Concord Series: Part Three

  • Kelly Byquist

This is the third in a three-part series about the growth of the Christian Science church in Concord, New Hampshire.

July 17, 1904, was a momentous day for Christian Scientists and for the city of Concord, New Hampshire. For almost seven years, Mary Baker Eddy had shepherded the Christian Science church in her adopted hometown. She’d written inspiring letters and messages to the congregation; sent flowers from Pleasant View, her home on the outskirts of the city; and started and contributed liberally to a Building Fund. During these years, Christian Scientists from across the nation and around the world rallied behind her, contributing to the fledgling church. Finally, in the summer of 1904, the much-anticipated First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, was completed.

“This church, born in my nativity, may it build upon the rock of ages against which the waves and winds beat in vain,” Mrs. Eddy wrote in a message that was delivered on Dedication Day. “Unity is spiritual cooperation, heart to heart, the bond of blessedness such as my beloved Christian Scientists all over the field, and the dear Sunday School children, have demonstrated in gifts to me of about eighty thousand dollars, to be applied to building, embellishing, and furnishing our church edifice in Concord, N. H.”1

That summer day in 1904 celebrated a gift – a gift from one woman and the entire Christian Science field. Today, this gift continues to stand as a testament to “unity” and “spiritual cooperation,” blessing its members, the city of Concord, visitors, and the wider field.

Left: First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Concord, New Hampshire, 1904. Photograph, P2326, Longyear Museum collection. Right: Today, the church continues to hold church services and welcome visitors.

It all began with an idea.

“When the good effects of Christian Science are seen and sufficiently understood in Concord to be appreciated,” Mrs. Eddy wrote to a local newspaper in 1897, “then, Deo volente, a beautiful stone church will be erected on one of the finest locations in this city.”2 A few months later, she formed a Building Trust and seeded it with $100,000 of her own funds.3 It would be a number of years before work began on the granite structure she envisioned, however, so a house in the center of town was purchased and repurposed to serve as the church’s temporary home in the interim.4

Christian Science Hall was purchased, remodeled, furnished, and designed at Mrs. Eddy’s direction. Located on the corner of North State and School Streets in Concord, New Hampshire, it housed the growing Concord congregation between 1897 and 1903. The building was eventually torn down and replaced by the beautiful granite edifice of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord. Photograph, P2316, Longyear Museum collection.
Irving Tomlinson circa 1903, dressed in what is likely his Sunday best! Tomlinson served as pastor and First Reader in Christian Science Hall and at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord from 1899 through 1906. Clipping from unidentified New England newspaper.

“This setting aside by Mrs. Eddy of $100,000 for a church home was consistent with her entire religious life,” wrote Irving Tomlinson, who had come to Concord in 1899 at Mrs. Eddy’s invitation to help shepherd the growing congregation. “Herein was the faith that God would prosper her infant church; herein was the confidence that her followers would be worthy of such munificence; herein was charity that never faileth—for at this time Mrs. Eddy gave to her home city for their temple beautiful about one half of all her available funds. With so much love as she bestowed the gift with no less wisdom did she guard its safety and perpetuity.”5

For five and a half years, local Christian Scientists and Concord visitors enjoyed attending church services at Christian Science Hall. Mrs. Eddy visited on occasion as well—she delivered two sermons and taught her final class in the Hall—but these temporary quarters were only a steppingstone. By 1903, the time was ripe for a permanent church structure.6

That summer, when plans for a new edifice were announced and demolition of Christian Science Hall was set to begin, the local press was quick to report on the “fraternal good will from sister churches in Concord.” The local Episcopal church offered its parish hall as a temporary place of worship to Christian Scientists.  The Unitarian church offered their premises as well, and for thirteen months the Christian Science congregants gratefully held services in the latter.7 New Hampshire’s State Treasurer heartily approved, calling this plan an expression of “Christian courtesy” and the “ideal of Christian brotherhood.”8

On July 16, 1903, the cornerstone was laid.9

But the project got off to a bumpy start. It wasn’t long after the laying of the cornerstone that Mrs. Eddy and the Trustees of the Building Fund saw the writing on the wall: The cost of construction was going to far exceed the amount she had so generously donated.10 Stuck in a bind, what was the church to do?

