The Longyear Foundation: The Inspiration Behind Its Establishment

By
  • Audrey Blackler
-

Longyear Museum’s purpose is to keep Mary Baker Eddy’s history before the public. One of the many avenues used to fulfill this purpose is Quarterly News (now known as the Report to Members).

It was in the Spring of 1964 that Quarterly News made its first appearance. As a research oriented publication, it presents topics relating to Mary Baker Eddy and the formative years of the Christian Science movement. Articles over the past thirty years have provided information about individuals associated with Mary Baker Eddy, places of historic interest, and the Museum’s collection of manuscripts, letters, photographs, artifacts and portraits.

Celebrating these thirty years of Quarterly News, we feel it is an appropriate time to speak of Mary Beecher Longyear, the woman who saw the necessity of collecting and preserving a record of Mary Baker Eddy’s life. (Mrs. Longyear’s collection, in fact, continues to grow through generous donations of items from members and friends of the Longyear Museum.)

You as an eminent Christian Scientist can do much in educating others materially or scholastically.
— Mary Baker Eddy in a letter to Mary Beecher Longyear, Jan. 11, 1906

Mrs. Longyear and Christian Science

Mr. & Mrs. Longyear snowshoeing in 1886.

Mary Hawley Beecher was born December 21, 1851, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Caroline Matilda Walker and Samuel Peck Beecher. She was a twin in a family of seven children. Speaking of her ancestry in her autobiography, she comments: “We were somewhat proud of our name Beecher and had imbibed the idea that our grandfather Marcus Lyman Beecher…and Henry Ward Beecher’s grandfather were…cousins.” She also makes another statement in that same autobiography that her father was…a distant relative of the noted Henry Ward Beecher.”1 Mary’s childhood was spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and at the close of the Civil War the family moved to Augusta, Michigan. In her teens Mary studied to be a schoolteacher and moved to Marquette, Michigan, in 1877 to pursue her profession. There she met John Munro Longyear,2 who was working as “landlooker” reporting on the natural resources of lands ceded by the Federal Government to the Sault Ste. Marie Canal Company. Mary and John were married in Battle Creek, Michigan on January 4, 1879, and made their home in Marquette. They had seven children, three girls and four boys.

Early in the 1890s Mrs. Longyear was introduced to Christian Science while struggling with grief over the sudden death of an infant son. She became a dedicated student,had Christian Science Primary class instruction with Mary E. Crawford, and in 1894 joined The Mother Church (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts). Nine years later she had Normal class with Edward A. Kimball under The Christian Science Board of Education, and received the degree of C.S.B.3 Mrs. Longyear was active on various church committees, contributed poems and articles to the Christian Science Sentinel,4 and for many years following the Longyears’ move to Brookline Massachusetts, enjoyed teaching the older children in The Mother Church Sunday School.5

Mrs. Longyear’s Contacts with Mary Baker Eddy

At first the only contact Mrs. Longyear had with Mrs. Eddy was through correspondence, which began in 1895 when Mrs. Longyear, wintering in France, wrote requesting permission of Mrs. Eddy to have Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures translated into French. Mrs. Eddy gave her permission, but the effort was not successful. Some years later Mrs. Longyear wrote of this experience, “You can imagine that the effort was not a success, as the man I employed to translate it [Science and Health] had never heard of Science before and I knew very little regarding its theory.”6

Tremont Temple, Boston, Massachusetts

During the years 1899 and 1900 the Longyear family lived, temporarily, in Boston while the children attended schools in the New England area. Mrs. Longyear was quite busy with her family at that time and never thought of pursuing a meeting with Mrs. Eddy, but did see her when she spoke at the Annual Meeting of The Mother Church held at Tremont Temple on June 6, 1899. As Mrs. Longyear explains, “I knew that her time was fully occupied and I had no curiosity to see her personally, or to gain any help from her physical appearance. I saw her first when she appeared in Tremont Temple, but was not impressed. My greatest desire was to bring harmony and peace in my own home through the understanding of Christian Science and I knew that in order to gain that I must study her books.”7

