Weston was incorporated in 1713, and protection of the town's historic resources is driven by the Weston Historical Commission and Weston Historical Society. The town has one Local Historic District, 10 National Register Districts, 26 Historic Areas, and seven houses individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the town’s 2014 Community Livability Survey, 97 percent of respondents rated Weston an excellent or good place to live. Among the survey's eight "facets of community livability," four of them—education, natural environment, safety, and community engagement—were rated higher than national benchmarks.
Weston's predominance as a residential community is reflected in its population density, which is among the lowest of Boston's suburbs near or within Route 128. More than 2,000 acres, or 18 percent of the town's total acreage, have been preserved as parks, fields, wetlands, and forests, with 90 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Thirty-seven scenic roads, as defined by Massachusetts law, maintain the town's aesthetic value and historical significance, affording Weston a semi-rural ambiance.
In 2017, Boston magazine ranked Weston Public Schools as the third best public school district in greater Boston, and in 2018, Weston High School was ranked as the fourth best public high school.
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
|• Total||17.3 sq mi (44.9 km2)|
|• Land||17.0 sq mi (44.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)|
|Elevation||180 ft (55 m)|
|• Density||650/sq mi (250/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||781 / 339|
|GNIS feature ID||0618245|
The description of Weston's history here is pulled directly from the 2017 Weston Open Space and Recreation Plan.
Weston was originally part of the Watertown settlement of 1630, but until the end of the century, the land was used mainly for grazing cattle. In 1698, “The Farms” was set off as a separate precinct with its own meetinghouse; and in 1712-13, the “Farmers’ Precinct” was incorporated as a separate town, Weston.
Early settlers discovered that the amount of useful agricultural land was limited, as was the potential for water-powered industries. Weston did have one advantage: it was situated along the main route west from Boston. By the 18th century, residents were providing services to travelers on the Boston Post Road. Two taverns of great historical and architectural importance remain today: the Josiah Smith Tavern and the Golden Ball Tavern, which is now a museum. North Avenue was an important route to the northwest and, like the Post Road, hosted shops, blacksmiths, and taverns serving travelers.
Grist and sawmills were established beginning in the 17th century on Stony Brook and in the Crescent Street area. Two important manufacturing enterprises were begun during the Colonial period: the Hews redware pottery on Boston Post Road and Hobbs Tannery on North Avenue. By 1776, Weston’s population of 1,027 was spread throughout the town on scattered farms along major roads, with some consolidation within the village center around the meetinghouse, along the length of the Post Road, and on North Avenue.
The opening of the Worcester Turnpike in 1810 (now Route 9) drew some commercial traffic from the Boston Post Road, but dry goods merchants continued to supply neighboring towns until about 1830-40. The Boston and Worcester Railroad was built through the southeast corner of town in 1834, and the Fitchburg Railroad (later the Boston and Maine) was built along Stony Brook on the north side of town around 1844. Population continued to grow, supported in part by small industries such as the pottery, tannery and related boot and shoe making, school desk and chair factory, tool factories, and shops making machinery for cotton and woolen mills. The Hook & Hastings Company organ factory, Weston’s largest industry, moved to the North Avenue area in 1888 and was a major town employer until it closed during the Great Depression. The Mass Central Railroad, the third to serve Weston, commenced service in 1881. Its tracks ran east-west through the center of town.
The rural landscape of Weston and convenience to rail transportation also made it attractive as a summer resort area. The shingle-style Drabbington Lodge, once a popular summer resort, remains on North Avenue and is now a senior living community.
Development of country estates in Weston began on a small scale in the 1860s and was widespread by 1900. Wealthy businessmen were attracted to Weston by its convenience to Boston, quiet country atmosphere, and low taxes, as well as the beauty of the area and that same rocky topography that in earlier years had proved unsuitable for farming. By the turn of the century, Weston was described as a “country town of residences of the first class.”
Population growth and the influence of large estate owners led to the construction of new institutional buildings, such as the fieldstone First Parish Church (1888), designed by the nationally known Boston firm of Peabody and Stearns and located on the site of earlier church meetinghouses. The first library (1899), central fire station (1914), and present town hall (1917) were also built during the estate era. Coinciding with the town’s Bicentennial in 1913, an ambitious Town Improvement Plan began the process of creating the Town Green by draining and landscaping an existing wetland.
