Gardening — Buildings and Grounds

The property at 5 Longfellow Park, originally part of the Longfellow estate, was purchased by Friends in 1937 from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s granddaughter, Anne Allegra — “Laughing Allegra” from Longfellow’s poem “The Children’s Hour.” The residence became known as the Friends Center, and was remodeled for office, social rooms and an apartment for the resident Meeting workers. A separate meetinghouse, approximately 40 x 60 feet, was built adjacent to the Friends Center with a seating capacity of about 250 people. The meetinghouse was first used for worship on December 5, 1937, with an evening meeting at which a well-known New England Quaker, Rufus Jones, spoke on the subject “Are the Returns All In?”

The buildings and grounds of the meeting are cared for by the Meeting’s Trustees and by the Gardening and Landscape Committee. Each year we schedule a couple of work days, involving the whole Meeting in weeding, raking, mulching, composting and other important landscape maintenance activities. Everyone, of all ages and abilities, is encouraged to join in the work outside and experience the spiritual aspects of our connection to the land.