First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Concord during construction. Work began in July 1903 and took exactly one year to complete. Private collection.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long before financial gifts began to pour in like a floodtide. Donations came from Christian Scientists all over the country, and even from other parts of the world. They came from congregations large and small, and from children in Sunday Schools. Some gifts numbered in the thousands of dollars; others were as small as a meek one-dollar bill. Every cent was appreciated; no gift went unnoticed. The “princely generosity of Christian Scientists” didn’t go unnoticed by the press.11

Six branch churches in Chicago banded together to donate $10,000 to pay for the pews.12 A church in New York and The Mother Church in Boston both funded that same amount to pay for stained-glass windows (which Mrs. Eddy described as “exceptional specimens of the highest art”13) and the organ.14 The Christian Science church in New London, Connecticut, donated a beautiful cabinet, while a church in Los Angeles contributed to the chancel, the platform space used by the Readers and soloist.15

A pair of transept windows were a gift from First Church, New York City, and were designed in Birmingham, England, by John Hardiman and Son. This four-paned set of stained-glass windows depict Christ Jesus (dressed in a red robe) healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and casting out demons, which is based on a passage from the Bible—Matthew 10:8. Photographs courtesy Evan Bryant.

A couple paid for the flooring of the church, while individuals and Sunday School children furnished a room in the church for Mrs. Eddy’s use.16 An anonymous donor underwrote the edifice’s bronze doors; another supplied oriental rugs.17 The chimes were a gift, as were the furnishings in the Reading Room.18 A Christian Science Students’ Association in Colorado sent $10 a month to pay for flowers for the Sunday services, while churches in North and South Carolina sent a specially-made flower arrangement in addition to a monetary gift.19 In total, about $80,000 was generously donated by Christian Scientists and church congregations across the nation and abroad.20

The Busy Bees, a group of Christian Science Sunday School students from around the world, banded together to help contribute and raise funds for a room for Mrs. Eddy’s use in the Concord church, just as they had earlier for the Original Edifice of The Mother Church. Entries in the Busy Bees Fund account book list donations as coming from China, Canada, and throughout the United States. LMDB-38093, Longyear Museum collection.

“At this late day it has dawned upon us what the new church at Concord stands for,” one couple wrote to the treasurer of the building fund shortly before Dedication Day. “As The Mother Church stands in our thought for the Fatherhood and Motherhood of God, so does the church at Concord stand for the Brotherhood of man. This explains to us the desire to help demonstrated by so many of the churches. . . . How divinely natural that our love for God be first shown by love for the brother.”21

Mrs. Eddy, who passed by the building site on her daily carriage ride, was keenly interested in the proceedings.

Invitations to Dedication Day, which included the order of exercises, were printed for the occasion. Longyear Museum collection.

“The new church gives me a sense of peace and harmony,” she remarked to Irving Tomlinson. “When I come near it I feel its unity and spiritual harmony. It is like leaving a hot room and coming into a cool refreshing one. . . . The architect has tried to make the church as perfect as possible. The stone turnings are far handsomer than I had expected.”22

Others were also impressed by the structure. “The edifice to be occupied by First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Concord, is without doubt the most beautiful structure of the kind in this state,” enthused the Concord Monitor.23

Concord’s Mayor personally thanked Mrs. Eddy for her generosity and benevolence, adding, “You have already done much to make us your debtors but in this later benefaction you have surely extended our indebtedness to generations to come.”24

On July 16, 1904, exactly one year after construction began, the building was completed. First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, was dedicated the following day.25

What a sight it must have been, as Christian Scientists gathered from all over the country to celebrate! Looking around the lovely edifice, graced with so many symbols of benevolence and charity, it would have been impossible not to recognize their source: gratitude for God and to Mrs. Eddy for her discovery of the Science that had brought them all together.

The Christian Science churches in North and South Carolina sent a large cross of gladioli which was displayed on Dedication Day. Photograph, LMDB-12055, Longyear Museum collection.

In her remarks that day, Second Reader Mary Tomlinson spoke of these manifold blessings: “The fact that Concord is the home of the Discoverer of Christian Science has made this church the recipient of rich and beautiful gifts, which are but natural expressions of gratitude to God and love to our Leader for the great good received through her ministry.”26

Crowds of visitors gather outside First Church, Christ, Scientist, in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1904. Photograph, P2329, Longyear Museum collection.