Suburban development began in the early 20th century and increased with the advent of the auto mobile. Two prominent estates, the Winsor estate on Meadowbrook Road and Hubbard estate on the south side, were subdivided after World War I. In the 1910s and 1920s, estates were purchased for educational use (Regis College and Weston College/Campion Center) and as golf courses (Weston Golf Club and Pine Brook Country Club). Many other large properties remained as open farm fields or woodlands through the Great Depression and World War II.
After World War II, construction of Routes 128 and the Massachusetts Turnpike, along with pent up demand for housing, led to subdivision of former estate properties and farms throughout the town. The postwar period was characterized by exponential growth and proactive efforts to control and guide this growth in order to preserve the rural character of the town. In the early 1950s, Weston's selectmen initiated two important growth-control measures: a zoning bylaw increasing the amount of land needed to build and a land-acquisition policy reducing the amount of developable land by purchasing it for the town. More than half of the town’s housing stock was built in the thirty years between 1950 and 1979 and consisted largely of single family houses on increasingly expensive land. Population growth brought increased demand for town services including schools, and five new schools were constructed between 1950 and 1969. In recent years, the major trend is for many of these postwar houses to be replaced by much larger houses.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.3 square miles (45 km2), of which 17.0 square miles (44 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 1.85%, is water.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,469 people, 3,718 households, and 2,992 families residing in the town. The population density was 674.0 people per square mile (260.2/km²). There were 3,825 housing units at an average density of 224.8 per square mile (86.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.26% White, 1.18% African American, 0.05% Native American, 6.82% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.90% of the population.
There were 3,718 households out of which 42.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.1% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.5% were non-families. 17.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $153,918 and the median income for a family was $200,000+, figures that had risen to $189,041 and over $230,000 by 2007. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $58,534 for females. The per capita income for the town was $105,640. About 2.1% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.
In 2017 Forbes ranked Weston, with an average home median price of $2,410,897, as the 117th most expensive zip code in the United States, and in 2018, PropertyShark ranked Weston the 84th most expensive zip code in the United States, and the third most expensive in Massachusetts. In 2018 Weston had the highest proportion of million-dollar earners among Massachusetts towns, about 44 per 1,000 residents.
As of December 2017, there were 7,632 active registered voters in Weston, with 501 voters listed as inactive. Among party enrollees, 1,869 were Democrats, and 1,211 Republicans, with the balance unenrolled.
Like much of New England, Weston has trended strongly Democratic on the federal level in recent years. Weston supported Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, as well as George H.W. Bush in 1988, against homestate Governor Mike Dukakis for president of the United States. However, it supported Bill Clinton in 1992, and has supported the Democratic candidate in every election since then, including Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.
Weston is located entirely within Massachusetts's 5th congressional district.
Weston is represented in the Massachusetts Senate by Michael J. Barrett (D).
Weston Public Schools (WPS) operates five schools:
Districtwide enrollment in October 2017 was 2,104 students. Among all Weston residents eligible to pursue elementary and secondary education in 2017, 76 percent were WPS students, 22 percent were students at private schools, and 2 percent were home schooled or attended other institutions. WPS has participated in the METCO program since 1967.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 79 percent of Weston's population over 25 years possesses a bachelor's degree, the third highest percentage among Massachusetts towns, following Carlisle and Sherborn.
The Massachusetts Turnpike traverses Weston in an east-west direction in the southern portion of town. The shared highway routes of Interstate 95 and Route 128 pass in a north-south direction on the town's eastern edge. The intersection of the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 128 is located in southeastern Weston.
Several state highways — U.S. Route 20 (Boston Post Road), Route 30 (South Avenue), and Route 117 (North Avenue) — travel east and west through the town.
