(Summarized from Helen Emery, The Puritan Village Evolves and Barbara Robinson, Wayland Historical Tours)


Wayland was originally the eastern half of Sudbury. The General Court granted land for fifty to sixty families to settle the Sudbury Plantation in 1638. It stretched from above Dudley Pond in the south to the present northern boundaries with Lincoln, east to the present Weston border (then Watertown, later Waltham) and west to include most of present day Sudbury. On this east side there were also five grants to individuals that later become incorporated: - one was Pelham Island/HeardŐs Pond to River Row; of the other four, three became what we call Cochituate today. In 1721 these grants were formally annexed, extending the eastern side of town south to its current boundaries east of the river. East and west sides of Sudbury of the river separated in 1780, with the east side becoming East Sudbury and the west retaining the original name. In 1835 East Sudbury was given its current name of Wayland. 


In the original plantation, the center and first three meetinghouses were at the North Cemetery site. The southern farmers agreed to join if the meetinghouse were moved farther south and it was built across from present-day Unitarian Church near the triangle. The Unitarian Church was the fifth town church. The center was in this area at the time of the Civil War when the town was still mostly farmland, stone walls divided pastures and properties.  Town services included stores (drygoods), stables, blacksmiths, wheelrights, doctors, schools, churches, post office, library and town hall.  At the beginning of the Civil War, the population of the town totaled a little over 1100 (1137):  with most people living in the Town Center area (778); Cochituate Village area being 359.  By 1880, the total population was almost 2000 (1962):  with the greater number of people living in the Cochituate Village area (1161) compared to 801 in Town Center area.  The north remained farm-based while the south became a center of the shoe industry.