WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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1630 1696 1698 1775 Sir Richard Saltonstall The Allen House, by tradition the oldest house in Weston The Farmers' Precinct George Washington marker 12. In the early days there was only one church. Colonial house. Originally, worshipers sat on All residents were required to provide financial 1713 benches. support and all decisions regarding the church were voted at Town Meeting. 22. The first pews were built by applicants who paid for a life interest that could be deeded to 13. The Allen House at One Chestnut Street has others. Raising money by selling or renting pews long been considered the oldest house in Weston. continued at First Parish through 1917. It had the town's first historic marker, erected in 1911 and engraved in part "Oldest House in 23. One of the state's earliest tanneries was Weston Built A.D. – 1696." established about 1730 by the Hobbs family on North Avenue. Hobbs Brook supplied abundant 14. Weston's earliest tombstone marks the grave water. Hides were soaked for months in vats con- of Ensign John Warren, who died in 1703. taining ground-up bark, which produced tannin. The Town of Weston was incorporated 15. When the first ordained minister, William 24. Hobbs Tannery became so well known that Williams, accepted the call in 1709, First Parish had "it was the custom throughout the State, in early 30. In the attic of the Josiah Smith Tavern there 18 male members. days, to locate houses and people in Weston by was a concealed room, "not easily discovered by the distance from the tannery." the uninitiated," where the "degenerate sons of 16. At this tercentennial, we celebrate the time early Bible-loving Christians" (to use historian when the "Farmers' Precinct" was incorporated as 25. Leather from Hobbs Tannery was used by Daniel Lamson's words) would reportedly play the Town of Weston. local farmers, who augmented their income by cards and drink rum even on the Lord's Day. making boots and shoes in winter. 17. The date of incorporation was originally 31. Under the old system of apprenticeship, boys written as January 1, 1712. Because of the change 26. By the mid-1740s Elisha Jones had a store, of about age 14 were bound out by their parents for from Gregorian to Julian calendar in the mid-18th the earliest recorded in Weston. a specified term of years, usually until age 21, when century, this Old Style (O.S.) date translates to January 12, 1713. they were presumed to be proficient in their trade. 27. The first volume of town records, from incorporation to 1754, had been lost by the late 19th 18. The town of Weston measures 5.5 miles north 32. During the 18th century, church members century. A reward of $100 was offered in 1891 for received permission to build carriage sheds on and south and 3.5 miles east and west and contains its return, to no avail. town land next to the meetinghouse, to provide 11,000 acres. The highest peak is Doublet Hill, at protection for horses and carriages during long 28. By 1768 the town had five one-room school- church services. They were constructed with private houses. Not until 1774 did voters agree to take 360 feet above sea level. funds and reserved for the use of the builder. over responsibility for all school buildings and pay location as the westernmost part of Watertown. back residents in the north and south districts, who 33. In 1764 the town built a workhouse for the had been required to build and maintain neighbor- poor, located where the library is today. 20. The first five ministers at First Parish Church hood schoolhouses at their own expense. served the congregation for more than 150 years. 34. Weston, like other New England towns, was careful that no one be permitted within town limits 21. In 1721-22, First Parish replaced its first crude 29. The Josiah Smith Tavern was built in 1757 and enlarged around 1804. The large second floor who might become a burden on the town. Such meetinghouse with a building that resembled a meeting room was added at that time. persons were ordered to leave. 57 s p r i n g 2 0 1 3 | We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e 19. The name Weston comes from the town's

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