WellesleyWeston Magazine


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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Page 103 of 199

she found the sheer size and grandeur of the Hathaway Bookstore collection to be its crown jewel. "It was huge with places to sit and knowledgeable people with whom to discuss your choices. It was truly ahead of its time as a resource for book people and as a warm and comfort- ing place to be." Hinchliffe, both a Wellesley native and a Wellesley College graduate, remembers her time at the bookstore fondly as well, stating that it was in the Hathaway House where her passion, which would eventually bleed into a prosperous career, was born. "It was the most delicious, delightful experience," Hinchliffe says, musing on how the Hathaway Bookstore fostered an environment for those with a love of literature. "Every room was set up to encourage reading and enjoy read- ing." She remembers the bookstore as not only a cozy and pleasant environment that promoted a healthy appreciation of reading, but also as a community meeting place in a time when such luxu- ries as a community center didn't exist. So when the bookstore ran into financial troubles in the late seventies before closing for good in 1979, many residents were fearful that a beloved piece of history was going to fall into the wrong hands. While there were initial rumblings that the Hathaway House and its land was going to be sold to the developers of a mini mall, this was not the case thanks to the generosity and hard work of Stuart Swan and his wife, Georgette. The Swans, who were then full-time residents of Chatham, fell in love with Hathaway House and purchased the building in 1981. Over the next few years, the couple painstakingly worked to restore the Hathaway house to its former beauty, and slowly added a few addi- tions — even a living space — as their furniture company thrived within the building's walls. Today, Stuart Swan still talks about the positive energy that the Hathaway House seemed to emanate. "This building has a lot of happy chi, it has a wonderful per- sona, something that the new owner immediately picked up on." Swan rein- forced how much work and "sweat equity" he put into his business and the building itself throughout the years, and the effort shows. Though the building looks modest from the outside, on the inside, light pours in through large, clean windows, and each room is softened by a sweeping cream-col- ored carpet that spreads from wall to wall beneath lofty, yet unimposing ceilings. Overall, the interior possesses a youthful- ness and charm that one wouldn't expect from a house dating back to before the Civil War. When asked about selling the building and what prompted their move to Williamsburg, Virginia, Stuart smiles 102 Timeless Charm 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 8

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