Queer Places:
565 Columbia Rd & Cushing Ave, Boston, MA 02125
Savin Hill Avenue, nearly opposite Savin Hill Ct, Boston, MA 02125

Sarah Sally Baker (1806–1866) was an entrepreneur who started her own box band business, which she carried on for 40 years at Lower Mills. She lived at 565 Columbia Rd & Cushing Ave, Boston, MA 02125. Baker made so much money that when she died in 1866, she let enough money to build a church. The Baker Memorial Church was built on Columbia Road (the site is now a parking lot next to the Strand Theater). Sarah Baker was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church near Lower Mills from early years until her death in 1866. She lived next to that church for a long time, finally moving to her early home at Savin Hill Avenue, nearly opposite Savin Hill Ct, Boston, MA 02125. Baker made wood band boxes that were covered in colourful wallpaper. If a woman was particularly well-dressed it was popularly said that she lookedas if she just stepped out of a band box.When Baker had gathered $5,000, she invested the money. She left this investment in her will so that at the end of twenty years, the money would be given to the Methodist Church to build a new house of worship within three-fourths of a mile from her Savin Hill home. The money became available in 1886, at which time no church existed within the required limit. In 1899 the Trustees of the New England Conference asked the Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church on Howard Avenue, Roxbury, to disband and add the proceeds of the sale of its property to the Baker estate. The church was reorganized at Upham's Corner, and its first meetings were held in Winthrop Hall opposite the site of the proposed church. The site chosen was found to be nineteen feet outside the required limit, and special permission was obtained from the Court to use the Baker bequest. The money had grown to $22,642, and it contributed substantially to the construction of the Baker Memorial Church, which opened in June, 1891. There is a story that in her bequest Baker said that if the church ever fell into disuse beacuse of a lack of congregation that the church could be used only as a stable for horses and could never be sold to the Catholic Church. Perhaps that is the reason the church was demolished even though it seems to have been available when St. Kevin's was looking for a site in the 1940s. St. Kevin's ended up in a telephone company building.


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  1. http://www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org/blog/?p=2792