Wayland was the first settlement of Sudbury Plantation in 1638. The Town of East Sudbury was incorporated on April 10, 1780, on land east of the Sudbury River that had formerly been part of Sudbury. On March 11, 1835, East Sudbury became Wayland, a farming community, presumably in honor of Dr. Francis Wayland, who was president of Brown University and a friend of East Sudbury’s Judge Edward Mellen. Both Wayland and Mellen became benefactors of the town’s library, the first free public library in the state.
The Wayland Free Public Library was established in 1848 and is arguably the first in Massachusetts. The building was rebuilt in 1900, and is a landmark in the town of Wayland.
In 2010, Boston Duck Tours was asked to help transport flood victims in Wayland. Torrential rains had left Pelham Island area of Wayland isolated and the Ducks were brought in to ferry people in and out of their neighborhood until the waters receded.
The Wayland display server protocol is named after the town.