Happy 143rd birthday, Wellesley!

April 6, 1881 was the day that the Massachusetts legislature formalized the new town of Wellesley after it separated from Needham.

As town historian Beth Hinchliffe described the lead-up to this occasion:

“By 1880 the pace of life in town was quickening. Suddenly modern life was descending from all sides. There was the first newspaper, bank and telephone, with new churches and homes. Most importantly, the sense of identity which “West Needham” had always felt began to assert itself. Under the leadership of men like Durant and Hunnewell, joining together with the sharp town politician Joseph Fiske, Wellesley residents organized themselves and pushed for separation from Needham.

There was intrigue and frenzy, with a heated meeting at the town hall (which doubled as the poor farm and which later became the Wellesley Country Club), but finally the men of Wellesley triumphed and on April 6, 1881 the Massachusetts legislature christened the new town of Wellesley, which took its name as a tribute to benefactor Hunnewell.”

historic town hall site wellesley country club
Original Town Hall site at current Wellesley Country Club

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