As for public transportation, Weston is directly served by three MBTA Commuter Rail stations — Silver Hill, Hastings and Kendal Green — all on the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, with an inbound terminus at Boston's North Station while outbound service heads to Wachusett Station in the city of Fitchburg. Two of those three stations (Silver Hill and Hastings), however, are only served near or during rush hour periods with no weekend service. The commuter trains themselves only operate on half-hour intervals during rush hour; at all other times, trains in both directions operate with roughly 1 to 2-hour headways. Interestingly, several sections in the eastern one-quarter of Weston are within close proximity of additional (and more frequent) MBTA service. Just one mile across the town's southeastern border (and simultaneously the Charles River) in the neighboring city of Newton is Riverside Station, which is a park-and-ride facility serving the Green Line "D" Branch. Given its classification as a rapid transit station instead of a commuter rail stop, trains depart from Riverside roughly once every 6 to 13 minutes. The station is close enough that Weston residents living in the southeastern part of town can easily reach Riverside by car in roughly five minutes or arrive via bicycle in 13 minutes. Also barely east of Weston along U.S. Route 20 lies the starting point of MBTA Bus Route 70 at the Cedarwood bus stop in neighboring Waltham – just half a mile east from the town line (the bus itself literally comes within 100 feet of the Weston border when circling around a large rotary interchange off of Route 128 to reverse from outbound service to inbound). As of 2019, a total of 31 trips depart from the Cedarwood bus stop on weekdays – which averages out to one departure every 35 minutes. Bus Route 70 travels from Cedarwood to Central Square in Cambridge to connect with the MBTA Red Line.
Another local bus route – MBTA Bus Route 558 – technically crosses the border into Weston. Unfortunately, no bus stops for this route are located within the town as its only purpose of entering Weston is to gain access to the Route 128 highway for a short express trip to Riverside Station, where passengers can board this bus for service to Waltham and Downtown Boston.
The Weston Public Library (WPL), with holdings of 209,000, offers services and programs for adults and youth. With an annual circulation of 347,635 materials, which translates into 6,685 items checked out per week, WPL has one of the highest per-capita circulation rates of all libraries in Massachusetts. The Friends of the Weston Public Library provide financial support for the library's Local History Room, curate an ongoing rotation of art created by local artists, organize a series of musical concerts in the library's community room, and fund passes to Boston-area museums.
The Weston Art and Innovation Center, scheduled to open in Weston's Old Library in 2019, will offer hands-on learning opportunities related to art and technology. The Weston Media Center will also relocate to the WAIC.
The Weston Friendly Society, founded in 1885, is the second oldest community theatre in the United States. WFS performs musicals in the auditorium of Weston Town Hall several times a year. WFS donates money from its productions to local charitable causes.
Weston Drama Workshop, founded in 1962, is a summer youth theatre program. Performers and support staff consist of students from fifth grade to the age of 23 years. Productions were originally held at Country School and Weston High School, but since 1994, WDW has held its performances at Regis College.
News and features of interest to Weston residents are published in two periodicals: The Weston Town Crier, a weekly newspaper, and WellesleyWeston, a quarterly magazine launched in 2005. Both are available in the Weston Public Library and have an online presence.
Cedric Bryan Maxwell (born November 21, 1955) is an American retired professional basketball player now in radio broadcasting. Nicknamed "Cornbread", he played 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and played a key role in two championships with the Boston Celtics.Charles River Reservation Parkways
The Charles River Reservation Parkways are parkways that run along either side of the Charles River in eastern Massachusetts. The roads are contained within the Charles River Reservation and the Upper Charles River Reservation, and fall within a number of communities in the greater Boston metropolitan area. The Charles River parks extend from the Charles River Dam, where the Charles empties into Boston Harbor, to Riverdale Park in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Most of the roadways within the parks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a unit, although Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive are listed as part of the Charles River Basin Historic District.
