While Wellesley parents gallivanted around our beautiful campus this past weekend, there was one area that visitors were strictly forbidden from entering: the elusive Hunnewell estate.
The Hunnewell family –– philanthropists, prominent horticulturists, and owners of the mansion that’s just a little too old and a little too nice for them to have earned their money ethically –– has notoriously fenced off the property to Wellesley students. Historians concur that the Hunnewell-Wellesley feud began around the time that “women started getting those ideas.”
Resenting the fact that the typical Wellesley student has deviated from Docile Harvard Wife to Neo-Liberal Harlot, H. H. Hunnewell has funneled the family fortune into producing the next generation of dinner-cooking, party-hosting, husband-supporting tradwives to combat the consequences of releasing the new vermin-like genre of Wellesley graduates into society.
The Snooze got an insider perspective from a former Hunnewell pool boy who asked not to be identified. “It’s been 40 years since I set foot in that place … still have nightmares about it,” he said. He then muttered something under his breath about “doing the lobotomies.” When pressed for details, he gestured towards the lake. “Under there, in the complex, that’s where they used to put the crazy ladies.”
In hushed tones, the pool boy added that the guest house has been reserved for “experiments.” He refused to elaborate. “Hunnewell will know. He has ears everywhere. The plants are listening. And some of them are hungry.”
According to the pool boy, the Hunnewells have a bad habit of extending their visitors’ stays. Notably, at a dinner on the lawn in the 70s, there was an unfortunate incident involving five state senators and some pruning shears. Although a federal investigation “failed to find any evidence of conspiracy,” many have since speculated that this fiasco – aptly dubbed Gardengate – was the catalyst in a long line of strategic accidents that prevented the ratification of the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment. Though not much else is known about H. H. H. Hunnewell’s clandestine dinner parties, it is said that there are always a few seats saved for his collection of rare carnivorous plants. They join the rest of the guests halfway through the third course.
And what about those whimsically configured shrubs? Well, we might have just cracked the case. In addition to the expected lead contamination, soil samples taken from their side of Waban’s floor indicate peculiarly high levels of a complex chemical hybrid composed of equal parts pollen and human DNA.
Ever since relations soured between the Hunnewells and Wellesley College, the family has not hidden their disdain trespassers. Last year, Wellesley mourned the tragic disappearance of Harriet Busch, a well intentioned first-year, who was last spotted scaling the Hunnewell fence in her quest for “the old money aesthetic.” Local authorities dismissed her death as a casualty of the liberal arts education. They can call it a coincidence all they want, but that night, the white-gloved gardens of H. H. H. H. Hunnewell sprouted a new sycamore sapling.