Wellesley Historical Society

Diehl's - History Mystery, January 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015 - Question

As you try to keep warm this winter, consider how early residents of Wellesley kept their houses comfortable 100 years ago.  Many would have heated their homes with a coal-fired boiler or furnace.  Coal was an important source of energy at the turn of the twentieth century, not just for home heating, but also for industry and transportation.  The image above shows a coal yard at a long-lived Wellesley business – can you name this company or its location?  Come back on January 28th for the answer!

January 28, 2015 - Answer

William Diehl brought F. Diehl and Son to Wellesley in 1876 and it continued to be a family-run business on Linden Street for over 100 years.  The image shows the F. Diehl and Son coal yard c.1900, which was served by a spur track from the adjacent Boston & Albany railroad.  Commonly known as "Diehl's," the company  sold a variety of products including coal, wood, ice, hay, building and masonry supplies, horse supplies and animal feed.  In later years, Diehl's occupied a large footprint on both sides of Linden Street and added oil, propane, hardware, and gardening supplies.  Diehl's finally closed its doors in the early 2000's and new businesses began move in and revitalize the area, now known as Linden Square.

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