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The "Greene-ing" of Grace (year?)

posted Mar 13, 2012, 1:26 PM by Todd Randolph

After receiving two refusals from Rev. Fales, the Grace Vestry secured Fales' assistant, John Singleton Copley Greene as the first rector of Grace Church. "Copley", as he was called, oversaw the building of our first church building, a wooden chapel on Washington St. where Frost Cadillac now stands (a photo in the Small Hall shows the grass being "mowed" by a goat). As a young man, Greene, the grandson of artist J.S. Copley, graduated from Harvard and from medical school, then entertained regularly in his luxurious home, the Gore Mansion...now a museum in Waltham. Yet the illness and deaths of his first wife (when he was 31) and his second wife (when he was 42), led Greene to conclude that he should serve God instead of his own pleasures; thus he sold Gore Place. At age 46 Greene was ordained, and began to serve Grace Church for eight years, resigning for reasons of health...he never served another church. Rev. Greene, who had paid for the rectory and much of the construction at Christ Church in Waltham, at Grace Church financed a Sunday School building and a rectory for our new chapel. During this period, glue was added to postage stamps; "Jingle Bells" was written; and the first trolley service in America took people from Boston to Cambridge. During this period, there were about thirty failures among newly organized Episcopal churches in eastern Massachusetts. Would there be enough families of English immigrant workers in the North Village (now "Newton Corner") and of business owners living up toward Farlow Hill to help Grace Church survive? Find out in the next "History Minute"!