Mary’s brother Irving, who was serving as First Reader in Concord, also spoke that day to the estimated four to five thousand eager listeners. Many were prominent Christian Scientists working in the field—practitioners, lecturers and teachers, readers and other church officers, editors of the periodicals—others included lawyers, journalists, government officials, public officers, and ministers.27

The inscription above the central doorway of the church reads: “A Gift from Mary Baker G. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, to First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, New Hampshire.” Photograph courtesy Evan Bryant.

“The long looked for day dawned fair and peaceful,” Tomlinson later recorded.28 In his address to the congregation, he noted, “Our hearts, on this glad day, are vocal with psalms of gratitude to the heavenly Father for His manifold benefits. And now we turn in joy and gratitude to her whose steadfast loyalty to God has made her our beloved Leader all the toilsome way. All this, and far more, is to us the meaning of these stones. They shall be ‘a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.’ We all know that the visible edifice is but the symbol of the invisible idea which it enshrines.”29

The “crowning feature of the programme,” reported the Concord Monitor, was none other than Mrs. Eddy’s own dedicatory address, which was read by Bicknell Young, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship.30

“Mrs. Eddy’s illuminating and suggestive sentences sank deeply into the mind of the vast congregation,” the Monitor observed, “who listened with rapt attention as her thought was developed in chaste and striking phrase. Many were moved to tears by her language and all received a strong spiritual uplift from her words of mighty, yet tender, import.”31

Though Mrs. Eddy did not attend any of the four services held that day,32 she did go on her customary daily carriage ride, driving past the church and the crowd awaiting the afternoon service. As the church chimed a welcome, she bowed and saluted from the window to the visiting guests and other bystanders who lined the sidewalks.

“Mrs. Eddy surveyed the throng smilingly,” noted a local journalist.33

A month earlier, in June 1904, when many visitors were in Concord during the Annual Meeting of The Mother Church in Boston, a photographer caught crowds lining the streets to view Mrs. Eddy on her daily carriage ride. Boston Globe, June 14, 1904.

Concord was abuzz on Dedication Day, its hospitality on full display. The Unitarian church and the Memorial Parish Hall of the Episcopal church threw their doors open to help accommodate the visitors. Private houses, clubs, the Concord City Building, the Capital Fire Insurance Company’s offices (which offered guests the use of their space as cloak rooms), the First National Bank, the Concord Monitor’s counting room, and local retail stores also welcomed the throngs. Concord’s City Marshal opened the town’s police precinct, which displayed a sign above its door that read, “Christian Scientists, Welcome.” Lemonade and cookies were served at William Thompson’s shoe store, a shop which proved of special interest to those visitors who knew of Mrs. Eddy’s connection to it through her funding of shoes for needy children.34

Mary Baker Eddy returning to Pleasant View from a carriage ride in 1896. Her longtime secretary, Calvin Frye, is at the reins. Photograph, P0024, Longyear Museum collection.

Newspapers far and wide covered the new church’s Dedication Day services.

“The late convention of Christian Scientists must bring home to every candid mind the truth that the Christian Science movement is one of the most remarkable phenomena of the age,” reported a small-town paper in Maine.35 No matter what one may believe about Christian Science,” wrote the Lawrence (Mass.) Telegram, “no person of intelligence can fail to realize that this woman is one of the most remarkable personages of the twentieth century. Any personality which can command such a following as Mrs. Eddy has gathered under the banner of Christian Science, is certainly in a marked degree extraordinary.”36

Over the next few years, Mrs. Eddy would continue to bestow gifts upon the city of Concord, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Concord’s municipal buildings and institutions. She would give to charities, help fund the paving of roads, and support local manufacturers and businesses.37 And her benevolence extended far beyond her adopted hometown.

“When any calamity came upon any part of the country, she has ever been the first to make liberal contribution,” noted the Concord Daily Patriot in 1908. “Not only has Mrs. Eddy been generous and humane in a public way, but she has been charitable in the most personal and private way, for she has given, and given when and where no one knew,—given whenever and wherever she was satisfied and convinced that by giving she would relieve suffering, advance the interests of a worthy cause, promote a worthy effort, or stimulate one with a proper ambition to struggle on.”38

Click here to learn about current preservation efforts at First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Concord, New Hampshire, which welcomes continued support.

This is part three of a three-part series. The first article focused on the 1899 Old Home Week, and the second article looked more closely at Christian Science Hall.


