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Location DB > United States > Massachusetts > Hopedale > Draper Mill Complex
Draper Mill Complex
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 Database Info
created by ian_evil on 10/16/2005 12:16 AM
last modified by Kurt on 9/2/2021 6:08 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
The complex is absolutely massive, and contained over 1.7 million square feet of industrial work and administration space, built on about a dozen town blocks. The main complex is constructed over the Hopedale River, which travels about 420 meters under the property. The large manufacturing building contains several large courtyards, and presumably a waterwheel. The property includes a tower, a large empty courtyard space, and several smaller buildings which have been (fire?) damaged.

The property is well protected. Most ground floor access is boarded, locked and barricaded. Fire escape ladders are also boarded over. The property is surrounded by suburbs, sees frequent traffic most of the day, and the first floor lights are left on at night. The police station is right up the street, and its a rich party town, so they hate teenagers. Although rare, contractors show up every so often during the day.

The Red Shop, where Ebenezer Drape began his empire has been relocated to sit next to the property. There is also a small abandoned farm, which looks to have been built around the turn of the century adjacent to the property. Nothing really proves that this was part of the complex itself, but it is built up a bit more than the surrounding Drape Complex housing.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Difficult
Recommendation: Worth a visit if you like historic/industrial spaces.
 Physical Information
Hopedale St
Hopedale, Massachusetts
United States
Owner: First American Realty
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • unsafe flooring
  • Lead Paint, Construction Equipment
  •  Interesting Features
    1.7 million square feet.
    Built over the Hopdale River, includes a dam.
    Large mill complex, with courtyards.
    Smaller outlying buildings, and a tower.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • part-time guard
  • locked gates
  • wooden boarding
  • Powered: Lights left on after dark, potential motion detectors.
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 0
    Closed: 1980
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • gloves
  • long pants / sleeves
  • Bolt Cutters
  •  Recommended Equipment
    Built by the Draper Company sometime in the late 1800s, the Draper Mill Complex was the largest producer of textile looms in the world. The Draper family essentially owned the town of Hopedale, providing work and homes for the majority of the population. At its peak, Draper Mill employed more than 4,000 people. Several important textile inventions/patents can be credited to the Draper family. It was also the site of an infamous strike, which occurred in 1913. The strike of about 500, with the support of the IWW, lasted 13 weeks, resulted in the death of one worker, and ended unresolved. After the 1960s, demand and production began to decline and the complex closed in August 1980.

    Town Chronology: http://www.geociti...le/chronology.html
     Media Coverage
    There have been several articles written in the local newspapers, unfortunately they're archived and you have to pay to browse them.

    The Draper Mill Complex appears countless times in the Town of Hopedale Community Development plan, available as a PDF file.
    Hopedale Development Plan [PDF]:

    A book has been published, called Historic Hopedale, with plenty of information of the rise of the Draper family and the impacts of the mill complex.
    Friends of Historic Hopedale: http://www.hopedal.../book/bookform.htm
     Future Plans
    (2005)The majority of the complex is owned by First American Realty, and has been gutted. No one is quite sure what will become of the property. The realty company would like to see one owner buy the complex and use it for manufacturing space. However, Hopedale is a small, "charming" town, full of middle class suburbs, and no one is interested in seeing more traffic. Also, finding an interested buyer has proved difficult. The town is interested in helping renovate and re-zone the property and dividing it up for for commercial, manufacturing, educational, community and even residential space.

    The administration building across the street from the complex has been converted into Draper Place, an assisted living facility.


    2021: Demolition began in 2020 after many attempts at preservation. By 2021 the vast majority of the factory is gone.
    Sun, Oct 16th, 2005
    posted by ian_evil

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Recon: 2005.10.15,16
    Sat, Oct 15th, 2005
    posted by ian_evil
    19 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Demolition 2021
    Thu, Sep 2nd, 2021
    posted by Kurt
    6 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links Real Estate- Hopedale:

    Blackstone Valley:

    Historic Hopedale: http://www.hopedal.../book/bookform.htm

    Town Chronology: http://www.geociti...le/chronology.html

    Edit this Location
     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 9/2/2021 9:54 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Sep 2 21 at 21:54, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:11, Kurt updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:11, Kurt updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:11, Kurt updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:11, Kurt updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:11, Kurt updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:11, Kurt updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:10, Kurt added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:10, Kurt updated gallery Demolition 2021
  • on Sep 2 21 at 18:10, Kurt updated gallery Demolition 2021
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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    You must log in for this feature to work.I know this girl, who knows this kid...ian_evil14098/7/2006 6:26 AM by I am the Bear
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