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Overview

Introduction to Wellesley, Massachusetts

Wellesley is located in eastern Massachusetts in Norfolk County. It's recognized as part of the Greater Boston area. Wellesley is home to the prestigious Wellesley College.

History

During the 1630's a small group of settlers purchased land from two Indian Chiefs named Nehoiden and Maugus. The settlement became known as Dedham. Approximately 75 years later a portion of Dedham was established as a town named Needham. The western portion took the name West Needham and was a farming community during the majority of the 18th and 19th centuries. The railroad was brought to the area in the 1830's and its arrival dramatically changed the town.

Businessmen from Boston frequented the town and brought their modern type of life to the area. In 1881 the residents of West Needham were successful in convincing the Massachusetts legislature to change the name of their town to Wellesley. In 1914 Wellesley became the first town in the country to create zoning laws. In the 1920's Wellesley was considered to be one of the primary suburbs of the city of Boston and became a major shopping area. The town prospered during the 20th century.

Transportation

The MBTA provides rail service for Wellesley, including transportation to Boston. Wellesley is served by the Logan International Airport.

Attractions

The Wellesley College Botanic Gardens is comprised of the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses, The Alexandra Botanic Gardens and the Walter Hunnewell Arboretum. The arboretum features more than 500 species of plants, a topiary garden and a collection of greenhouses which feature over 1000 plant species.

The Elm Bank Reservation was formerly the estate of Benjamin Pierce Cheney who founded American Express. The Massachusetts Historical Society is located at the reservation. Other noteworthy attractions in the area include:

  • Historic district in the vicinity of Cottage Street
  • Wesley Town Hall

Higher Education

Wellesley is home to Wellesley College, Babson College and Massachusetts Bay Community College. Wellesley College is a liberal arts college for women and was established in 1875. Wellesley College is considered to be one of the prominent liberal arts colleges in the country. The beautiful campus of Wellesley college is situated on 500 acres of land. The campus features Lake Waban, woodlands and meadows. The college is well known for the numerous former students who have obtained high positions in prominent corporations.

People

Total Population 28,832
Male Share of the Population 43.9%
Female Share of the Population 56.1%
Senior Citizens 13.9%
Employed Population 16+ 12,244
Age of the Population 36

Families

% of people married 54.9%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 83.4%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0

Wealth

Median Family Income $191,875
% Above Poverty Level 96.5%
% Below Poverty Level 3.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 28 minutes
% Working from Home 8.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 13.8%
% Using Public Transportation 10.9%

Housing

People Living Alone 20.6%
Median Gross Rent $1,887
Median House Value $936,900

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 22.8%
US/American 0.7%
English 14.2%
Irish 22.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Wellesley Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 5 miles SW of Newton, Massachusetts (center to center)
Nearest Large City 12 miles W of Boston, Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Standard Zip Codes 02481, 02482
P.O. Box Zip Codes 02457
Phone Area Codes 781
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.296
Longitude -71.293

Wellesley Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station FRAMINGHAM
Distance 6.4 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 36 F
Apr Temp 38 to 58 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 40 to 63 F
Annual Precip 45.8 inches
Station WALPOLE 2
Distance 9.2 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 36 F
Apr Temp 37 to 58 F
Jul Temp 62 to 83 F
Oct Temp 41 to 62 F
Annual Precip 46.5 inches
Station BEDFORD
Distance 12.9 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 35 F
Apr Temp 36 to 58 F
Jul Temp 60 to 83 F
Oct Temp 39 to 62 F
Annual Precip 46.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Wellesley, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Babson Park (02457)

Wellesley Hills (02481)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Dover 2,441 $186,250
Natick 34,892 $130,607
Needham 29,853 $164,104
Newton 87,675 $161,101
Sherborn 4,245 $165,903
Weston 11,850 $245,197

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Wellesley Public Libraries

Library
Wellesley Free Library
530 WASHINGTON ST.
Wellesley, Massachusetts
(781) 235-1610

library logo

More Information for Librarians

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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Wellesley High Schools

WELLESLEY SR HIGH
50 RICE STREET
781-446-6290
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,065 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.8

Additional Details
Wellesley Colleges
Wellesley colleges and trade schools.
Wellesley Graduate Schools
Wellesley Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Wellesley

Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles
College Directories and Lists
Historic Wellesley

photo

President's House Oakwoods between 1902 and 1920

Select a photo to view (Source):

President's House Oakwoods between 1902 and 1920

Shakespeare House between 1900 and 1920

Lake Waban (Wellesley College) c1908 (est.)

Additional Resources
Info for Wellesley Government Officials


Are you an official in the Wellesley government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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