Wellesley is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of Greater Boston. The population was 27,982 at the time of the 2010 census. It is best known as the home of Wellesley College, Babson College, and a campus of Massachusetts Bay Community College. Olin College, an engineering school, has a campus that spans from Needham, Massachusetts into Wellesley and is adjacent to Wellesley's Babson College.
Wellesley was settled in the 1630s as part of Dedham, Massachusetts. It was subsequently a part of Needham, Massachusetts called West Needham, Massachusetts. On October 23, 1880, West Needham residents voted to secede from Needham, and the town of Wellesley was later christened by the Massachusetts legislature on April 6, 1881. The town was named after the estate of local benefactor Horatio Hollis Hunnewell.
Wellesley's population grew by over 80 percent during the 1920s.
The town designated Cottage Street and its nearby alleys as the historic district in its zoning plan. Most houses in this district were built around the 1860s and qualify as protected buildings certified by the town's historic commission.