Hopedale, MA 01747
Hopedale is on the southeastern edge of Worcester County and occupies the valley of the upper Mill River. Benjamin Albee set up a grist mill on the Mill River to grind settlers' corn in 1669 in the first recorded settlement. Until the mid-19th century, the town followed the pattern of many communities with a combination of agriculture and small industry. But in 1842, Adin Ballou and his followers, idealists who wanted to combine biblical individualism with social responsibility and religious liberalism, purchased 600 acres in what is now downtown Hopedale to establish Fraternal Community Number One. Thirty houses, chapel and workshops were built on an architectural plan for the 170 people who joined in the social experiment, which combined farming with manufacturing, and took strong social stands on temperance, women's rights and abolition.