Wellesley Historical Society

Diehl's Stable - History Mystery, April 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 14, 2015 - Question

The building above was located on Central Street in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Does anyone know exactly where it was located and what it was used for?  Return on April 28th for the answer!

April 28, 2015 - Answer

Patrick O’Connell built the livery stable pictured above in 1885 and sold it to Frederick Diehl Jr. about 5 years later (Fred Diehl was the brother of William Diehl, founder of F. Diehl & Sons, another Wellesley business).  The stable was located on Central Street at the corner of Crest Rd and up to 40 horses were kept in Diehl’s stable, including a pair of horses that serviced the old Fire Station 1 on Church St.  The Wellesley Fire Department didn’t acquire its first motorized vehicle until 1912 so horses pulled the fire apparatus and were on call day and night at Diehl’s stable. (See “Wellesley’s First Motorized Fire Engine, History Mystery Sept. 2014)  According to the remembrances of a Wellesley resident, “at the sound of the fire alarm [the horses] . . . would be released from their stalls at Diehl’s stable; the pair raced by themselves across Central St. . . . to Church St. next to Hose 1 House; there they backed into the double shafts of the hose wagon to be harnessed and hitched up!” (The Townsman April 4, 1963, page 17).

With the rise of the automobile, the need for Diehl’s stable decreased and it was razed in 1926.  A local developer purchased the property and opened the Colonial Building in 1927 which housed local businesses such as The Townsman newspaper, Wellesley Motors and the Colonial Filling Station.  Today this area continues to thrive as a busy commercial area and includes businesses such as Faber’s Rug Co. and Juniper Restaurant.  A newer building was constructed in the area of the old gas station and now serves up a different kind of fuel at Peet’s Coffee and Tea.

Kathleen Fahey, Curator


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