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Hopkinton Town

Hopkinton Town Hall is located at 18 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748; phone: 508-497-9700.

Hopkinton as described in 1937 [1]

Hopkinton was settled about 1715 and incorporated in 1744. The town was named for Edward Hopkins, Governor of Connecticut. The first settlers were from surrounding villages and leased the land from Harvard College, executor of Hopkins's estate. This town is the birthplace of Daniel Shays (1747-1825), leader of Shays's Rebellion; of Lee Claflin (1791-1871), one of the founders of Boston University and founder of Claflin University in South Carolina. Pegged shoes were first made by Joseph Walker in 1818. Walker's invention changed the making of shoes throughout New England.

Facing the town Common is the Valentine Tavern (about 1750) (private), a 2-1/2 story rambling structure of cut stone and gray clapboards, with a modern shingled roof; Washington, Lafayette, and Daniel Webster are said to have lodged here.

Hopkinton Academy, 21 Church St., was one of the scenes of Henry Ward Beecher's abortive efforts to become a school teacher. According to a local legend, his pupils on one occasion tossed him from a window into the snow. This house originally stood on the corner but a few years ago was removed to its present site and extensively modernized.

In Mt. Auburn Cemetery on Mayhew St., in the northeast corner adjacent to the town vault, is the Grave of the Unknown Indian. For many years the residents were surprised to find this grave decorated on Memorial Day. One citizen secreted himself to watch for the donor, but though he came earlier each succeeding year, the grave was always decorated before he arrived. After the death of an elderly lady, the floral tribute ceased.

  1. Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for Massachusetts, Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People, American Guide Series, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1937.
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