WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

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.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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offering. Phrases such as "indenture restrictions," "wetlands protection area," "green space," "traffic impact," "vernal pools," "wellheads," "haz- ardous waste," and "project of significant impact" have entered the everyday vocabulary of Wellesleyites. Suggestions for the North 40's future have included: selling it to a conservancy; developing it for residential housing, "cluster-type" affordable housing, town athletic fields, or a new elementary school; retaining it, as is, for open space, trails, and gardens; or leasing it long- term to eventually return College ownership (one resident declared the acreage perfect for a potential "Hillary Clinton Presidential Library!") If the sale comes to fruition (and as of this writing the town has evi- denced strong interest in being the purchaser), those who would first feel the pinch are Cullinan's fellow horticulturists who have enjoyed the privilege of using the land since the mid-20th century – and for only $100 annually to cover the cost of irrigation. The President of the Garden Club, John Spencer, explains why these Wellesley residents have been willing to wait years for the privilege of sinking their spades and trowels into the North 40 earth, and are now distraught over the possibility of losing it. "Something happened when the locavore movement started gaining traction," he explains. "We started getting more and more interest. Then some of the food scares about contamination gave us another bump of people, and then the recession hit and people thought they could extend their budgets by having a little garden. So the waitlist skyrocketed. I'm still dealing with family names from 2008." Ice and Trees But decades before the Weston Road Garden Club even existed – in fact, soon after Wellesley College founder Henry Durant donated six tracts of land to the college in 1873 – various other constituencies had eyed the tempting virgin acreage for a panoply of hoped-for uses. In 1899 the Boston Ice Company found that the Weston Road land (not yet known as the North 40) provided the perfect short cut to its ice-cutting operations on Morses Pond. The company made an agreement with the college for a right-of-way through the property. Unfortunately, by 1929 records of the transaction had been lost, and a college employee had the idea to padlock a gate across the pathway and "await developments" to see if anyone complained. Indeed, an irate Roland Hopkins – President of the Boston Ice Company – obliged. "We have paid $10 each year from January 1899 until January 1929 to be 82 The Coveted "North 40" W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 Something happened when the locavore movement started gaining traction. We started getting more and more interest. Then some of the food scares about contamination gave us another bump of people, and then the recession hit and people thought they could extend their budgets by having a little garden. So the waitlist skyrocketed." John Spencer / President / Weston Road Garden Club D I A N E S P E A R E T R I A N T

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