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: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 113 of 227

It was a daring idea back then. There were no clubs in town at all, not unless you consider the now-defunct Newton-Needham Society for the Apprehension of Horse Thieves. And some dismissed the idea of meeting for dinner in a downtown hotel to be "just a bit giddy and ostentatious." But the 40 men decided to give it a try, agreeing that "there was a place for an organization where discussions and debates on town affairs might follow social hour at the dining table." And so on November 18, 1889, eight years after the town gained independence, 57 charter members came together for the first official meeting of the Wellesley Club, to adopt a constitution and by-laws, warily pump hands, sit at dinner tables for roast beef with men from the other villages, and launch the first and oldest club in Wellesley. The first officers were carefully selected to represent the three villages. President Albert Clarke (a Civil War Colonel and the town's elected rep- resentative to the Massachusetts House) lived in the Hills; Vice-President Nathan Abbott had settled in the Village; and Secretary Joseph Peabody (one of the original five Club founders) was from the Falls. These first years were as exciting as they were challenging. The most influential men of the town met monthly for animated debates that soon realized Richardson's goal of being collaborative, not confronta- tional. Wellesley began to be known as "the town that gets what it wants." When it had wanted independence, it got it. Now that it wanted 112 How the Wellesley Club Shaped Wellesley 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 P H O T O C O U R T E S Y O F T H E W E L L E S L E Y H I S T O R I C A L S O C I E T Y , W E L L E S L E Y , M A S S A C H U S E T T S

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