We like to think we know everything about Wellesley, but after dropping by Beth Hinchliffe’s presentation on the town’s history at the Wellesley Free Library today, we have to admit we learned a few things. These include:
* “Oakland” was one name bandied about before “Wellesley” was chosen for the town. Hey, we coulda had the Oakland Raiders as the high school sports team nickname.
* Wellesley has 10 sites listed on the National Register of Historical Places, including the Hunnewell Estates Historic District in the Washington St./Pond Rd. area.
* When old Red Sox slugger Ted Williams lived in town he used to give local kids his old bats in exchange for mowing his lawn.
* Babson College founder Roger Babson ran for President of the United States in 1940 (for the National Prohibition Party). Of course some of his would-be policies are still in effect in town.
* Wellesley was once known as the country’s carnation capital.
* There used to be a nail factory in town near what’s now Longfellow Pond. Make sure you wear your shoes around there.