Wellesley History blogger Josh Dorin makes his case in a recent blog post that Wellesley is not nearly as conservative as some people would have you believe and that if we keep referring to it as “Swellesley” then all that term conjures up will overshadow the real Wellesley.
Sure, Wellesley does have its Republican sections, as we documented during the November election. But Dorin shows that Wellesley, once a Republican stronghold if you go back to the 1920s through the 1960s, no longer is. Currently, Wellesley tends to be about as conservative as the rest of the state, which of course isn’t so much.
Dorin goes on to write:
So that leaves us with an important question. If the political data show that Wellesley isn’t “strongly conservative” — and hasn’t been for many decades — how come so many people insist otherwise? In other words, why does Wellesley feel conservative? To answer this question, we need to consider just one word: Swellesley.
Swellesley is the sobriquet that we’ve given our town. It represents having the perfect house, the perfect car, and the perfect family. It also reminds us of the good old days when the world was much simpler and everyone appeared happy. And it’s this conservative picture of the town that pops into the heads of residents and non-residents alike. Is it accurate? Of course not! But it serves the needs of all people.
Well, it’s too late for us to change our name, but we’ll leave it up to the rest of you to use the term or not.
I’m not sure “Swellesley” represents conservatism as much as it stands for a certain well-to-do socio-economic group. In any case, the name is cute and it fits.
What does the term “Swellesley” have to do with Repbulicans? Sounds like Dorin is a bit out of touch. I’ve also heard it referred to as “Well-to-do-sley”, but “Swellesley” sounds better…