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Hopedale Women
The official site of the Hopedale Women's History Project


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About Us

In 1848, the women of Hopedale began a group – and a tradition. They started sewing to raise money for abolitionism. Later, they used their needles to help their neighbors. They sewed for the less advantaged or sold their work to raise money for causes close to their hearts – widows, orphans, even the Contrabands, those slaves who escaped their masters during the Civil War to the safety of the Union lines.
That tradition continued. Hopedale has an almost unbroken 150 year record of women sewing and raising money for beneficent causes, helping the needy both within and outside their community.
The Hopedale Women’s History Project seeks to unlock that record and follow the voices of these strong, benevolent women. Our goal is to tell the story of Hopedale through the eyes – and words – of its women. It’s a story that is ready to be told filled with voices that need to be heard.
Latest posts
Hopedale’s Hidden History: Who is Miss Margie?
Linda Hixon
September 18, 2022

Join Hopedale Women’s History Project founder Linda Hixon as she probes Hopedale’s Hidden Histories on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at Bancroft Memorial Library. The presentation, which is offered through the support of the Hopedale Cultural Council, is free and will be held in the library’s program room starting at 6:30 p.m. The Humphrey family was very important in Hopedale history. William and Almira came to Hopedale in 1849 and quickly became “devoted members” of Adin Ballou’s Practical Christian Community. In his History of Milford, Ballou called the couple “among our most exemplary people” and praised their daughter Lizzie as “our excellent artistic designer,” noting her “sterling moral character.” Lizzie became a successful artist, and a search for her in newspaper archives shows acclaim for her illustrations in hundreds of articles and publishers’ advertisements. Her drawings, often based on the faces… [continue reading]

Share your photos at Draper Scanning Day!
Linda Hixon
May 27, 2022

Be among the first to have your photos scanned into our Hopedale Digital Archive project at Draper Scanning Day, Sunday June 5 from 1-4 p.m. at the Little Red Shop Museum, 12 Hopedale Street in Hopedale. Bring up to 10 photos of the Draper plant or your favorite Draper worker to be digitized – we’ll scan your image and it will become part of our Hopedale Digital Archive project. Help us identify the people and events in the photo, if possible, and take your original image home with you. Together we can expand Hopedale’s digital history collection! Email any questions to Linda at hopedalewomen@gmail.com.

A Month of Hopedale Women’s History!
Linda Hixon
March 1, 2022

Women in corsets

Join historian and Hopedale Women’s History founder Linda Hixon for a month of Hopedale women’s history. “Our Own Worst Enemy” tells the stories of the Hopedale Community’s early women’s rights pioneers, the dress reform movement, the fight for voting rights, and the pioneering women of the Hopedale Sewing Circle. The programs air throughout March on Hopedale Cable on Comcast channel 8 and Verizon FIOS channel 29 every Friday at 7 p.m. with a second run on Saturdays at 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Hopedale Cultural Council.

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