Located in Norfolk County, Wellesley, Massachusetts is a town of nearly 28,000 residents committed to education, history, culture, and the environment. It was first settled in the 1630s as part of the town of Dedham, after settlers paid five pounds of currency and 3 pounds of corn for the land to the local Native American tribe. Later, the town split off to become part of Needham before being incorporated in 1881 as Wellesley.
Wellesley was a carefully planned city with railroads, parks, schools, landscape architects and more contributing to the beautiful surroundings. In 1914, the town leaders introduced zoning laws, the first town in America to do so.
The town has the second greatest concentration of advanced degrees in the country, so it is no surprise the school districts here are highly ranked and very important to the residents. It also has 3 college campuses: Wellesley College, Babson College, and Massachusetts Bay Community College.
Wellesley boasts an impressive list of notable residents, including:
Wellesley, like many Massachusetts towns, was first a farming community. Soon it had other industries coming to the area. In the 1920s, it became one of the best known shopping districts in the Greater Boston Area when Filene’s opened its first branch here.
Many businesses have made their headquarters here, employing town residents and those from surrounding towns. Some of today’s top employers in the town include:
The town celebrates its history and culture in a variety of ways throughout the year. One of the most anticipated events is Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend, held annually in May with a parade, fireworks, concerts, and more. The Wellesley Symphony Orchestra holds regular performances, and there is a strong horticultural society.
Wellesley has made significant steps towards environmental sustainability, leading much of Massachusetts in this area. Residents are offered, and many have chosen to partake in the opportunity to purchase only power from wind sources, at a premium price. There is another choice program for solar power. In 2012, the town was designated a Green Power Community for this contribution on the part of the residents.
The town has been a Tree City USA for longer than any other in Massachusetts, with bylaws requiring homeowners to protect their trees and replace any that must be cut down. Only green pesticides can be used on town property, and open spaces are protected from development. The town’s new high school even participates in the town’s environmental interests with geothermal heating and a green planted roof.
Wellesley, Massachusetts is a beautiful town, carefully planned and run to maintain its natural setting. Throughout history it has been one of the most desirable suburbs of Boston. With pride in its past and a commitment to the future, Wellesley is a role model for other towns across the nation.