The Day School for the Deaf, now known as the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, opened its doors in Providence in 1876. Its mission was to provide free board and tuition for children with hearing loss in Rhode Island, offering them opportunities otherwise unavailable. Over the years, the school underwent several name changes, but its commitment to serving the deaf community remained steadfast. One of the students who attended the school was William Gaylord Lachapelle, who was born in Hopkinton in 1903 to Minnie Viola (Coon) Lachapelle. William remained a student at the school until 1915 and later secured a job as a threader at a lace mill. He married Margaret Locke’s daughter, Stella, and passed away in 1995 at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy of hope, education, and success.

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