The following is the eighth in a series examining the history and role of churches and houses of worship in Duxbury.
Christian Scientist founder Mary Baker Eddy was born and raised in New Hampshire, but spent much of her adult life in Massachusetts and, in 1879, founded the faith she called Christian Science. With the building of a mother church in Boston’s Back Bay in 1894 and the Christian Science Monitor daily newspaper in 1908, Eddy’s church spread around the state and across the world before her death in Newton in 1910.
But it wasn’t until 1952, 42 years after Eddy’s death, that the Christian Scientists found a home here in Duxbury in the Island Creek Hall Association, which shared the Parks Street building for 12 years and gave it to the church in 1964. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Duxbury, congregation has been there ever since. What is Christian Science?
In essence, it is the belief that prayer and meditation can help a person conquer any problem or illness.
It’s a conversation 35 years in the making: six woman sit around a coffee table telling stories of old, sharing laughs and reliving the friendships they started so long ago.
This conversation happens more frequently than not for Duxbury residents Martha North, Rosemary Phalen, Alice Desmond, Patti Woods, Maribeth Coughlin, and Nancy O’Neil, who met and built a long-lasting bond through the Duxbury Newcomers’ Club.
Established in 1965, the Duxbury Newcomers’ Club has brought the Duxbury community together through social and volunteer activities. As part of the celebration of their club’s 50th anniversary, the current Newcomers’ board was curious about the history of this great organization and began asking past members to share their experiences and memories of what the Club meant to them.
Duxbury is getting a new pizza shop in Hall’s Corner.
Peel Pizza of Hingham and Cohasset is moving into the Duxbury Marketplace on Depot Street near Eastern Bank in the space recently vacated by the Wool Basket. The Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved a change of ownership and a change of use for a special permit for 19 Depot Street at its meeting last Thursday.
Jim Rubin, one of the owners of the Duxbury Marketplace since 1992, applied to the ZBA for the special permit to allow the use to change from retail to a restaurant. He said that new businesses have been coming into the Marketplace, helping to maintain the area’s variety and economic viability.
For the past six years, Duxbury residents have taken the matter of cleaning up their town into their own hands – literally – as part of the annual town-wide litter sweeps. The spring litter sweep will take place this Saturday, May 7. It is open to all members of the community.
During the litter sweep, volunteers go to the Tarkiln Community Center, 245 Summer Street, at 8 a.m. to grab blue town trash bags and then go out to any area of town to pick up trash and fill their bags. The bags are returned to Tarkiln by 4 p.m. The sweeps, which take place spring and fall, began in 2011.
One of the organizers, Paul Mabey, said he saw the announcement for the first litter sweep proposed by Summer Street resident Mary Gazzola in 2011 and thought that that was something he could get behind.
Selectmen have approved new licenses for 19 floats for oyster growers in a newly designated aquaculture mooring area, which is part of the 2016 Duxbury bay mooring plan adopted by the town this winter.
The floats are in the tidal flats heading east from the channel toward Duxbury beach.
The new aquaculture float area will benefit both the oyster farmers and the public as it allows a specific area for them to work on their shellfish – getting them cleaned and iced quickly before sending them to market, according to town officials.
Beachgoers witnessed a sad sight on Tuesday, April 26 near the first crossover on Duxbury Beach Park – a one-year-old, 27-foot long, deceased humpback whale that had washed ashore.
By Wednesday morning, a 16-person team from New England Aquarium was on site trying to determine why the juvenile whale died. Following the autopsy, the whale was to be buried close to where the examination was being performed, on a site just off the beach access road past the second crossover, on the bayside.
Buy your beach stickers by Friday, April 29 to get a discount.
The early-bird discount for over sand beach stickers ends this Friday and town officials are urging residents to take advantage of the $20 savings.
The discounted price for over-sand resident beach stickers is $160. As of Saturday, the price will be $180.
“We encourage patrons to buy your beach stickers either online or at the treasurer/collector’s office before the close of business on Friday, April 29,” said Town Manager René Read Monday. Non-residents can also take advantage of the early bird discount.
Their over-sand stickers currently cost $295 but after May 1 the price will be $325. There is no early discount for resident parking lot stickers. They cost $90.
By now the incident at Senior Night Out involving several Duxbury High School students found to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the event is well known; student drug and alcohol use is not a new issue (nor one existing only in Duxbury), but, according to local police and school officials, it is an escalating one.
“The numbers are increasing nationally,” said Duxbury school resource officer Friend Weiler. “We’re all on the same page in that we all want to keep the kids safe. We must inform them of the dangers and help them make good decisions. We want to provide them with tools to arm themselves with knowledge to protect themselves, their friends and their peer group. We want to make sure that they’re making good choices and not forming any bad habits going forward.”
So what is being done to combat this problem on a local level? What measures is the community taking to avoid a repeat incident at future school functions?
In a letter addressed to the Duxbury Public School community on Friday, April 15, Superintendent Dr. Ben Tantillo stated, “We are very concerned about the safety of our students. We are addressing the issue in a myriad of ways involving partnerships between the schools, parents, students, community and lawenforcement.”
