Calvin Frye outside Pleasant View. Unknown photographer. P00735.

 

(Updated December 2021)

As we look at photographs of life at Pleasant View, Mary Baker Eddy’s home in Concord, New Hampshire, it’s fascinating to see a quiet New England town of a century ago. These images give us a glimpse of winter in a time when life was quite different from today.

Among the important distinctions is the fact that transportation at that time did not include automobiles. Horse-drawn carriages and streetcars were the norm, and walking was common for many.

These photographs date from the early years of the twentieth century. In the first, we see Calvin Frye, Eddy’s longtime secretary, standing on the walk at Pleasant View. The front gate of the house is behind him. We can see that there is very little snow on the ground, and Frye is dressed in a suit, without an overcoat. So perhaps he is enjoying a late winter’s day that isn’t too cold.

sled

J. Frederick Mann (Freddie) sledding at Pleasant View. Unknown photographer. P01211.

 

This second photo provides a look at winter recreation at Pleasant View. Here J. Frederick Mann is sledding across the backyard. “Freddie,” as he was called, is the son of August and Amanda Mann. August served as a coachman. Amanda was a dressmaker for Eddy, from about 1900 to 1908. The sled is a long one—possibly an early form of a bobsled.

Freddie’s letters to Eddy, found in the Library’s Incoming Correspondence file, provide a charming look at her generosity and indicate the warm relationships she had with children. In one letter he thanks her for the gift of a derby hat. In another he expresses gratitude for an inscribed copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. And in a third he sends appreciation for a present of “delicious candy.”

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