Trapelo Road, in Waltham, Massachusetts

The pronunciation of Trapelo Road is controversial.It was originally named by the fur trappers in the area, because they would set a trap below, near the Beaver Brook, and pronounced like those two words run together.Reportedly, the pronunciation changed when non-local traffic broadcasters guessed at how to say its exit from I-95.Many people now put the accent on the second syllable. If the name came from theItalian, and it was spelled "Trapello", that might make sense.The longest road in Waltham, it enters from Lincoln at the north-west border,and exits to the east where it joins Waverley Oaks Road, and then enters Belmont.Along the way, it intersects I-95,Lexington Street, and Forest Street.

Jon N. LeChevet, on 6/3/13, wrote this about the name of the road:"Read your discussion on the origin of the name for Trapelo Road. I lived in Watertown many years ago and came up Trapelo on my way home from University in Boston. I recall the origin of the name coming from the French and meaning a particular way two teams of horses were hitched to pull a single wagon. Supposedly there was a business where a second team of horses would be hooked {en trapello] to a goods wagon so that it could make it up the hill and continue its journey West. The second team would then go back down the hill and wait for the next customer. Sort of the way the railroads use to engage a helper engine to get a freight train up a steep grade.Tried to find the term on the Internet, but to no avail - guess I need to find an old French trapper? <];-)"

#685 Trapelo Road is historically significant as one of the last houses built on Trapelo Road prior to suburban development. It was built c.1902 by Charles Lowell Wellington. As early as 1636, Roger Wellington was granted land in Watertown in what is now the Mount Auburn Cemetery. In 1659, he bought a house and 12 acres of land in the northern part of the town, now in Belmont. He died in March 1697-98, age-88 years. His son, Joseph was the only one to settle in the West precinct (Waltham). His house was on the south side of Trapelo Road near the northeast corner of land now owned by the Walter E. Fernald State School. A Thomas and Rebecca Simmons Wellington purchased a farm at Trapelo Road and Woburn Street in 1718. Charles Lowell Wellington was the last member of the family to hold the whole property. He sold #685 Trapelo Road to a William Thompson ca.1915. In 1918, the house was purchased by Ervin Castner who married into the Wellington family. The main Wellington house was the Georgian house at 735 Trapelo Road (built ca.1779). # 685 Trapelo Road remains in the Castner family to the present day - 1984.

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