When Mr. and Mrs. Longyear visited the Paris Exposition in 1900, Mrs. Longyear conceived the idea of displaying Christian Science literature in the Exposition. She wrote to Mrs. Eddy about it and received a note with her permission and blessing.8 According to Mrs. Longyear the response from the French public at the Exposition far exceeded expectations, and may have contributed to Mrs. Eddy being officially recognized for her distinguished activity in the writing and publishing of Christian Science literature by the French Government, who bestowed upon her the decoration of Officier d’Academie in 1907.9

The exchange of letters between Mrs. Longyear and Mrs. Eddy continued,covering many topics. Sometimes Mrs. Eddy would write requesting Mrs. Longyear’s assistance,10 and at other times Mrs. Longyear would discuss ideas with Mrs. Eddy. For example, Mrs. Longyear considered (in 1905), at Mrs. Eddy’s suggestion, establishing a school or university for scholastic education in the South. As was frequently the case, Mrs. Eddy continued to consider this idea and went the next step in clarifying and defining the real need. Mrs. Eddy wrote Mrs. Longyear, on January 15, 190[6], “I propose that the institution you found be called Sanatorium…that it be a resort for invalids without homes or relatives available in time of need; where they can go and recruit.”11 (For more of this letter and additional details see: Christian Science Sentinel, Vol. 19, No. 6, October 7, 1916, p. 110.)

Mrs. Eddy’s evaluation of the unselfish nature of Mrs. Longyear’s benevolence is expressed in a “Card” which was published in the Christian Science Sentinel, July 14, 1906. In that “Card” Mrs. Eddy stated regarding Mrs. Longyear’s charity: “Seldom have I seen such individual, impartial giving as this.”12

In June, 1905 at Mrs. Eddy’s invitation, Mrs. Longyear visited her at her Pleasant View home in Concord, New Hampshire. “We took a carriage and reached Concord at 2.00 as Laura [Sargent] had invited us. She met us at the door with the glad news that Mrs. Eddy would see us. I prayed to see with spiritual eyes[.] A vision of beauty tall and graceful appeared in the doorway[,] a beautiful white mantle[,] a white bonnet with a pink rose in it[,] long white strings[,] a cameo brooch[,] a black grenadine dress[,] daintily gloved hands[.] I will not write what she said[;] I never can forget it.”13 After Mrs. Eddy left for her drive, Mrs. Longyear visited with Mrs. Laura Sargent with whom a continuing friendship was begun. The following February Mrs. Eddy requested Mrs. Longyear visit her again; this time to discuss a business transaction.14 Apparently, it was after this February 1906 interview that Mrs. Sargent commented, “What in the world were you talking about that made Mother laugh so heartily? I haven’t heard her laugh like that since I don’t know when!”15

In her diary Mrs. Longyear mentions meeting Mrs. Eddy while out driving in September of 1909,16 and in January 1910 she was invited to lunch at Mrs. Eddy’s home in Chestnut Hill. Of this later meeting she wrote, “I take time to realize the blessing I had today. Went to Mrs. Eddy’s house to lunch and had a lovely visit with her. The greatest blessing on earth. The bright, joyful face of Mrs. Eddy greeted me. She kissed and welcomed me…she asked me if I knew the reason she liked to have me visit her. When I answered in the negative, she said, ‘It is because you give me nothing to meet.’ She said she often thought of me and asked me to think of her.”17

In July 1910 Mrs. Longyear received another invitation to visit the household. “Blest Christmas Morn. How Good is. Saw the loved household at Chestnut Hill and brought them gifts and had the supreme joy of Life in seeing Mrs. Eddy and kissing her and laughing with her.”18

Collecting the History of Mrs. Eddy’s Life and Work

Spinning wheel that belonged to Mary Baker Eddy’s paternal grandmother and was given to Mrs. Longyear by The Christian Science Board of Directors.

