History

postcard from 1905

Saint Mary’s was founded in 1811 by thirty-three people who felt they could not have a community without a church. The church building, the oldest in the city of Newton, was completed in 1813.  The grounds occupy approximately 2.5 acres overlooking the Charles River. The sanctuary architecture is in the colonial style with clear round headed windows creating a contemplative setting. The church, featuring interior square columns and high box pews with seating for 350 people, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The church property has had extensive renovations and additions over the past two hundred years.  The connected parish hall – which houses the parish offices, community meeting spaces, and classrooms – was added in the 1940s, as was a house for the rector and his family.

memorial-circle-autumnThe adjacent Churchyard is a visible reminder of the founders and former parishioners of St. Mary’s. The oldest grave dates back to 1812, with burials of Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans.  (Of note is Zibeon Hooker, who had been a drummer boy at the Battle of Bunker Hill. When his drum was damaged by a musket ball, he seized a gun and fought to the end of the battle.)

More recently, the Memorial Circle was dedicated in 2000 as a place for interment.  In connection with our 200th anniversary in 2013, the church building has been updated with a modern energy efficient heating system, as well as renovations to the adjacent parish hall so we can better serve the needs of our community in the 21st century.