The Town of Wayland, west of Boston in Middlesex County, was originally settled in 1673 as part of the Sudbury plantation. The early settlers' economy was based on agriculture although some industries, such as grist and saw milling, grew from the available water power supply. The town is now an affluent suburban community within easy commuting distance of the city and retains no indications of its early industrial history.
Wayland was incorporated in 1780 but received its present name much later. The town was named after Francis Wayland, a preacher and president of Brown University, who established the first free library in Massachusetts, in Wayland, in 1848. It is one of the home communities of those executives who manage and direct companies in the high-tech industrial belt which occupies a good deal of the territory on and between Route 128 and Route 495, as well as of those who commute to the major Boston business and commercial centers. The town is praised by residents for its rural elegance and country charm and for its location, which makes all of the Boston area's cultural and recreational opportunities available. The school system is also a source of pride to the community, which feels that Wayland's school population receives one of the best educations the state has to offer. In modern times, Wayland has spent considerable time and effort establishing and protecting quiet, handsome neighborhoods of spacious homes. Townspeople have funded the purchase of property to maintain open space and have been aided in retaining a rural character for the town by the establishment of a national wildlife preserve. In addition, a portion of scenic Lake Cochituate lies within Wayland. The town maintains a municipal beach on the lake.
Eastern Massachusetts, bordered by Sudbury and Framingham on the west, Natick on the south, Concord and Lincoln on the north, and Weston on the east. The Sudbury River, Snake Brook, and part of Lake Cochituate are located in Wayland. Wayland is 17 miles west of Boston; 26 miles east of Worcester; 50 miles north of Providence, Rhode Island; and 203 miles from New York City.
Narrative compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
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