It was in that same month that The Christian Science Board of Directors gave Mrs. Eddy’s grandmother’s spinning wheel to Mrs. Longyear.19 And in the following year, 1911, she bought one of Luella Varney Serrao’s sculpted marble busts of Mrs. Eddy.20 But it wasn’t until November 1917 that Mrs. Longyear was convinced that the history of Mrs. Eddy’s life and the early Christian Science movement should be preserved. She carefully searched Mrs. Eddy’s writings for any reference to history. Upon reading the following quote in Miscellaneous Writings — “Christian Science and Christian Scientists will, must have a history”21 — Mrs. Longyear decided she should act on the idea. She comments in her diary, “The history of Christian Scientists and the establishing of the church must be written so that no one in the centuries to come could doubt that Mary Baker Eddy and her faithful followers founded [T]he First [C]hurch of Christ, Scientist.”22

Subsequently, Mrs. Longyear wrote to The Christian Science Board of Directors and received permission to construct a building in which to house historic data on Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. She and her husband then met with the Directors on November 30, 1917.23 Since it was the feeling of the Board that any such building should be near The Mother Church, Mrs. Longyear bought land adjacent to the edifice, and in April of 1918 offered it to the Directors.24

She then began speaking with Mrs.Eddy’s students, sharing with them her thoughts about preserving a record of Mrs. Eddy’s life. Most of them agreed with her and were eager to help, but when asked to write their recollections and experiences some felt that Science and Health eliminated any need for personal reminiscences. In response Mrs. Longyear said, “…it was to preserve for all time the transparency of Mrs. Eddy’s character that the world might have refutation in ages to come if error would begin to belittle it as it constantly does now or tries to do.”25

After arranging for photographs to be taken of early workers, Mrs. Longyear commissioned portraits to be painted, especially of those students of Mary Baker Eddy who had the advance designations of C.S.B. and C.S.D.26 At the same time she requested that these students write their reminiscences of their introductions to Christian Science and memories of Mrs. Eddy, feeling that these would be of great interest to future generations in showing how the dedication and support of such workers aided in the establishment of the early Christian Science Church.

Meanwhile, on November 11, 1918, The Christian Science Board of Directors wrote to Mrs. Longyear asking that she “…excuse them from giving any commission or official endorsement…” to her effort to collect historical material.27 In her diary Mrs. Longyear comments, “Well that is all right they do not object to my doing so. I am not disappointed. God my God will lead me and will not let me make mistakes.”28 Thus Mrs. Longyear felt free to follow the task before her — a vision that seemed to be uniquely hers. No doubt, this feeling was reinforced by letters such as one dated October 2, 1918, to Mrs. Longyear from Adam H. Dickey, member of The Christian Science Board of Directors, in which he remarked:

I just wish to drop you a line personally and tell you that I am glad to know that the differences existing between yourself and our Board of Directors are in a fairway to be adjusted. …I have not changed my opinion on any of the essentials of the work you are performing and I know that sometime it will be done, and in the right way.

The “differences” between Mrs. Longyear and The Christian Science Board of Directors were a complex matter with many facts not easily disentangled. The first fact was that Mrs. Longyear, the Board of Directors, and Board member John V. Dittemore were all vigorously involved in collecting documentation regarding Mary Baker Eddy’s life and the early history of her church. This collecting was complicated by the fact that all parties had engaged the same rare book/manuscript dealer to gather materials for them — a Mr. A. A. Beauchamp. Added to this mix was Mrs. Longyear’s friendship with John V. Dittemore. (Dittemore, due to a conflict of viewpoint with the rest of the Board, was eventually dismissed as a member of The Christian Science Board of Directors on March 17, 1919.)

Also, all this occurred prior to the establishment of a code of ethics in the field of preservation.29 It was a time in which, like many of his contemporaries, Mr. Dittemore could feel perfectly at ease in continuing to add to a personal collection of historical materials despite what we today so clearly see as a conflict of interest relating to his position as a church officer (from May 31, 1909–March 17,1919). Mrs. Longyear began purchasing materials from Mr. Dittemore’s personal collection in 1919. Hence, the criticism for how a part of Mrs. Longyear’s collection came to her was articulated by church workers such as Judge Clifford P. Smith who wrote heron May 12, 1924: “Since the beginning of the litigation in March 1919…it is generally believed that you are or were one of his [John V. Dittemore’s] most ardent supporters and his chief contributor.”

