Hopedale Self Guided Tour

Historic Map of Mendon, MA
Historic Map of Mendon, MA, including the area that would become Hopedale. This portion is located on the center right side of the map.

Hopedale is a planned community with a complex history.

The Dale of Hope began as a small communal association of Practical Christians. These people advocated temperance, abolition, women's rights, Christian socialism, and non-violence. Into the 20th century, Hopedale evolved into a company town and later, residential community.

To learn more about Hopedale's history, read the introduction below, or jump to one of the stops along this walking tour of town.


Hopedale is part of Worcester County in Massachusetts. One of its sources for life is the Mill River. The Indigenous people of this place are the Nipmuc, and they are still here.  

English colonists, including Benjamin Albee, came to this area in the 1660s to settle and run small industries. In July 1675, Albee became a casualty of the ongoing war between the colonists and Indigenous peoples. Some colonists retreated from Mendon in the wake of his death.

After years of bloodshed, and colonists’ encroachments onto Indigenous lands, this area would become a settlement for colonial farmers. Through the 1830s, only a few thousand people consistently made their living in Mendon. The character of this place would change once again starting in the 1840s.

Enter Adin Ballou, and the people who followed him to make a new kind of community.   

Map of Hopedale Tour
Map of walking tour

Last updated: December 29, 2022

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