Mary Baker Eddy Historic House (Rumney)
58 Stinson Lake Road
Rumney, NH 03266
Open May – October, Tuesday-Saturday
Tour includes access to the house in North Groton, NH.
Mary Baker Eddy (1821 – 1910) was the founder of Christian Science, a new religious movement that emerged in New England in the late 19th century. Eddy is the author of the movement's textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (first published 1875), and founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist (1879). She also founded the Christian Science Publishing Society, which continues to publish a number of periodicals, including The Christian Science Monitor.
The house: Sometime before the Pattersons moved here in 1860, this onetime saltbox structure had been enlarged to a five-room cape-style cottage. The shed and barn were later additions.
Between 2005 and 2008 the exterior and interior of the house were restored according to updated historical research. It now looks much as it did when the Pattersons lived here. The interior is furnished in keeping with a modest rural house in the mid-nineteenth century, including a few pieces that belonged to Mrs. Eddy.
Its story: Living in this house in Rumney, Mary Patterson’s prospects brightened, if only in limited ways. Her husband became the town dentist. Their finances improved. Her health improved somewhat. She began to write down her thoughts on the spiritual meaning of the Bible.
In this house Mary, with a burst of joy, received a letter from her son George. He had not been lost in the wilderness, but was alive and well — an under-age volunteer in the Union army. By that time, 1861, the Civil War was raging. In 1862 Patterson carried out a commission to deliver funds to Union sympathizers in the South. En route he was captured and imprisoned by Confederates. Mary was untiring in her efforts to secure his release. In the end, he escaped and returned to her.
Persisting in her search for health, Mary Patterson set out from Rumney for Dr. Vail’s Hydropathic Institute at Hill, New Hampshire, and, later, to visit the professed magnetic healer Phineas Quimby of Portland, Maine. Quimby’s treatments relieved her suffering only temporarily, but these and other experiences encouraged her efforts to “trace all physical effects to a mental cause.”
After less than two years here, the couple had to move on. Eventually they settled in Massachusetts, where Patterson re-established himself in the practice of dentistry.