First Parish In Wayland
The First Parish In Wayland is the assembly point for the the Sudbury March to Concord that goes through Wayland starting on Patriots’ Day (April 19 each year) at 3:45 am. The march stops for a commemorative salutes at Grout-Heard House and North Cemetery and ends with a salute at the Olde East Company Training Field before breakfasting around 5am. Then, the company leapfrogs to Old Sudbury Center to ready for the next leg, the Sudbury March to the Old North Bridge in Concord.
In 1640 a group of colonists from Watertown under the leadership of Pastor Edmund Brown settled near the east bank of the Sudbury River. Two years later, the original First Parish meetinghouse was built: one room with a dirt floor and thatched roof. As “Sudbury Plantation” grew, so did First Parish. Three successive meetinghouses were built (in 1652, 1682 and 1725), serving not only as church but also as community center, storehouse, and stockade.
In 1722 the settlers on the west side of the river, plagued each spring by isolating floods, built a second church in Sudbury. The communities separated in 1780: the west side of the river kept the name of Sudbury, and the east side was called East Sudbury (later to be renamed Wayland).