Birthplace of Mary Baker Eddy

On a recent Sunday afternoon my wife and I were driving north from Manchester, New Hampshire, on state route 3A when we saw a sign announcing the birthplace of Mary Baker Eddy.

Since I’m a historian of American religion and we taking the old road to see the 20180930-1404countryside, I turned up the narrow road. Paved with unlined asphalt and shaded by overhanging trees, it immediately reminded me of the road to Joseph Smith’s birthplace in Vermont, which we had visited on a similar trip over a decade ago. I wondered if there would be Christian Scientists at the birthplace eager to tell us about Mrs. Eddy as there were Latter-day Saint missionaries eager to tell us about the prophet.

But before I could think too much about whether I really wanted to have that conversation, and how the declining nature of this movement made that unlikely,  we were at the end of the road. And not only were there no Christian Scientists, there was no building, only an informational sign, a few benches, an open field, and visible foundations of the old homestead.

20180930-140320180930-989320180930-9891

Interstate 93 runs immediately to the west of the birthplace and the constant roar of the traffic diluted the peaceful scene a bit. But the view eastward toward the Merrimack River is rewarding and conjures the peacefulness of rural life that this largely urban religious tradition reverenced.

Capture
The birthplace site and informational sign is at the site marked in red.

20180930-9890

I believe the site is maintained by the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Concord, but there is little information on it online. If you want to visit, the site is located in Bow, New Hampshire and its location is marked on Facebook.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s