North 40 / Blossom St. – History Mystery, August 2014

August 14, 2014 – Question

This image is from an 1897 Wellesley atlas found in our Maps & Plans Collection.  Note the triangular section of land at the corner of Central St. and Blossom St.  Can anyone guess what this controversial plot of land is called today?  Extra credit if you know what name Blossom St. is known by today!  Check back on August 28th for the answer.

August 28, 2014 – Answer

The triangular section of land at the corner of Central St. and Blossom St. is currently referred to as the “North 40.” The plot is roughly 40 acres, owned by Wellesley College, and is located adjacent to the main campus along Central St./Rt.135.  Although currently unused by the College, it contains community gardens and walking trails that are available to the public. The property has become the subject of much contention in town due to Wellesley College’s current desire to sell the land.
Weston Rd. was known in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as Blossom St. as you can see in the 1897 atlas image pictured above. Charles H. Mansfield, a former Blossom St. resident and Wellesley postmaster, reminisced in a Feb. 28, 1908 letter to the Townsman about how Weston Rd. received its alternate name:
“There is a little story in connection with the way in which the street came to be called Blossom street.  My mother had quite a large flower garden which was her delight, and one morning a signboard, ‘Blossom street,’ was found to have been placed just below our house in the night time by some one,  who was never known, and the street was called Blossom street from that time.”