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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
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.

Benevolent paternalism?
Linda Hixon
December 31, 2021

Workers in Draper foundry

The aim of the Hopedale Women’s History Project is to find and share Hopedale stories – not just about women, but about everyone. Our project for 2022 is to gather the stories of Draper Corporation workers, both men and women. We want to share personal stories and remembrances of Draper workers for our upcoming book, scheduled to be published this summer. Contact us at hopedalewomen@gmail.com for more information. The Draper Corporation was the largest manufacturer of automatic cotton looms and textile equipment in the world, and its workers were a major reason why the company was so successful. This upcoming book is the second in a series about living or working in Hopedale. Our first book, Symbol of Progress: A photographic history of the Draper Corporation is available now on Amazon.

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