Supporting Mary Baker Eddy's Life and Work through PreservationMarch 02, 2017
The Mary Baker Eddy Historic Houses are a special part of Longyear Museum’s collection. To us, each house represents a step in Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual journey, and taken as a whole, the collection dramatically illustrates her own growth along with that of the Christian Science movement.
I distinctly remember my own first visit to two of the houses. I had recently joined the Longyear staff and traveled with a colleague to North Groton, New Hampshire, where Mrs. Eddy lived from 1855 – 1860. During her time there, Mrs. Eddy was practicing homeopathy and continuing her lifelong study of the Bible, taking tentative steps towards her discovery of Christian Science. The house itself — a simple four-room structure that had originally been a grist mill — is located in the foothills of the White Mountains, and as I walked down the hill leading to its doorstep, I was struck by how remote it felt.
The very next day I visited Mrs. Eddy’s final residence in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. What a contrast from the house I’d seen the day before! Here was an imposing 28-room stone mansion situated on a rise in a gracious neighborhood just outside Boston. To me, it was a vivid symbol of all that she had achieved. What a distance she had traveled from her years in North Groton. Here was a home befitting the Leader of the Christian Science movement.
The Mary Baker Eddy Historic Houses are durable evidence of the path our Leader trod. It is our privilege to share her story through these houses, and it is our privilege to care for these important landmarks so that her story will continue to be told for generations to come. You are invited to join with us in caring for these homes through a gift to the Mary Baker Eddy Historic House Fund. Projects on this year’s to-do list:
• New gutters and soffit repairs in Swampscott
• Exterior painting and window restoration in Amesbury
• Improving the drainage around the front of the Concord house and rebuilding the porch deck
Gifts to the Historic House Fund also support annual operations at all eight houses, from utilities and yard care to security, insurance, housekeeping, and more.
As a supporter of Longyear, you are already aware of the importance of preserving Mrs. Eddy’s history, and we’re grateful for your interest. Thank you for considering an additional gift to support the Mary Baker Eddy Historic Houses!
Sandra J. Houston, President