Mary Baker Eddy Memorial Completed
Image: March 12, 1917 – the Memorial nears completion.
© The Mary Baker Eddy Collection. Used with permission.
The Mary Baker Eddy monument, an anchor of the Halcyon Lake landscape, was designed by Egerton Swartwout in 1915 and completed in early spring 1917.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, commissioned the magnificent memorial for Mary Baker Eddy (1821 – 1910), discoverer and founder of Christian Science, advocate of prayer-based healing, teacher, author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and founder of The Christian Science Monitor. Architect Egerton Swartwout won the competition for the memorial, regarded as one of the finest examples of granite carving in the country. Swartwout based his design for the columns on the porticos of the “Tower of the Winds” in Athens. Explaining he wanted “nothing between the grave and sky but flowers,” Swartwout designed an open temple filled with plantings¹. A set of curving stairs flanking each side of the Eddy monument lead toward Halcyon Lake. “It was essential,” Swartwout explained, that the memorial be simple and dignified in character; not overornamented, and yet worthy of its high purpose.”²
- Egerton Swartwout to Mrs. Henry Marin (1 April 1942). Copy in Historical Collections, Mount Auburn Cemetery
- Sartwout, “The Mary Baker Eddy Memorial,” 47.
Written by Melissa Banta with Meg L. Winslow with excerpts from The Art of Commemoration and America’s First Rural Cemetery: Mount Auburn’s Significant Monument Collection ©2015, Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Text encircling the top:
MARY BAKER EDDY DISCOVERER AND FOUNDER OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AUTHOR OF SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES
Text at the base:
“The monument whose finger points upward, commemorates the earthly life of a martyr; but this is not all of the philanthropist, hero, and Christian. The Truth he has taught and spoken lives, and moves in our midst a divine afflatus.” Mary Baker Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings 1882 – 1896 166:3-7)
Text on the tablets to the left and right of the memorial:
“The term Science, properly understood, refers only to the laws of God and to His government of the universe, inclusive of man. Science is an emanation of divine Mind, and is alone able to interpret God aright. It has a spiritual, and not a material origin. It is a divine utterance, – the Comforter which leadeth into all truth.” Mary Baker Eddy (Science and Health 128:4-6, 127:26-29)
“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.” Christ Jesus (John 14:25-26)
Learn more about the construction of the Eddy Monument in the article “Mary Baker Eddy Memorial” written by Michael R. Davis for the Winter 1997 – 1998 issue of Sweet Auburn.
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