Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.
-- Micah 4:3-4


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Vine and Fig Tree

October 2012

FAB Open House at Day in the Park

At Hopedale's annual community celebration, Jeanne graciously opened up her house where Adin once lived.

Universalist Heritage Tour Comes to Hopedale

by Marcia Matthews

The Universalist Heritage Foundation "New England in Autumn Tour" featured Hopedale as a stop on their itinerary. On September 26, Elizabeth Strong and seven guests enjoyed a luncheon at Hopedale Unitarian Parish catered by Michele Alves. HUP interim minister Beverly Waring and Friends of Adin Ballou program director Marcia Matthews welcomed visitors from Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington State to experience our community, among other prominent New England sites.

While the guests enjoyed artisan bread from Whole Foods, fresh salad, hearty pumpkin soup, and chocolate chip cookies, Hopedale historian Dan Malloy fielded their questions about the early Hopedale utopian community, and how it differed from Brook Farm and Fruitlands; also about the split between Adin Ballou and the Draper industrial family. Patricia Hatch discussed the religious distinctions among the Universalists, Unitarians, and Practical Christians, and where Adin Ballou fit. Although his 14-year experiment ended in dissolution, it was not a failure because he was able to write books about it and create a blueprint for the future.

The next stop was Adin's house on Dutcher Street, where Adin lived and worked. Jeanne Kinney spoke about Assumption Professor Emeritus Michael True's writing on the Ballou-Tolstoy-Gandhi-King connection. The group proceeded to Adin Ballou Park, where four new sugar maples are starting to turn crimson, to contemplate his statue and reflect on his ideals. Next stop was the Bancroft library, where the Statue of Hope offers inspiration, and the desk of Adin Ballou, his traveling trunk and his children's cradle evoke the man. With their heads full of high ideals, the group returned to HUP to purchase books and souvenirs.

In contrast, the gloomy Draper factory, abandoned since 1975, casts a shadow over Hopedale Street. The Red Shop prepares for Oktoberfest, a drinking celebration of which Adin Ballou would not have approved. The Grafton & Upton railroad begins freight service on October 1, with commuter rail a future goal. Hopedale's two disparate elements still run on separate tracks. The challenge is still to keep Adin's legacy of peace, freedom and temperance alive in modern times.