  1. First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, 162. Her message was read by Bicknell Young, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship.
  2. “Dedication of the Church in Concord,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 739-743. Mrs. Eddy did not initially intend to build a church when she moved to Concord in 1889, but as she told the editor of the Concord Monitor in 1904, she ultimately consented to the growing need: “The movement of establishing in this city a church of our faith was far from my purpose, when I came here, knowing that such an effort would involve a lessening of the retirement I so much desired. But the demand increased, and I consented, hoping thereby to give to many in this city a church home.” Miscellany, 163-164.
  3. This translates to over $3 million in 2020 dollars. The original trustees of the building fund were Calvin Frye, Ezra Buswell, and George Moore. Over the next few years they were replaced by Fred Ladd, Josiah Dwight, and J. Wesley Plummer. In addition to serving as one of the original trustees of the fund, Calvin Frye was also a charter member of the church, as was Minnie Weygandt, her sister Mary Weygandt, Joseph and Pauline Mann, Lydia Hall, Irving Tomlinson, his sister Mary Tomlinson, and Anna and Alfred Baker. John Salchow was also a member of the church at some point. “Building Trusts for First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, New Hampshire,” Longyear Museum Collection, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (hereafter referenced as LMC). Miscellany, 157-158. “Articles of Association of First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Concord, N. H.,” LMC. John Salchow, “Reminiscences of Mr. John G. Salchow,” 75, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection, The Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston, Massachusetts (hereafter referenced as MBEL). Minnie Weygandt, “Reminiscences of Miss Minnie Bell Weygandt and of Miss Mary Ellen Weygandt,” 73-74, MBEL. The Christian Scientists in Concord responded with sincere gratitude to Mrs. Eddy’s gift: “Beloved Teacher and Leader:—The members of the Concord Church are filled with profound joy and deep gratitude that your generous gift of $100,000 is to be used at once to build a beautiful church edifice for your followers in the capital city of your native state. We rejoice that the prosperity of the Cause in your home city where, without regard to class or creed, you are so highly esteemed, makes necessary the commodious and beautiful church home you have so freely bestowed. We thank you for this renewed evidence of your unselfish love.” Miscellany, 157. In total, Mrs. Eddy would give $120,000 ($100,000 for the church edifice and $20,000 for the land and expenses associated with Christian Science Hall). In 2020 dollars, this amounts to nearly $4 million. “Rev. Mary Baker Eddy’s Gift,” Christian Science Sentinel 5 (May 9, 1903): 573.
  4. According to Irving Tomlinson, while Mrs. Eddy desired to have a church built, she wanted the organization to be established first and foremost: “Mrs. Eddy with her usual wisdom had been in no haste to form a church organization among her Concord followers. She saw the advantage of postponing the formation of a church organization until the band of loyal adherents had so grown that when organized as a branch church of Christ, Scientist, it would command the attention and respect of the community.” Irving Tomlinson, “Reminiscences of Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson, C.S.B.,” 286-287, MBEL.
  5. Ibid., 297. At Mrs. Eddy’s invitation, Tomlinson would serve as Pastor and First Reader in Christian Science Hall and at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord from 1899 through 1906. In addition to this and his work as a Christian Science practitioner and teacher during these years, Tomlinson also started the church’s Sunday School, was appointed to the Bible Lesson committee, and served as Committee on Publication for the state of New Hampshire.
  6. “Let us have our church built,” Mrs. Eddy urged Tomlinson in February. “The Hall looks shabby.” Mary Baker Eddy to Irving C. Tomlinson, February 8, 1903, L03785, MBEL.
