WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2014

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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The museum is also the story of Isaac Jones and his family. Isaac was born in Weston in 1728, grandson of Josiah Jones, one of Weston's founding fathers. Between 1764 and 1769 Isaac built his home and tavern on the Boston Post Road, with acreage sufficient to farm and support his family. Taverns func- tioned as community centers, and innkeepers, usually prominent citizens, were licensed by local authorities. Isaac was a successful mer- chant shipper and respected politician, and he was also a Tory sympathizer. The British Tea Act of 1773, which limited the distribution of tea, had negative conse- quences on the colonial economy. Colonists reacted by banning the consumption and sale of the beverage. Isaac remained neutral for a while. One story survives that when British spies stopped at the tavern and Isaac offered them tea, they took that as a sign that they were with a sympathetic host. In an incident known as the Weston Tea Party in March 1774, local Patriots stormed Isaac's home one evening, when Isaac was away. His family and property survived but his conversion to the Patriot cause then followed. Two ships bonds found inside a framed portrait of his child William Pitt Jones give a clue to Isaac's change of heart. Historians believe that reviewing the terms of these bonds likely convinced Isaac that the British course of action was unfair, eco- nomically punitive, and a reason to back the Patriot cause. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Golden Ball Tavern. They have preserved and catalogued archives and researched how to reproduce wallpaper for the restoration of Lettie Jones's room to its 1880s or 1890s appearance. Genealogist Will McFarland researched Isaac Jones and demon- strated his connections to other important families of the time. This family tree is on view in the Visitors Center along with artifacts from archeological digs by Boston University and Brown University scholars. "It's a great place for anyone interested in engaging work," agree long-time 83 s u m m e r 2 0 1 4 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e ( C O N T I N U E D F R O M P A G E 7 8 ) 072-085_WWMb14_golden ball tavern_v2_WellesleyWeston Magazine 4/24/14 3:10 PM Page 83

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