P00541-w_copyright (2)

Adam H. Dickey poses with Spike the squirrel at Mary Baker Eddy’s Chestnut Hill home, circa 1909. P00541.


Margaret MacDonald worked for Mary Baker Eddy in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, where the Christian Science founder lived from 1908 to 1910. A passage from McDonald’s 1930 account in our reminiscence collection gives background on this fascinating photo, featuring Adam H. Dickey, who was working at the time as a secretary to Eddy:

There were many birds and grey squirrels on the place, and the first spring we were there a most disreputable looking grey squirrel came to the house begging food. We were too busy downstairs to pay much attention to her, but she was persistent and climbed up the vines to the second story windows and told the men about her troubles. She had very little fur left on her winter coat, and her tail was completely stripped. They took pity on her, found some nuts for her, and christened her ‘Spiketail.’ She continued her visits and soon became the pet of the household. She was so well fed that before long she wore a new shiny coat and a bushy tail which necessitated a change in her name. We could not give up the whole name, so she was rechristened ‘Spike.’ She was very proud of her name and would always come when called by it. She was often seen running in and out of the men’s coat pockets looking for nutmeats as they stood or walked in the lawn, and was never disappointed; for everybody loved Spike for her gentleness and friendliness.1

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  1. Margaret MacDonald, 24 October 1930, Reminiscence, 9–10.