  7. “The Final Meeting,” Christian Science Sentinel 5 (June 13, 1903): 649, reprinted from the Concord Evening Monitor; “Dedication of the Church in Concord,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 739-743. “In offering to the members of the Church of Christ, Scientist, of Concord, a temporary church home while their new church is building,” the church’s Prudential Committee wrote to Mrs. Eddy, “the Unitarian Society was merely carrying out that Christian spirit which for so many years has been such a marked characteristic of the religious bodies and people of Concord. More than seventy years ago, when theological lines were tautly drawn elsewhere, the old North Congregational Society offered its house of worship to the newly formed Unitarian Society for the installation of its first pastor, which offer was accepted. The liberal spirit then shown, and since often repeated, is further emphasized by your teachings.” “An Expression of Thanks to Mrs. Eddy,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (January 30, 1904): 344. Further indication of the kindness expressed is evident by the fact that both the Episcopal and Unitarian churches were only going to charge the Christian Science congregation a small rental fee to cover such basics as heat, lighting, and janitorial services. Tomlinson reminiscences, 626, MBEL. Kind words and support continued among these “sister churches” over the years. In appreciation for using their edifice, Mrs. Eddy gave $300 to the Unitarian church, and personally invited Louis H. Buckshorn, its pastor, to the dedication several years later. “Dear Madam,” Buckshorn wrote her on receipt of the invitation, “I am sorry not to be able to be present at the dedication of your beautiful church on coming Sabbath. I know it is a great addition to the beauty of Concord, and will be a help in the spiritual life of our city.” “Letters to our Leader,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (August 6, 1904): 781.
  8. Solon A. Carter to Mary Baker Eddy, June 1, 1903, republished in The Christian Science Journal 21 (July 1903): 258.
  9. Thousands of Christian Scientists had planned to gather in Concord to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone, but Mrs. Eddy requested that they not. “Simple Affair, Few There,” read the Boston Herald subhead. “Some five minutes before the time appointed for the services to begin,” the Herald reported, “a procession formed at Eagle Hotel, led by the Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson of Concord and the Rev. Herman S. Hering, first reader of the Mother Church in Boston. Some 25 ladies and gentlemen, including the trustees of the Mother Church, walked in the procession to the site of the new church, where they took places upon a platform.” Then, Irving Tomlinson read scriptural readings, and led the small group in silent prayer and the audible repetition of the Lord’s Prayer. Next, a letter from Mrs. Eddy was read aloud. It began: “This day drops down upon the glories of summer; it is a glad day, in attune with faith’s fond trust. We live in an age of Love’s divine adventure to be All-in-all.” (Miscellany, 158) “Corner-stone Laid in Mrs. Eddy’s Town,” Boston Herald, July 16, 1903.
  10. Fred N. Ladd, Josiah E. Dwight, and J. Wesley Plummer were the trustees of the building fund; Eli Noyes Whitcomb was the builder; and Francis Richmond Allen and his young protégé, Charles Collins, were the architects. This was not Whitcomb’s first job. In 1894, he was one of the contractors involved in building the Original Edifice of The Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, and at the time was involved with preparations for its Extension. To learn more about Mr. Whitcomb’s involvement with the church in Concord, see “Building ‘Mrs. Eddy’s gift’ to Concord, New Hampshire,” September 1, 2017, MBEL, Despite Mrs. Eddy’s insistence that the cost of the church not exceed her gift of $100,000, Whitcomb outspent the budget, and kept loose records of his expenditures. Mrs. Eddy saw this as the work of animal magnetism undermining the workmen as well as the project. It is possible that Whitcomb had planned on paying the overages out of his own pocket. Either way, to make matters worse, Whitcomb passed on during construction, and his estate demanded immediate remuneration. Stuck in a bind, and with a potential lawsuit hanging over their heads, the building fund’s trustees took full responsibility for paying for the expensive edifice. In the end, Whitcomb and Co. alone would be paid $169,159. Tomlinson reminiscences, 301-303, 307-308, 316-320, MBEL. Statement of funds of the Trustees of the Building Fund, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, New Hampshire, LMC. Irving Tomlinson to Unknown, April 22, 1936, Concord, NH—First Church of Christ, Scientist—Construction and Contributions, MBEL; Unknown to Mr. Ladd, Mr. Moore, and Mr. Plummer, January 7, 1921, Concord, NH—First Church of Christ, Scientist—Construction and Contributions, MBEL.
  11. The New Hampshire Daily Patriot reported monetary gifts as coming from every part of the United States as well as Europe, Australia, China, England, and Scotland. “Come at Invitation of Their Revered Leader,” Daily Patriot, June 13, 1904; see also “Magnificent Church,” Boston Globe, June 13, 1904. “The loyalty of Christian Scientists to their beloved Leader has been well illustrated in spontaneous and unsolicited donations toward the furnishings of the home church of Mrs. Eddy,” another local paper reported. “Mrs. Eddy’s Grand Gift,” Concord Monitor, June 16, 1904.
