What is Martyrs Grove?
Martyrs Grove is a memorial designed to honor twenty-six women who attended a Girls’ Conference held in Northfield, MA. Each tree represents one of the twenty-six women who passed away on the foreign mission field.
The names of the women are:
- Reba Gray
- Katherine S. Beaver
- Marian Clement Tinder
- Charlotte Robertson
- Helen May Smith
- Helen Hughes
- Elizabeth H. Hale
- Rebekah Mills Lovett
- Margaret Galloway
- Katharine Throwbridge Perkins
- Evelyn Bowie
- Anna Harlow Birge
- Margery Nixon MacKenzie
- Margaret Fisher
- Bell C. Fox
- Bertha Harlan
- Dorothy Moen
- Mrs. Henry Uhlmann
- Louise Stockton Andrews
- Eleanor Irwin Carey
- Jane Winchester
- Anna Cooley Brush
- Annabel B. Wood
- Elizabeth N. Drummond
- Mary Hinman Carter
- Julia L. White
While we know the names of the women, we are engaging in additional research to find out more about them and the “missionary trees” that make up Martyrs Grove.
Why Make Changes to Martyrs Grove?
To the best of our knowledge, Martyrs Grove has been replanted at least one time before. The Blue Spruce in Martyrs Grove are not healthy. There appear to be two primary causes: (1) there appears to be evidence that beetles have damaged the trees and (2) the close proximity of the trees to one another seems to have had some adverse effects on the trees in the center of the grove.
In addition to the state of the trees the sign listing the names of the women is no longer standing, but was found some time ago laying on the ground. Having completed an agreement with Northfield Mount Hermon on July 1st of 2019, Moody Center has been focused on assessing the property over which Moody Center now has stewardship. Our initial concern was the foundation of the Birthplace, which needed substantial repair. With those repairs completed, it is now time to turn our attention to Martyrs Grove.
What is the vision for Martyrs Grove?
Our desire is to enhance Martyrs Grove. As we see more and more people visiting Moody Center, we want the Martyrs Grove to be a prominent part of the Moody Center experience. That will include some changes to the physical design of Martyrs Grove, as well as sponsoring research that will help us learn more about the twenty-six women memorialized in Martyrs Grove.
As such, we will be re-conceptualizing the Martyrs Grove to allow those who visit Moody Center to have a more immersive experience. The plans for the Martyrs Grove are still in process and Moody Center will be working with Northfield Mount Hermon School to define the project. Right now, Moody Center has retained a landscape architect to help us design Martyrs Grove, as well as the rest of the campus.
While none of the plans are final at this point, we do know that we will be planting 26 new trees, as well as installing new signage. We are also considering the installation of a path leading through the Martyrs Grove with seating in the center where people can reflect on the sacrifice of the twenty-six women, pray for the many Christian missionaries currently on the mission field, and consider how God might be leading them to participate in His mission of making disciples around the world.
In addition to the new trees, Moody Center will be retaining any useable wood from the existing trees. Our intention is to use the wood to create items that will remain on the campus to further commemorate the women of Martyrs Grove.
What is the process for restoring Martyrs Grove?
Moody Center has engaged a regional landscape architectural firm (Stephens and Associates) to create plans for the new Martyrs Grove concept. Moody Center will be announcing several formal de-commissioning events prior to the re-commissioning of the Martyrs Grove (planned for October of 2020). If you would like to receive updates on Martyrs Grove, please sign up for Moody Center’s email list.
You can support the restoration of Martyrs Grove with donations made to our “Enhance & Restore” fund.
If I have questions or information about the Martyrs Grove, what should I do?
Moody Center will be sharing updates on the Martyrs Grove project via email. You can sign up for the email list here.
Moody Center would appreciate hearing from anyone who has information about the history of the Martyrs Grove or any of the women represented by the trees in the Martyrs Grove. If you have such information, please send an email to [email protected].