In her defense, Mrs. Longyear made the following reply by letter to Judge Smith on May 13, 1924:

I have never had any unchristian feeling regarding any of the officers of the church or any members. …I am still a friend of Mr. Dittemore’s — as I would like to be to all [Christian] Scientists, but I have no sympathy with one who could try to usurp Mrs. Eddy’s place — or organize another church. The remedy for the rupture in the church is Love. Divine forgiving Love.

I have never given Mr. Dittemore any money to support his contention. He sold me a large collection of early Christian Science data [data on Mrs. Eddy before her discovery of Christian Science in 1866] that he had collected before he was a director [prior to May 31, 1909].30

Always striving to turn to God for direction, and to recognize His guidance, Mrs. Longyear with a deep sense of commitment, devoted the rest of her life to accomplishing her task of collecting historical data, memorabilia, artifacts and records relative to Mary Baker Eddy — not only from students of Mrs. Eddy, but also from members of Mrs. Eddy’s family, and from cities and towns where Mrs. Eddy had resided. With respect to items from family members, she was able to acquire the Baker Family Papers, which document Mary Baker Eddy’s childhood and young adult years. These papers give researchers a first-hand view of the Baker family. The Baker Family Papers document the camaraderie between brothers and sisters, the strong religious beliefs of parents, and the customs of the times; these enable present and future generations to grasp something of what influenced and shaped the early years of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.31

Squire Bagley house in Amesbury, Massachusetts (Mrs. Longyear is second from the left), 1927.

Mrs. Longyear paid a number of people to do research and write books on the history and development of Christian Science. She herself greatly enjoyed researching and writing about Asa Gilbert Eddy.32 She also wrote History of a House, in which she tells how on July 13, 1920, she, her daughter, and two grandsons (while motoring in Massachusetts) found themselves in the town of Amesbury. They then searched for the Squire Bagley house where Mrs. Eddy had lived for approximately seven months during the years 1868-1870. On finding it they knocked on the door and the then occupant graciously allowed them to enter and look around. As they left Mrs. Longyear said to her daughter, “Judith, if it is right for me to preserve this house, I will get it some day; if it is not God’s will, I do not want it!” Two years later she was able to purchase the house.33 Mrs. Longyear wrote in her diary that she was always most content when doing her history work. Even so, as her statement to Judith shows, her zeal for the task was tempered by her desire to do what was right.

Prior to finding the Amesbury House, Mrs. Longyear bought the Rumney and North Groton homes in New Hampshire (where Mrs. Eddy lived from 1855 to 1862) and later the house on Paradise Road in Swampscott, Massachusetts (in which Mrs. Eddy had her landmark healing in 1866). Mrs. Longyear had each house restored and furnished, and first opened them to the public in 1923.34 These transactions took place at a time when the general public did not yet fully appreciate the need for the preservation of historic houses or sites. Since World War I and the advent of the automobile, people became more interested in visiting such places.35

Mrs. Longyear was tireless in her search for historic material. She traveled extensively and met with early students of Christian Science in Europe and America. She loved hearing of their experiences and how they were introduced to Christian Science. Often they had been the first Christian Scientists in their part of the country and had been instrumental in establishing churches. Many had worked in Mrs. Eddy’s home. She encouraged them to write of these experiences.

As the portraits of Christian Scientists who had known Mrs. Eddy were completed, Mrs. Longyear had them hung in a large upstairs room on the third floor of her home, known as the Gothic Room, and invited guests to view them. Members of The Christian Science Board of Directors were among the first visitors, they themselves having given the framed portraits of Ira O. Knapp, William B. Johnson, Stephen A. Chase, and Joseph Armstrong, the first Board of Directors appointed by Mrs. Eddy. She also showed slides illustrating Mrs. Eddy’s life.