  12. Roughly 4,500 Christian Scientists in Chicago, comprising six branch churches, sent $10,000 to purchase seats in the auditorium. In a letter to Mrs. Eddy, the donors wrote: “The opportunity for making this offering has been welcomed by our people with joyful acclamation, and they ask that you will accept this present as a token of grateful appreciation of the benefits of Christian Science and of deep, tender, and lasting reverence and affection for you, the Discoverer and Founder. The sum thus tendered for this object represents the heartfelt, earnest desires and hopes of a great body of people in this western metropolis, looking toward the accomplishment of your ‘life purpose,’ which, defined by you in your own most forceful words, is ‘to impress humanity with the genuine recognition of practical, operative Christian Science.’” “An Easter Gift,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (April 16, 1904): 520. Mrs. Eddy’s response is also in this article, and was later republished in Miscellany, 164-165.
  13. Daily Patriot, September 12, 1905; reprinted in Tomlinson reminiscences, 323, MBEL.
  14. First Church of Christ, Scientist, in New York City paid for the transept stained-glass windows. “A Generous Gift,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (June 11, 1904): 648. Mrs. Eddy’s reply is in this article, and was later republished in Miscellany, 165. Local members of The Mother Church purchased the organ. Mrs. Eddy’s gratitude for their gift is recorded in Miscellany, 166. Additionally, Christian Scientists in Boston purchased and donated an adjoining lot for $12,000. Tomlinson reminiscences, 302-303, MBEL.
  15. The cabinet cost $175. Miscellany, 166-167. Elma P. Jones, “Letters to Our Leader,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (August 6, 1904): 781-782.
  16. Charles H. Dale and his wife donated $1,000, and later gave $10,000 to pay for the rubber tiling of the floor. Tomlinson reminiscences, 309, 320-321, MBEL; Concord Monitor, June 16, 1904.
  17. “Come at Invitation of Their Revered Leader,” Daily Patriot, June 13, 1904.
  18. The Association of the Jamestown (New York) Christian Science Institute, of which Mrs. Rose E. Kent, one of Mrs. Eddy’s students, was Principal, donated the chimes. “For Christian Science Church,” Concord Monitor, October 29, 1903; Tomlinson reminiscences, 309, MBEL; “Come at Invitation of Their Revered Leader,” Daily Patriot, June 13, 1904; Christian Science Sentinel 6 (December 12, 1903): 229; Concord Monitor, June 16, 1904. Alfred Farlow’s students donated $1,500 to furnish the Reading Room. Additionally, the students of Will Farlow, Alfred’s brother, contributed to a check for $200. Hermann S. Hering to Trustees of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, N. H., November 1, 1906, LMC. Ruth Ewing and her students sent a check for $500. Ruth B. Ewing to Irving C. Tomlinson, November 28, 1903, Concord, NH—First Church of Christ, Scientist—Construction and Contributions, MBEL.
  19. Frances Mann’s students in Denver paid monthly, beginning in June 1902, for flowers at church services. Minutes, Board of Trustees, June 1902-December 1905, 11, LMC. The southern churches also donated $1,000. “From the South,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (August 13, 1904): 794.
  20. $80,000 is close to $2.5 million in 2020 dollars. Mrs. Eddy’s contribution, after bond interest, accrued to approximately $104,279; the Busy Bee Fund amounted to $2,870; property income was $485; and gifts from friends added up to $74,740, totaling $182,375. Statement of funds of the Trustees of the Building Fund, First Church of Christ, Scientist, LMC.
  21. Henry and Martha Ripley to Fred N. Ladd, July 15, 1904, LMDB-36576, LMC.
  22. Irving Tomlinson note, December 25, 1903, A11866, MBEL.
  23. “What the Editors Say,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 744, reprinted from the Concord Monitor, July 16, 1904. The Monitor called Mrs. Eddy’s gift of the church, “the culmination of her generosities.” The Boston Daily Globe gave this rave review: “The deepest admiration has been expressed by all who have viewed either the interior or exterior of the new church, which is easily the finest specimen of architectural beauty in New Hampshire and is probably not exceeded by any structure of its size in New England.” “Words of Love from Mrs. Eddy,” Boston Daily Globe, July 18, 1904.
  24. Charles R. Corning, “Editor’s Table,” The Christian Science Journal 21 (July 1903): 257-258. A similar sentiment was made by a Concord paper a year later when the church was dedicated: “Dedicated with the benediction of her message of love, Mrs. Eddy’s gift is now added to the enrichment of the spiritual equipment of our city, to be an alluring center of faith to many far beyond our borders for decades yet to come. “What the Editors Say,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 745, reprinted from the Concord Monitor, July 18, 1904.
