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ON March 24, 1801, the Town sold the lot adjoining the Granary, measuring seventy-eight feet on Centry (now Park) Street, to General Welles, whose wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter of General Joseph Warren. The new owner soon after conveyed the northerly half to Isaac P. Davis, rope-maker, who built thereon a brick dwelling-house, which he very soon sold to Francis C. Lowell. The latter, after finishing it off, transferred it to Jonathan Mason, whose daughter was the wife of Dr. John C. Warren, its first inhabitant. “The new owner at once allowed the young couple to occupy the house, and thither they removed in the month of October, 1805. There they continued to dwell until Mr. Mason’s death, when it was found that he had left the estate to his daughter, Mrs. Warren. After the decease of the latter, it came to her children by descent; as she left no will; and Dr. Warren, their father, bought their respective interests, thus becoming the owner thereof absolutely. At his death he bequeathed the ‘mansion-house in Park Street, valued at forty thousand dollars,’ to his son, Mason, in fee simple; from whom it ultimately passed by his will to Mrs. Warren for life, with remainder to his children.” The house remained unchanged until the spring of 1877, when it was taken down, and shortly after replaced by the present Warren Building.
A somewhat minute description of this house is given in a “Memoir of Jonathan Mason Warren, M.D.,” by Howard Payson Arnold, 1886. The office or study, on the left of the main entrance, was described as a fairly spacious room, with an air of ancient and prosperous dignity. Beneath this office was a place of retirement for students. This apartment was devoted to medical and surgical work, and the compounding of drugs. “From the back windows of the house one overlooked the Burying-Ground, and the rears of all the other dwellings which surrounded it. Passing to the front of the edifice, one was impressed with a prompt and striking contrast. The parlors at the head of one flight of stairs, and the two chambers above them, overlooked the Common, sloping in a gentle and verdurous expanse to the water, which then lapped its lower boundary.” The writer dwells further upon the beauty of the western view from Dr. Warren’s windows. The Great Elm and Flagstaff Hill were prominent features of the landscape; and in the distance the Blue Hills of Milton.
In the early days of Christian Science, meetings were held at the houses of different Church members. Hawthorne Hall, at Number Two Park Street, with a seating capacity of two hundred and twenty-five, was the scene of the first public meeting, in November, 1883; and that Hall has therefore been appropriately called the cradle of the Christian Science Church. The following Notice dates from that period: “The Church of Christ respectfully invites you to attend their Services at number two Park Street, Hawthorne Hall, every Sunday at 3 P.M.; and learn how to heal the sick with Christianity. Mrs. Eddy teaches Metaphysical Healing at 551 Shawmut Avenue, Boston. Many certificates could be given of the sick, healed by her lectures.” The last service at Hawthorne Hall was held, October 18, 1885. Mrs. Eddy herself was accustomed to preach at the Park Street Services, “and was always effective on the rostrum.”1
A copy of the Notice given above may be seen at the book-store of Messrs. Smith & McCance, on the site of Hawthorne Hall.
1 The Life of Mary Baker Eddy.