Our Church Grounds
St. George Church is located on the former estate of Rev. Harold G. and Helen Arnold. Rev. Arnold was the pastor of the Theodore Parker Unitarian Church on Centre Street, West Roxbury, from 1913-1948. The Arnold's resided at their Emmonsdale Road property for over 60 years. The parish purchased the Arnold Estate in 1977.
Helen Arnold was an author and literary critic as well as a respected horticulturalist, especially noted for her work at the Arnold Arboretum, with which there was a family connection. The Arnold Arboretum was established in 1872 when the trustees of the will of James Arnold (1781-1868), a whaling merchant of New Bedford, Massachusetts, transferred a portion of Arnold's estate to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. In the deed of trust between the Arnold trustees and the College, income from the legacy was to be used "for the establishment and support of an arboretum, to be known as the Arnold Arboretum, which shall contain, as far as practicable, all the trees [and] shrubs . . either indigenous or exotic, which can be raised in the open air." The Arnold Arboretum occupies 265 acres of land in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston.
Helen was the U. S. representative to the Bronte Society for 22 years and editor of the Emily Dickinson Yearbook. She was active in the ‘Lend A Hand' Society of Boston and a lifelong friend of Helen Keller.
In 1952, she and her husband received a bronze medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for the restoration of their gardens on Emmonsdale Road. The current site of St. George Orthodox Church retains many features of the prize winning gardens created by the Arnold's including several rare and exotic trees of North America and eastern Asia including Fagus (beech), Lonicera (honeysuckle), Malus (crabapple), Quercus (oak), Rhododendron, and Syringa (lilac). The parish is proud of its grounds and continues to honor the legacy of the Arnold family by conserving and caring for these majestic trees and shrubs.