Hopedale Community House
43 Hope Street, Hopedale MA 01747

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About Us

The Hopedale Community House and Draper Gymnasium are managed by the private, non-profit Hopedale Community House, Inc.  Both facilities were gifts from the Draper Family to Hopedale Residents, to provide recreational activities.

Designed to be the social and civic center of Hopedale residents and all Draper Corporation employees from towns around, this beautifully appointed Community House was planned and built to meet what the late George A. Draper felt was the most pressing unsatisfied requirement of the town where he was born, of which he had been a lifelong resident and for which he had an abiding love.

Made possible by his munificent gifts while still alive for the building and its endowment, it was approaching completion when his untimely and sudden death in February of 1922 prevented him from seeing the finished structure and being present at its opening in June.

It was in 1919 that Mr. Draper, who had often talked of the need in Hopedale of a proper community center, decided to meet that need at his own expense.  He called together seven leading citizens of the town and gave a general outline of his plan and what he was willing to do in the way of providing funds to make possible its consummation.

These seven men, later the Trustees of Hopedale Community House, Inc., were Frank J. Dutcher, E. D. Bancroft, C. E. Nutting, W. I. Stimpson, C. F. Butterworth, E. A. Darling and Dana Osgood.  Mr. Dutcher was the president of the corporation, Mr. Darling secretary and Mr. Butterworth was the treasurer.

To these seven men Mr. Draper left the working out of the details of the plans and the determination of what town activities should be provided for in the new community home.  They accepted their duties as a sacred trust and devoted more than two years to study of the work of similar institutions in all parts of the country and careful thought and discussion of the special requirements of our own people.

The plans for the building were made by Edwin J. Lewis, Jr., of Boston, and the contract was awarded early in 1922 to the Casper Ranger Construction Co. of Holyoke.  Work was commenced that spring, and the building was turned over to the trustees at a simple formal opening on June 23 of 1923, the keys being presented by Mrs. Helen Draper Taft, daughter of Mr. Draper, and received by Mr. Dutcher for the trustees.

The house has been open for use since August 1, 1923.