Establishing the Longyear Foundation and Museum

In 1920 Mrs. Longyear formed the Zion Research Foundation and Library,36 for the purpose of showing the natural progression of the origins and development of Judeo-Christian thought through the ages into what she saw as its logical culmination in Christian Science. Mrs. Longyear originally planned to incorporate those materials with her collection pertaining to Mrs. Eddy, but later realized that the two collections should be separate.37 And so, on January 18, 1923, a deed was executed that established the Longyear Foundation.38

Looking for the best way in which to house and exhibit the collection, Mrs. Longyear became interested in how the “Ladies of Mount Vernon” ran George Washington’s home as a possible model for a museum about Mary Baker Eddy. By September of 1923 she received plans that she had commissioned from Chicago architects Samuel A. Marx and Earl H. Reed for her museum building.39 The museum plan allowed for, among other things, the display of a statue of Mary Baker Eddy which Cyrus Dallin had completed in 1922 for Mrs. Longyear.40 There would be two study rooms in which to read books, pamphlets and reminiscences; a large exhibit hall for programs and display of the portraits of early workers in the Christian Science movement; a gallery for photographs; a large gallery covering Mrs. Eddy’s life; an index room in which to maintain a catalog of the collection; and a large basement storage area for the collection not currently on display.

September 1923 plans for Mrs. Longyear’s museum building.

Unfortunately, the cost of obtaining manuscripts, letters, photographs, artifacts, reminiscences, portraits, historic houses (and later the stock market crash of 1929) left Mrs. Longyear with insufficient funds for the building of this museum during her lifetime. However, the desire to build an appropriate museum facility for the collection remained a priority for Mrs. Longyear as is clear from the minutes of a Longyear Foundation Trustee meeting held on November 1, 1925. The minutes note: “Mrs. Longyear felt the upkeep of her residence…would be a tremendous weight on the trustees, and that the use of it for many years to come would not warrant the great expenditure…Mrs. Longyear said she wished to begin building…a Museum in which to house and display the historical collection.” Yet Mrs. Longyear did not abandon the desire to go forward with building her museum as can be seen in the fact that in 1926 she had two architectural plans drawn. One plan by W. L. Richardson is comparable in all significant details to her 1923 plan, but on a smaller and less costly scale. The second 1926 plan by Gay & Proctor was even smaller and only called for a single gallery room measuring 36.6′ by 23.6′. By February 1929, Mrs. Longyear had requested and received from the Boston architectural firm of Gay and Proctor plans to alter three rooms in the lower floor of her home to accommodate the display of the portraits of early workers in the Christian Science movement.41

Because Mrs. Longyear was financially unable to have a museum constructed, she provided that certain rooms in her Brookline, Massachusetts, home could be used to store and exhibit the portraits, photographs and memorabilia pertaining to Mary Baker Eddy and her early followers. These rooms would be open for persons to view at least three days a week.42 In January of 1928, Mrs. Longyear formally deeded her four historic houses and her entire collection to the Longyear Foundation.43 Up to the time of her passing, March 14, 1931, Mrs. Longyear worked diligently on adding to her collection.44

In 1934 the Longyear Foundation was formally incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts, as a nonprofit,charitable institution; and in 1937 the Longyear Museum opened its doors as the only public museum dedicated to telling the story of Mary Baker Eddy’s life.

A Perspective on Mrs. Longyear’s Historical Work

At the time Mrs. Longyear had begun collecting (c. 1895), the field of historic preservation was in its infancy in this country. For example, the U.S. National Archives was not established until 1934; with Colonial Williamsburg being established in 1926, Old Sturbridge Village in 1938, the American Association of State and Local History in 1940, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1949. It should also be noted that the task of historical preservation that Mrs. Longyear undertook and successfully achieved is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that the field of history was male-dominated, and that the material she sought to collect and preserve was not seen as “history” (old enough to need collecting). However, she saw that unless it was collected at that time it could be lost forever. In her diary Mrs. Longyear wrote:

The most important thing in the whole world at this time seems tome, is the preserving of the incidents and the authenticity of the history of the life of Mary Baker Eddy. How few, what a remnant at this present time realize the great necessity of keeping the records of her early life….45

