If you’ve ever traversed the Brook Path in Wellesley just east of Dover Road, you’ve probably noticed a roughly matching pair of big rocks on either side of the crushed stone terrain.
According to local lore, we have naturalist and pioneering female geologist Katharine “Kay” Fowler-Billings to thank for this curiosity.
Ethel D. Sanders writes in “The History of the Wellesley Conservation Council” (published in 1994) that:
“Another of Wellesley’s geological features that most concerned her [Fowler-Billings] is the glacial erratic beside Fuller Brook at the ends of Vane and Winthrop Streets, a ‘smashed pinnacle’ of Roxbury puddingstone. One day Kay spotted workers with heavy equipment cutting away at the rock. They explained that they had been told to cut it to widen the path so heavy equipment could pass through in order to clean out the brook. She was indignant and climbed up to sit on the rock to protect it. The workers stood aside and at quitting time took their tools and went away. The next morning Kay was at the Public Works office to protest. Needless to say, the rock was saved.”
If you’re interested in learning more about why Wellesley rocks, you can find copies of Fowler-Billings’ The geological story of Wellesley at Wellesley Free Library or from the Wellesley Conservation Council.
Check out more of Wellesley’s cool rocks.
MORE: Wellesley Trails