WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2016

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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42 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 6 in march of 1925, a group of Wellesley residents announced in The Wellesley Townsman that there would be a meeting to address the town's need to have "at least the nucleus of an his- torical society." The Wellesley Historical Society was officially incorporated later that year, and its early members included Isaac Sprague, members of the Hunnewell family, and Dr. Frederick Stanwood, whose home at 323 Washington Street will soon be the Society's headquarters. In the beginning, the Society collected historical clothing, objects, art, and documents, and set up a museum in the basement of the Wellesley Town Hall. The organization found a more perma- nent home in 1975 when it purchased the former residence of a Worcester Turnpike toll collector for a very reasonable price: $1.00. The 1824 Dadmun-McNamara House is still the Society's head- quarters today, though it was moved from its original location along Route 9 to 229 Washington Street, where Routes 16 and 9 intersect. The Wellesley Historical Society Today Over ninety years after the organization's founding, the Wellesley Historical Society has trans- formed from a small group of like-minded antiquarians to a vibrant organization that serves as the historical resource center for the town of Wellesley. Not only does the Society attract researchers from as far away as the United Kingdom and Australia to its archives, its staff and board also focus on public outreach within the town of Wellesley and the surrounding commu- nities. In order to bring the town's history to the public, the Society has implemented a variety of educational programs and events in recent years. n WALKING TOURS: The Historical Society launched its walking tour series in 2013 with two tours: "The Development of Wellesley Square" and "How Transportation Shaped Wellesley." A third tour, "The Rise of Industry in the Lower Falls," was later added. The newest one, "The History of the Cottage Street Area," was presented for the first time in October 2015, and the Society's education commit- tee is currently working to develop a fifth tour, slated to debut in the spring of 2017. n CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS: In order to serve a younger audience, the Society began its first season of "Winter Wednesdays," a part- nership with the Wellesley Community Center, in December of 2014. Winter Wednesdays is a weekly series of programs created for children in elementary school that features historical topics. Most pro- grams highlight an item from the Society's collections so that children can identify with the community's history, and families can become more familiar with the organization. n HISTORICAL HOMES TOUR: The first his- torical homes tour was extremely popular and took place in October 2015. Partly a trolley tour and partly a tour of one of the town's oldest homes, it lets participants learn about the history of Wellesley through the stories of the houses built in town. A second tour, including different homes, will be presented in the fall of 2016. The Wellesley Historical Society Looks Toward the Future [ forum ] E R I C A D U M O N T writer ERICA DUMONT is Executive Director of the Wellesley Historical Society

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