Wellesley became a little less welcoming over Christmas on Rte. 16, as the “Entering Wellesley” sign (or “Entering Natick,” if you prefer) could be seen leaning on a stone wall near Hunnewell Farm rather than atop its usual steel pole. (Update: As of the morning of Dec. 26, the sign is now gone.)
If Mr. Swellesley were a more emotional man, he would have shed a tear at the sight. After all, that sign serves as our logo, with the red “S” added via the magic of the web.
Our preliminary crime scene investigation showed no evidence that the sign pole had been smashed into by a vehicle. No tire tracks in the mud or snow.
However, there did appear to be missing bolts that would have attached the sign to the pole. We weren’t sure if the downed sign was the result of an accident, mischief or more legitimate activity.
The hefty sign, known by highway officials as a “book leaf” for its shape’s similarity to an open book, is large at 48×60 inches. Not so easy to run off with by a prankster.
We notified the Wellesley Department of Public Works, which has had its hands full in 2019 with missing Old Town Road street signs, as well as the Wellesley Police Department. The police told us they were letting the state’s DPW know.
In the meantime, you’ll just have to take your chances on mistakenly winding up in Wellesley or Natick, depending on which way you might travel along Rte. 16.