  25. The two sets of stained-glass windows from England were the only parts of the church not ready by Dedication Day. Temporary windows were installed until 1905, when they were replaced by the current windows. Edward Bates, “Reminiscences of the Teachings and of the Personality, Rev. Mary Baker Eddy,” 111-115, MBEL.
  26. “Dedication of the Church in Concord,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 739-743.
  27. Tomlinson reminiscences, 328-330, MBEL. “Set Apart for God’s Service,” Concord Monitor, June 18, 1904. Four services were held on Dedication Day to accommodate the crowds. “Aside from the great gatherings of Scientists at the annual communion season of the Mother Church in Boston,” reported the Monitor, “it is unlikely that a more widely representative body of adherents to this faith was ever seen than that brought together in our city Sunday for the dedication ceremonies.”
  28. Tomlinson reminiscences, 330, MBEL.
  29. “Dedication of the Church in Concord,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 739-743. Tomlinson goes on in his message to express gratitude to all the gifts bestowed upon the Concord church from the field: “The members of this church are indeed grateful for those love tokens that have been so gladly given to our beloved Leader. It has also been their joy to unite with you in making to her liberal and willing offerings.”
  30. Concord Monitor, July 18, 1904. The Monitor continues: “Mr. Young is a man of striking personal appearance, with keen, intellectual features and possessing a rich, musical voice. His delivery of Mrs. Eddy’s words was superb, and his splendidly accurate articulation served finely to demonstrate the perfect acoustics of the auditorium.”
  31. Ibid. See also “Words of Love from Mrs. Eddy,” Boston Daily Globe, July 18, 1904. And The Christian Science Journal reported: “The dedicatory address prepared by Mrs. Eddy thrilled those who listened to its message of hope and cheer, its inspiring definition of their faith.” “Progress of Christian Science,” The Christian Science Journal 30 (June 1912): 161-162. “Our Leader’s Dedicatory Address,” recorded elsewhere in the Journal, “is already recognized as one of her greatest writings, and all those who enjoyed the privilege of hearing it feel that they have indeed received a blessing.” “The dedication of our Leader’s munificent gift,” The Christian Science Journal 22 (August 1904): 321-322.
  32. “Not having the time to receive all the beloved ones who have so kindly come to the dedication of this church,” Mrs. Eddy wrote to the Concord congregation, “I must not allow myself the pleasure of receiving any of them. I always try to be just, if not generous; and I cannot show my love for them in social ways without neglecting the sacred demands on my time and attention for labors which I think do them more good.” Miscellany, 163.
  33. Concord Monitor, July 18, 1904; “Dedication of the Church in Concord,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 739-743.
  34. Ibid.; “First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, N. H.,” The Daily Patriot, July 18, 1904; Tomlinson reminiscences, 330, MBEL; “Words of Love from Mrs. Eddy,” Boston Daily Globe, July 18, 1904. Each year, beginning in 1900 until her passing in 1910, Mrs. Eddy purchased hundreds of shoes for underprivileged boys and girls each year from Thompson’s shoe store. Click here to learn more.
  35. “What the Editors Say,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (July 23, 1904): 745, reprinted from the Church Federation [Gardiner, Maine]. A newspaper in North Carolina reported: “A New Hampshire paper says of the occasion, ‘Perhaps no church in New England was ever dedicated under auspices more resultant in manifestations of loving loyalty,’ and surely no happier, healthier, or more enthusiastic set of people ever gathered at the call of church chimes than on this occasion, when the beautiful granite structure given by Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, to the Christian Scientists of her home city, was dedicated to the service of God, the healing of the sick and the sinful.” “From the South,” Christian Science Sentinel 6 (August 13, 1904): 794, reprinted from the Wilmington Messenger.
  36. “What the Editors Say,” Christian Science Sentinel; reprinted from the Lawrence (Mass.) Telegram. “Measured by its success,” the paper continued, “Christian Science must embody the living truth, and Mrs. Eddy, through her remarkable personality, as the head of this growing sect, has shown qualities of leadership which stamp her as one of the greatest characters of her age.”
  37. “What the Local Papers Said,” Christian Science Sentinel 10 (February 1, 1908): 426. For more information on estimates of the financial impact of her presence in Concord, see also “What Mrs. Eddy’s Residence Meant to Concord and to New Hampshire,” Christian Science Sentinel 10 (February 8, 1908): 443; reprinted from Concord Daily Patriot. Tomlinson reminiscences, 600, MBEL.
  38. “What the Local Papers Said,” Christian Science Sentinel.