What was Eddy’s favorite home?
Mary Baker Eddy had many addresses in her life, from the beloved family farm of her childhood to the Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, mansion that she occupied in later years. We are sometimes asked whether she had a residence she liked best.
Eddy regarded as her favorite residence the Concord, New Hampshire, home that she named Pleasant View. Biographer Gillian Gill said this about the remodeled farmhouse that she moved to on June 20, 1892, and lived in for the next 16 years: “Mrs. Eddy was in her element at Pleasant View, and she was frank in acknowledging the pleasure and comfort the place gave her.” Gill also observed that “living in a setting of natural beauty was an important thing for Mary Baker Eddy. Romantic poetry had taught her as a girl to see and admire the beauties of her native state which was a tourist mecca in the nineteenth century.1
John Salchow, who worked for many years at Pleasant View as a groundskeeper, also reported in his 1932 reminiscence how important that particular location was to Eddy. He recounted the following statement she made after having left Pleasant View in 1908, to live at Chestnut Hill:
After she moved back to her newly finished rooms [at Chestnut Hill], her cousin, Hon. Henry M. Baker, came to see her and as he stood looking out the window in her study he spoke of the beautiful view. Mrs. Sargent told me some time afterward that Mrs. Eddy remarked to him that it was not as pleasant as Pleasant View. I do not think she ever felt really at home at Chestnut Hill. She once said to me rather pathetically, “This is not my home. Pleasant View will always be my home.”2