At the meeting of the Trustees of the Longyear Foundation on April 11, 1931 (the first regular Trustee meeting held after Mrs. Longyear’s passing) a letter of appreciation for Mrs. Longyear’s work was read by longtime friend A. Marguerite Smith. Miss Smith remarked:

Mrs. Longyear was a woman of great vision and with a tremendous desire to enlighten mankind. She was a staunch believer in Christian Science and never failed to turn to its methods for guidance and help. Her friendly association with Mrs. Eddy was a continued inspiration to her and it was her great desire to perpetuate the memory of Mary Baker Eddy as a human being that caused Mrs. Longyear to found this trust. She was ever mindful of the tendency of humanity to deify a great religious leader and to deny her earthly struggles. Mrs. Longyear did not wish the world to be without the physical records of this human life of Mary Baker Eddy as it is without historical records of Jesus. She felt that Mrs. Eddy belonged to the world, not alone to the church which she founded.46 Mrs. Longyear studied, searched, and restored evidences of Mrs. Eddy’s life. Then to insure the continuation of her [Mrs. Longyear’s] work she formed Longyear Foundation and provided for its future so that it might carry on the work which she had begun.

Notes


  1. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Long-year, Autobiography, Ch. 1, pp. 3, 7. Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was an imminent American Protestant clergy-man, editor, writer, and abolitionist leader.His sermons advocated the love of God and man. He also promoted the cause of woman’s suffrage. Henry Ward Beecher was the son of famous American reform preacher, Lyman Beecher, and the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, well-known author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  2. For further information on John Munro Longyear see: Quarterly News, Autumn 1974, Vol. 11, No. 3.
  3. See endnote 26 for information regarding the C.S.B. designation.
  4. Articles and poems by Mary Beecher Longyear published in Christian Science Sentinel: “Love Omnipotent,” 1912, Vol. 14, No. 27, p. 537; “Home,” 1912, Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 17; “Comrades,” 1914, Vol. 17, No. 5, p. 97; “Christian Science Messengers,” 1917, Vol. 19, No. 26, p. 506; “Truth’s Indivisible Host,” 1917, Vol. 20, No. 4, p. 66; “The Fields of Bow,” 1920, Vol. 23, No. 2, p. 27; “Mary Baker Eddy,” 1921, Vol. 23, No. 46, p. 847.
  5. For further information on Mary Beecher Longyear see: Quarterly News, Autumn 1971, Vol. 8, No. 3 & Winter 1971-72, Vol. 8, No. 4.
  6. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Autobiography, Ch. 2, p. 11.
  7. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Autobiography, Ch. 4, p. 7.
  8. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Long-year, Autobiography, Ch. 4, p. 6. See also, the following letter (the original of which is in the Church History Department of The Mother Church, since Mrs. Longyear later donated these letters to the church): “Pleasant View,
    Concord, N.H., May 3, 1900, Dictated, Mrs. Mary [B.] Longyear, C.S.
    Beloved Sister: I am in receipt of your favor, and rejoice that you have interested yourselves to attend to this most important subject. Please say to Mrs. Brookins and Mlle. Demarez that I am glad of the opportunity to commit to their care the disposal of my books and of the loyal C.S. literature on the exhibition grounds of the Paris Exposition. Translate my tracts and as many others as you think best into the French language.May God prosper your undertaking. With love, mother, (signed) Mary Baker G. Eddy.”
  9. Irving C. Tomlinson, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1945), p. 187.