The Piping Plover watch on Duxbury Beach has begun again. Currently 30 birds – 14 pairs and two singles – have been spotted on the beach and one nest has been located so far, according to Town Manager René Read, who made this announcement Monday night at the selectmen’s meeting.
“You will recall that three years ago I committed myself to advising the public of the arrival of the Piping Plovers to our shore,” Read said. “As has been the case for many generations, the Plovers have returned.”
This year’s numbers of the small, buff-colored shore birds are comparable to last year’s, said Read.
The town has only recently heard that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be issuing its final opinion about changes to local flood maps but town officials are already planning their appeal.
“Last week our office received notification from FEMA that the ‘letter of final determination’ is expected to be issued on May 4, regarding FEMA’s map revisions in November of 2015 and March of 2016,” Town Manager René Read told the Board of Selectmen Monday.
At this year’s Duxbury High School Senior Night Out, held on a cruise ship in Boston in late March, several members of the senior class were caught under the influence of drugs and alcohol, however, no criminal charges were filed against them, leaving the disciplinary power in the hands of school officials.
Attendees were able to smuggle drugs and alcohol on board despite two separate pat-down searches conducted prior to students entering the vessel.
Students’ stories to school officials and local law enforcement upon returning to campus following the night’s proceedings produced “widespread but unconfirmed” rumors of cocaine and MDMA (Molly) possession and use.
DHS principal Andrew Stephens found these students’ accounts “compelling enough to report to parents.”
The group of students discovered to be under the influence were not found to be in possession of drugs and alcohol by school officials and therefore no criminal charges were brought on them. The absence of possession essentially left the disciplinary power in the hands of the school. The fact that this incident occurred well outside the confines of Duxbury would have turned this into a Boston Police Department matter had it reached that level.
Battelle announced Tuesday that it has a signed a purchase and sales agreement for its 11-acre Washington Street campus with Bostonarea developers Diamond/ Sinacori, LLC. Battelle spokesperson Katy Delaney contacted the Clipper Tuesday morning with the news.
“We have worked diligently to find the right developer for this unique piece of property – one who shares a good vision to meet our mutual goals,” said Delaney. “We are sensitive to the historic and scenic nature of the property and our buyer selection process has gone to great lengths to assure its respectful redevelopment.”
“We’re very happy with this news,” Delaney said, adding that “responsible redevelopment of the property” was the company’s main goal. In her press release, she wrote that “Diamond/Sinacori is “an award-winning residential developer with a history of developing historically significant sites.”
Two early morning shootings Sunday in Duxbury have left two men, including a Tobey Garden Street resident, recovering from gunshot wounds and local townspeople in shock from the random acts of violence that happened in the heart of their quiet town.
On Sunday around 1:15 a.m., a 33-year old Marshfield man was driving past Duxbury Town Hall on Tremont Street when he was shot in the abdomen by a shotgun wielding man in a passing car, according to Duxbury police.
The victim drove himself to the fire station down the road on Tremont Street to receive help for his injuries. He had shotgun pellets lodged on his left side and lower abdomen and back. He was transported to the South Shore Hospital in Weymouth with non-life threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
With the shooting victim and police at the fire station, that building was turned into a crime scene, according to Duxbury Police Chief Matthew Clancy.
At approximately 1:15am Sunday, a 33 year old Marshfield man was traveling along Tremont Street in Duxbury near the Town Hall when he was shot by a passing vehicle. The man, who was shot in the abdomen, drove himself to the nearby Duxbury Fire Station for help. Some twenty minutes later while Duxbury and Kingston Police officer were investigating the first shooting a suspicions vehicle was observed in the area.
A Duxbury unit attempted to make contact with the vehicle as it fled the area, speeding onto Tobey Garden’s Street. For a short time the officer lost visual on the vehicle, a Chevy Impala bearing a temporary Maine registration tag, but reencountered it seconds later in the 100 block of Tobey Gardens as it was now stopped in front of a home there. As the officer approached the vehicle a resident quickly approach stating he was just shot by the occupant of the vehicle. The vehicle again tried to flee the area but was blocked in the Duxbury Police cruiser. As the officer attempted to arrest the man he came at the officer with a hunting knife and was subdued by the officer using an electronic control weapon (Taser). A Kingston Police officer arrived as backup and assisted with the arrest.
Inside the man’s car police recovered a shot gun believed to be used in both shootings. The resident of Tobey Garden’s Street who was shot was letting his dog out when the man pulled in front of the home and shot him seconds before the first Duxbury cruiser arrived. Both gunshot victims were transported by the Duxbury Fire Department to a Plymouth Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The officers were not injured during the arrest. At this early point in the investigation the shootings appear completely random.
The suspect is identified as Lucas McPherson (25 years of age) with a last known address in Mapleton Maine. He will be arraigned Monday at Plymouth District Court. Duxbury Police requested the assistance of Kingston police officers at the scenes of the two shootings as well as the Mass State Police. MSP Detectives and Crime Scene technicians responded and are working with Duxbury Police Detectives on the incident.