The land on which the original structure was erected, was presented for that purpose by Governor Belcher, in 1731; and in April of the same year, by permission of the selectmen of Tri-Mountain, or Boston, a wooden building, sixty feet long and forty feet wide, was began, which was finished and dedicated in midsummer of the following year.
In the great South End fire, on the twentieth of April, 1787, and in response to an imperative demand, a second, and larger wooden house, was erected on the site of the first, and made ready for occupancy in the course of the following year. This building was planned by Charles Bulfinch, and in its architecture resembled St. Paul’s Church, now standing on Tremont street.
Within a year the Hollis Street Society has removed to an elegant new edifice on the Back Bay, and the brick building they left behind must now disappear in the march of improvement. It was erected in 1811, in order to accommodate the prosperous and rapidly-growing society for whom it stood as a place of worship. To make room for it, the wooden meeting-house already referred to was taken down in sections and removed to the town of Braintree.
The several clergymen who have been the honored pastors of Hollis Street Church are worthy of mention in this connection. The first was Rev. Mather Byles, a lineal descendant of John Cotton and Richard Mather, who was ordained pastor, December 20, 1732. He was dismissed August 14, 1776, on account of his strong Tory proclivities. His immediate successor was Rev. Ebenezer Wright, a young divine from Dedham and a graduate of Harvard, who remained the pastor until the new meeting-house was finished, in 1788, when he was dismissed at his own request, on account of ill-health.
The next pastor was a man in middle life, who made himself an acknowledged power among the Boston clergy, Rev. Samuel West, of Needham. He died in 1808, and was succeeded by Rev. Horace Holley, from Connecticut, who was installed in March, 1809, and remained till 1818. Rev. John Pierpont, who resigned in 1845, made way for Rev. David Fosdick, who preached there two years, when Rev. Starr King was settled in 1845, and remained till 1861, Rev. George L. Chaney then took the place till 1877, and was succeeded by Rev. H. Bernard Carpenter, the present pastor.
* * * * *
A ROMANCE OF COLONIAL DAYS.
By Frances C. Sparhawk, Author of “A Lazy Man’s Work.”
Half an hour later Edmonson marched into his friend’s room. His face was flushed, and his eyes had a triumphant glitter. It was an expression that heightened most the kind of beauty he had.
“You are booked for a visit, Bulchester,” he began, seating himself in the chair opposite the other. “I have accepted for you; knew you would be glad to go with me.”