The other roadways, listed in 2006, extend from Harvard Square to Newton Upper Falls. The roads on the river banks were improved at the beginning of the 20th century to provide a continuous route through the park.David Frank (musician)
David Martin Frank (born November 13, 1952) is an American music producer, composer, classically trained pianist, and founding member of the 1980s R&B group the System. Yamaha Music calls him "the founding father of electronic R&B."Jerry Remy
Gerald Peter Remy, commonly known as Jerry Remy, (born November 8, 1952) is an American Major League Baseball broadcaster and former Major League Baseball second baseman. Remy grew up in Somerset, Massachusetts. An all-star second baseman originally drafted by the California Angels in 1971, he was traded to his hometown Boston Red Sox in 1977. He retired from the sport in 1985 after a series of injuries and ventured into a career in broadcasting. He has served as a color commentator for NESN's Red Sox broadcasts since 1988, only taking some occasional time off for health problems.Jim Bowden
James Goodwin Bowden IV (born May 18, 1961) is an American baseball analyst. He is a co-host of SiriusXM's "Inside Pitch" on MLB Network Radio and a columnist for The Athletic. He previously worked for ESPN, writing a blog for ESPN.com titled "The GM's Office". He used to be a host and co-host on Fox Sports Radio, a baseball analyst for FoxSports.com and a Baseball Insider for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels for Fox Sports West. He has held positions of Senior Vice President and General Manager for both the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. On October 16, 1992 he became the youngest general manager in baseball history. He was named MLB Executive of the Year by Baseball America in 1999. Bowden's teams finished in first place in 1994 and 1995. Bowden has also worked in television for ESPN and Fox Sports West as well as local television and radio stations in both Cincinnati and Washington, D.C..Mike Leach (tennis)
Michael E. Leach (born March 9, 1960) is a former collegiate and ATP Tour professional tennis player who won the NCAA singles championship in 1982 while attending the University of Michigan.National Register of Historic Places listings in Weston, Massachusetts
Weston, Massachusetts has 15 locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary
Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary (formerly Blessed John XXIII National Seminary) is a Roman Catholic seminary in Weston, Massachusetts. It offers a graduate-level program designed for priesthood candidates aged 30 and above, often called "second-career vocations" or "delayed vocations".Founded by Boston Archbishop Richard Cardinal Cushing in 1964, the seminary was chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1972 and became accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in 1983. It awards graduates the M. Div. degree.Regis College (Massachusetts)
Regis College is a private Roman Catholic university in Weston, Massachusetts. Regis was founded as a women’s college in 1927. In 2007, Regis became co-educational; it was the last Catholic women's college in the Boston area to start admitting men.Rivers School
The Rivers School is an independent, coeducational preparatory school in Weston, Massachusetts.
Rivers' Middle School program includes grades 6-8, while its Upper School program includes grades 9-12. As of 2014, 489 students are enrolled from 70 Massachusetts towns. The Rivers School's endowment was $22.3 million for the 2014-15 academic year.Roche Bros.
Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Inc. is a chain of supermarkets based in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The company's stores are primarily located in the Boston Metro Area. Roche Bros. also operates the supermarket chain Sudbury Farms.
A third banner, Brothers Marketplace, primarily the next-generation concept of the brothers Ed and Rick Roche, has two locations both opened in 2014. The first one was opened in Weston, Massachusetts and a second in Medfield, Massachusetts.Stony Brook (Middlesex County, Massachusetts)
Stony Brook is a stream largely running through Weston, Massachusetts, then forming the Weston/Waltham boundary, and emptying into the Charles River across from the Waltham/Newton boundary. It has two tributaries, Cherry Brook and Hobbs Brook, and its watershed includes about half of Lincoln and Weston as well as parts of Lexington and Waltham. Since 1887, it has been the water supply for Cambridge.
Various water mills have been erected at the mouth of Stony Brook: a corn mill in 1679-80; a paper mill in about 1802.In the late 19th century, Eben Norton Horsford identified the mouth of Stony Brook as the location of a supposed Norse city, Norumbega, and commissioned the Norumbega Tower, which carries a long inscription describing the supposed city.
There are three large ponds, all artificial, in the Stony Brook watershed: the Cambridge Reservoir (Hobbs Pond), the Stony Brook Reservoir (Turtle Pond), and Flint's Pond (also known as Sandy Pond).
In 1887, on the site of Turtle Pond, the city of Cambridge completed construction of the Stony Brook Reservoir Dam, where Stony Brook joins the Charles, as part of its water supply. Stony Brook Reservoir has a drainage area of 23.57 square miles (61.0 km2) and an available storage capacity of 354,000,000 US gallons (1,340,000 m3) (1087 acre-feet). In 1910, Hobbs Pond was dammed to become the Cambridge Reservoir. Its drainage area is 7.25 square miles (18.8 km2) and its storage capacity is 2,338,000,000 US gallons (8,850,000 m3) (7178 acre-feet). Flint's Pond (also known as Sandy Pond) was dammed to become the reservoir for the town of Lincoln; the DeCordova Museum is on its southeast bank.Susan Perkins
Susan Perkins Botsford (born April 28, 1954), a native of Middletown, Ohio, was Miss America 1978.She has been a professional singer, spokesperson, and television reporter. Susan walked in the New York Marathon with the Achilles Club (which serves disabled and senior athletes) as a guide for an 80-year-old former Marine Colonel. She has participated in many volunteer activities supporting U.S. veterans, and in 2009 she toured Iraq with two other former Miss Americas.
