacts, photos,
paintings, historical documents and other memorabilia." We recommend to
call before visiting at 508-478-2926.
Little Red Shop Museum (photo credit: (History of Hopedale web site)
Hopedale is a place where I see more people taking walks than any other small town suburb I know in this area. Unlike many suburban towns, Hopedale's downtown district is located off any main roads, so the reduction of traffic lends additional peace and quiet to an already peaceful town. Additionally, the Hopedale River adds a real touch of scenic beauty with its clear river views, carriage trails reminiscent of Acadia National Park, Maine, and other waterfront paths. Often, you'll see people in their cars, on lawn chairs near the water, and strolling the area to enjoy the views and peacefulness -- it's a daily ritual for many locals.
Hopedale River (photos by Eric)
communities seem to keep branching out with new neighborhoods and
shopping centers, Hopedale seems wonderfully stuck in time. Quaint and quiet with virtually no commuting traffic, the historic village district feels sheltered from the world -- quite an incredible feat given that densely populated Milford is virtually right around the corner. Hopedale, more or less, seems like an established
community with relatively little change in modern history to its five
well-run businesses that currently operate in this gem of a
small town are part of that neighborhood tradition. The Town Common
restaurant makes it all that much better an experience for locals by
doing everything right, on time, at a good value (lower prices than
most townie restaurants), and with a location that just adds to the
hometown flavor of this great, little town. Just be sure to walk off
that meal so you can see the unique, historic appeal of Hopedale.
The Town Common is located at 76 Hopedale St. (508) 473-3004), close to everything that is Hopedale!
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