Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In My Footsteps: Trip 121: Wellesley, Massachusetts

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 121:  Wellesley, Massachusetts
April 14, 2011

Morses Pond
            One of the most affluent and highly educated towns in the United States, Wellesley might seem to get lost in the shuffle as far as places to see and visit.  That could not be further from the truth as it has many amazing spots that anybody can check out, even if you are not rich.  I will admit that there are seemingly endless streams of lavish homes up and down nearly every street in Wellesley but if you go just below the surface you will find the true soul of this town.
            One such spot I enjoyed was Morses Pond on Turner Road.  Of course when I arrived the gate was closed so driving right up to the edge of the water was not possible.  Still, taking a walk on a warm spring afternoon was not the worst thing in the world.  I chose to stay on the paved road as I walked although there was an intriguing path which led off to the right.  I could not be certain that it led to the pond and did not feel like going way off track so I played it safe.
Wellesley Town Hall
            The pond was a nice scenic spot, there was a narrow land bridge between a small pond and Morses Pond which was cool.  There is a playground area for families but the highlights of my walk to the pond were the little finger of land sticking out into the water with a picnic table at the end as well as a swan that seemed to be unhappy that I was walking by.  The swan got really close to shore and basically kept me from checking out the picnic table at the end of the finger of land.  It was still a great walk and would be worthwhile to any traveler especially if the gates are open.
            Wellesley is also unique in the fact that its Town Hall is as impressive as many historic mansions I have seen.  It reminded me of the beautiful stone buildings I saw in Easton and Fairhaven; the buildings in Easton designed by renowned architect Henry Hobson Richardson.  It was such a cool place with many great photo opportunities from the sloping front lawn of the Town Hall.  A little added bonus is Morton Park which is part of the Town Hall grounds.
Charles River behind the old Eaton-Moulton Mill building.
            I parked at the bottom of the hill where the Town Hall building is located which is right next to a small duck pond at Morton Park.  There are some trails there, one called the Crosstown Trail is about five and a half miles long and goes through Morton Park following the Cochituate Aqueduct.  It continues on until it intersects with the Charles River Path.  I did not follow the trail but did have a good time checking out the ducks waddling around the shore of the pond. 
            I found a cool spot while checking out the building which once housed the Eaton-Moulton Mill on Walnut Street.  The building, built in 1853, is a pretty standard gray stone-faced structure but behind it is what caught my eye.  The sound of rushing water lured me back to a falls area of the Charles River that passed under a footbridge.  There was a walkway which ran along the side of the loud rushing water so close that I was getting splashed.  It is easy to get lost in the rhythmic sound of the nonstop water passing by and if you have the time it is nice to allow yourself to do just that for a bit.
Sprague Memorial Tower
            The last place I visited in Wellesley is a spot I saw on a previous trip as I passed through much like when I saw downtown Natick.  The Sprague Memorial Tower is easy to spot as you travel along Washington Street.  The tower was built in 1928 but the clock and bell which reside inside were given to the town in 1874.  The surrounding area is pretty busy but it seems like when you step onto the grounds where the tower sits that it is in its own world.  The only trouble was that the green around the tower was small which meant that trying to get a photo of the entire height of the tower was difficult.  I found myself bending and kneeling all over trying to fit it in.
            Though it may be one of the most affluent and well educated towns in all of the country Wellesley has so much more for the average person such as me.  Morses Pond was amazing even with its long walk and Sprague Memorial Tower was a spot I knew I needed to see from the time I passed through Wellesley heading home from a previous trip.  Of course there are seemingly endless streams of large expensive homes to see as well but that should not be the only thing that a traveler takes from Wellesley.  Have fun and happy traveling!

            For more In My Footsteps items follow my Twitter Feed, view more photos at the In My Footsteps fan page on Facebook, or visit my homepage at   Thanks for reading! 

Directions:  Morses Pond:  From Rt. 3 take Exit 20A for I-93S toward I-95, continue onto Rt. 1 S, continue onto I-95 N.  Take Exit 17, turn right onto Rt. 135 W., follow 2 miles take slight left at Great Plain Ave., at rotary take 3rd exit onto Wellesley Ave.  Follow half mile, turn left onto Washington St., continue onto Central St., slight right onto Weston Rd.  Take 1st left onto Turner Rd., follow to the pond, where you park depends on whether the gates are opened.
            Sprague Memorial Tower:  From Rt. 3 take Exit 20A for I-93S toward I-95, continue onto Rt. 1 S, continue onto I-95 N.  Take Exit 21, turn left onto Washington St., follow 1.8 miles, tower is on the right.

            Wellesley Historical