Perkins Botsford was selected to the panel of judges for the preliminary competition of the Miss America 2018 pageant.Ted Johnson
Ted Curtis Johnson (born December 4, 1972) is a former American football player in the National Football League. He grew up in Carlsbad, California where he graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1991. From there he attended the University of Colorado and was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft with the 57th overall selection.The Cambridge School of Weston
The Cambridge School of Weston (also known as CSW or The Cambridge School) is an independent, coeducational high school in Weston, Massachusetts. Currently, the school has 325 students in grades 9 to 12 and postgraduate, with approximately 70% day students and 30% boarding students.Ulmus americana 'Burgoyne'
The putative American Elm cultivar Ulmus americana 'Burgoyne' was grown at the Arnold Arboretum until removed in 1988. The tree was raised from seeds of the Burgoyne Elm, grown for the town of Weston, Massachusetts, in 1965. The name of the tree was first noted in records of the Plant Sciences Data Center of the American Horticultural Society, but is not formally recognized as a valid cultivar.Weston High School (Massachusetts)
Weston High School is a high school (grades 9–12) in Weston, Massachusetts, United States, a suburb 12 miles west of Boston. The school is located at 444 Wellesley Street in Weston. As of October 2017, it had 693 students. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In 2017 Boston Magazine ranked Weston High School #3 in the Boston area. And in 2018 U.S. News & World Report ranked the school #15 in Massachusetts and #379 in the United States.Weston High School offers its students a comprehensive and diversified program. Academic courses range from basic to advanced levels. Honors courses are offered in mathematics, world history, foreign languages, and science, while specific Advanced Placement subjects include art, biology, calculus, statistics, computer science, English, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, European and U.S. History, and physics. Students must take at least five "majors" each semester and may include courses in the fine and applied arts, business, and home economics. The high school also has a highly successful extra-curricular program that includes athletics, clubs, student government and community service programs. Most students participate in these after-school activities, with athletics, theater, music, art, and publications being the most popular. "Wildcat Tracks" is the school newspaper.Specialists in the Skills Center and Guidance Department provide a broad range of tutoring, personal counseling, and college placement services. Among the special facilities available to students are a library with more than 15,000 books, videos, ebooks, and audiobooks and extensive on-line databases; four networked computer laboratories; a modern world language laboratory; a recorded books library; choral and instrument rooms; a dance studio; and a physical fitness and weight room. An indoor swimming pool and a synthetic surface track are among Weston's athletic facilities.Weston Observatory (Boston College)
Weston Observatory is a geophysical research laboratory of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Boston College. The Observatory is located in the town of Weston, Massachusetts, about 13 miles (21 km) west of downtown Boston.The Observatory, which has been recording earthquakes since the 1930s, conducts research on earthquakes and related processes, delivers public information after significant earthquakes occur, contributes to earthquake awareness to help reduce the tragic effects of earthquakes, and educates future generations of geoscientists and scientifically literate citizens.
Weston Observatory houses seismic instruments for the New England Seismic Network (NESN) and for the World-Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN), as well as office and lab space and a geophysics library. The Observatory monitors earthquakes around the world, with emphasis on the Northeast United States (and particularly New England), disseminates information pertinent to any seismic events that are recorded, and is also a center for education and public outreach about earthquakes and related phenomena.Weston Reservoir
The Weston Reservoir is part of the greater Boston water supply maintained by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. It is located in central Weston, with its principal public access point on Ash Street.
Until the 1960s, the Weston Reservoir was one of two primary distribution reservoirs close to Boston, receiving water from the Sudbury Reservoir via the Weston Aqueduct (placed in service in December 1903). In the 1930s the system was extended to include water from the Quabbin Reservoir, delivered to the Sudbury Reservoir via the Wachusett Reservoir and Wachusett Aqueduct. Ths system has since the mid-20th century been upgraded to use completely underground facilities downstream of the Wachusett Reservoir. The Weston Reservoir remains a backup connection to two underground storage tanks near the Massachusetts Turnpike elsewhere in Weston.
Walkers extensively use the area around the Weston Reservoir. This reservoir is maintained by the MWRA along with other open distribution reservoirs (Sudbury, Foss, Brackett, Stearns, Norumbega, Waban, Spot Pond, Chestnut Hill and Middlesex Fells) as a backup distribution system. The grounds of this reservoir are also used by the MWRA's Emergency Service Unit for training and storage of emergency trucks and equipment.
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
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