  10. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Autobiography, Ch. 12, p. 5. Shortly after the decision was made to move the Longyear home from Marquette,Michigan, to Fisher Hill, Brookline, Massachusetts, a Director of The Mother Church, Mr. Joseph Armstrong, wrote to Mrs. Longyear that Mrs. Eddy would like to have her buy the land located on Huntington Avenue in front of The Mother Church. Mr. Longyear consented to buy it for Mrs. Longyear and she repaid him with money realized from selling all the properties she owned. In 1909 Mrs. Longyear presented it to The Mother Church and received this reply from Mrs. Eddy. “March 16th, 1909. Mrs. Mary B. Longyear, Brookline, Mass. Beloved Student: — Your offer of land to our Church is a most gracious tribute, loving and true. Will you allow me to thank you from the depths of my true sense of it, and to say that it gives me joy to advise you of its acceptance. This will allow the Church to take the tract adjoining you, and to delay paying for it, until the Christian Scientists who are the earnest workers of our Cause, have built up their own little provinces, builded their own churches, and done what they could in their individual capacity, in the fields wherein they are now at work. You have conferred a great and lasting favor on the entire field of faithful co-workers in this vineyard of our Christ, the spiritual idea working out the demonstration of Divine Science. Lovingly yours, Mary Baker Eddy.” (The original of this letter is in the Church History Department of The Mother Church.)
  11. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Long-year, Autobiography, Ch. 9, pp. 6, 7. Action was postponed until 1919, when The Christian Science Board of Directors established the Benevolent Association home at Chestnut Hill. (At that time Mrs. Longyear donated the land on Single Tree Hill, Brookline, where the Benevolent Association is now located.) See: Quarterly News, Winter 1971-72, Vol. 8, No. 4, p. 1 and Norman Beasley, The Continuing Spirit, pp. 208-209, 213, 214n, 317.
  12. Mary Baker Eddy, “Card,” Christian Science Sentinel, Vol. 8, July 14, 1906, p. 732.
  13. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Diary, entry for June 29, 1905.
  14. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Autobiography, Ch. 12, pp. 6 & 12. Mrs. Eddy owned property in Brookline that she wished to dispose of, and asked Mrs. Longyear to purchase it. After the transaction, Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Pleasant View, Concord, N.H., Feb. 19, 1906. Mrs. Mary Beecher Longyear, C.S. My beloved Student: Yours is at hand. I am satisfied so far as I know how to be with your business arrangement relative to the purchase of my land in Brookline, Mass. Now dear, I want you to come to me on Wed. next at 2.30 P.M.and talk with Mr. Carpenter at Pleasant View, who aids me in business, and I will see you on my return from my afternoon drive. Thanking you for your dear care for me, Ever Thine lovingly, (signed) Mary Baker Eddy.” (The original copy of this letter is in the Church History Department of The Mother Church.)
  15. Mary Beecher Longyear, A Memoir by Robert Dudley Longyear, p. 29.
  16. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Diary, entry for September 19, 1909.
  17. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Autobiography, Ch. 10, pp. 4, 5.
  18. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Diary, entry for July 7, 1910.
  19. Longyear Collection. Letter from The Christian Science Board of Directors to Mrs. John M. Longyear, July 13, 1910.
  20. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Diary, entry for December 12, 1911. For more information on the artist and her portrait bust of Mary Baker Eddy, see: Quarterly News, Spring 1972, Vol. 9, No. 1.
  21. Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 (Boston: Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy, 1924), p. 106.
  22. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Historical Research Diary, 1918, p. 1.
  23. Ibid., p. 1.
  24. Ibid., pp. 78, 91, 94-95, 99. After lengthy consideration, however, the Directors opted not to accept the land, and it was subsequently sold.
  25. Ibid., p. 286.
  26. For more information on the designation of C.S.B. and C.S.D. see: Christian Science Weekly, Vol. 1, No. 21, Jan. 19, 1899, p. 4; The Christian Science Journal, Vol. 16, Jan.18, 1899, p. 671; Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany (Boston: Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy, 1913), pp. 245-246.
  27. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Historical Research Diary, 1918, pp. 320, 321.
  28. Ibid., entry for Thursday, November 14, 1918, p. 321.
