The history of Wellington is similar to that of other communities around it, with the difference being a lack of Native American inhabitants. The area was originally called “Dennison’s Woods” after James Dennison Jr., who in 1634 bought land from John Winthrop and built his house (the oldest standing structure) on what would become Mill Street. In 1707, Daniel Tuttle offered land for sale as an acre lot at two pounds per acre with no restrictions on use or building type – something unheard-of at that time; this quickly led to the establishment of many new homes throughout Malden MA. Today there are more than 700 residences within the neighborhood boundaries, some dating back to 18th century Colonial America, when George Washington was president.
The Wellington neighborhood is one of the best-preserved Colonial neighborhoods in North America and its architecture reflects this, as most houses are pre-1930s American Foursquares with gabled roofs, porches or porticos on either side and large lawns that extend to the street. The homes include: six brick Federal style row houses; a pair each of Georgian and Greek Revival style two story single family dwellings; three examples of Italianate Victorian mansions; four rows of nine late 19th century Four Square cottages; five rows each containing ten early 20th century bungalows built for workers at nearby General Electric Edison plant during World War I boom times – these were later converted into condominium apartments; and a rare three bay, one story house with an “L” shape.
The neighborhood also has the first post office in America (built 1838), the oldest continuously running elementary school (established 1830 – now Wellington Elementary School) and the site of Malden’s second library building (1914). The beautifully landscaped public park at Centre Street is home to a bandstand/gazebo that was originally erected by soldiers from nearby Fort Devens during World War I as well as memorial statues commemorating American servicemen killed in wars since 1890.