  29. Currently the American Association of Museums “Code of Ethics” has this to say in the “Loyalty and Conflict of Interest” section: “Loyalty to the mission of the museum and to the public it serves is the essence of museum work, whether volunteer or paid. Where conflicts of interest arise — actual, potential, or perceived — the duty of loyalty must never be compromised. No individual may use his or her position in a museum for personal gain or to benefit another at the expense of the museum, its mission, its reputation, and the society it serves.”
  30. For background information on John V. Dittemore and the litigation against The Mother Church from 1919-1924 see: Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1977), pp. 324, 345-346, 416-n. 124, 509–n. 59; and Norman Beasley, The Continuing Spirit (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1956), pp. 144-203.
  31. The Baker Family Papers were first made available to the public in an article titled “The Girlhood of Mary Baker Eddy” by Isaac F. Marcosson in Munsey’s Magazine for April 1911, pp. 3-13. In June 1911, The Ladies Home Journal on page 10 published “Mrs. Eddy’s Unpublished Poems: With Explanatory Text by John V. Dittemore of The Christian Science Board of Directors.”
  32. Mary Beecher Longyear, The Genealogy and Life of Asa Gilbert Eddy (Brookline, MA: Mary Beecher Longyear, 1922).
  33. Mary Beecher Longyear, The History of a House (Brookline, MA: Longyear Foundation, 1925), p. 3.
  34. For more information about these historic houses see: Quarterly News, Summer 1970, Vol. 7, No. 2; Winter 1965, Vol. 2, No. 4; Spring 1966, Vol. 3, No. 1; Winter 1968-69,Vol. 5, No. 4; Spring 1980, Vol. 17, No. 1; Winter 1980-81, Vol. 17, No. 4; Spring 1981, Vol. 18, No. 1.
  35. Charles B. Hosmer, Jr., Preservation Comes of Age: From Williamsburg to the National Trust, 1926-1949, Volume 1 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1981), pp. 1-2.
  36. Quarterly News, Winter 1971-72, Vol. 8, No. 4, p. 4. (The Zion Research Foundation and Library is known today as Endowment for Biblical Research.)
  37. Mrs. Longyear wrote in her diary July 28, 1921: “The thought has come to me strongly that to preserve the name of Mary Baker Eddy connected with the Christian Science Church or movement we must have a Mary Baker Eddy Historical Association entirely separate from the Zion Research Foundation…. We must know her, her motives and her simple natural life[.] Know her struggles and her overcoming of them[.] We must learn to endure and love as she did….”
  38. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Diary, entry for Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1926.
  39. Longyear Collection. Plans for “An Art Gallery for Mrs. J. M. Longyear” drawn by Samuel A. Marx, Architect and Earl F. Reed, Jr. Associated, Chicago, September 7, 1923.
  40. For more information on the statue and the artist see: Quarterly News, Spring 1966, Vol. 3, No. 1.
  41. Longyear Collection. Plans for “Art Gallery for Mrs. John M. Longyear,” drawn by W. L. Richardson, July 15, 1926; Plans for “Art Gallery, Mrs. Mary B. Longyear,” drawn by Gay & Proctor, Architects, 1926; Plans for “Basement Rooms Altered for Picture Hanging, The Longyear Estate, Brookline,” Gay & Proctor, Architects, February 1929.
  42. Longyear Collection. “Assignment and Declaration of Trust: Longyear Foundation, Apr. 5, 1926/Aug. 17, 1927/Dec. 12, 1928.”
  43. Longyear Collection. Longyear Foundation Records. A. Marguerite Smith Notes, p. 4.
  44. After Mrs. Longyear’s passing in 1931, the Longyear heirs contested her will. The result of this legal action was that only one-half of the funds that Mrs. Longyear designated for her foundation actually became part of the Longyear Foundation’s endowment.
  45. Longyear Collection. Mary Beecher Longyear, Historical Research Diary, January 3, 1923, p. 103.
  46. This agrees with a statement that Mrs. Eddy made to W. T. Maclntyre, of the New York American, in an interview on June 7, 1909 (published in the Boston American and the New York American on the following day). In that interview Mrs. Eddy stated: “I know my mission is for all the earth, not alone for my dear, devoted followers of Christian Science.” She went on to define that “mission” thusly, “All my work, all my prayers and tears are for humanity and the spread of peace and love among mankind.”

This article was originally published in the 1994 autumn Quarterly News.

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