Friday, January 25, 2013

The Legacy of Miss Frances Hawks

Episcopal Church of the Ascension, (Re) Built in 1888

Originally from Delafield, Wisconsin, Miss Frances Hawks arrived in Sierra Madre in 1881.  Following her father's death in 1879, Frances and her mother Hannah moved to San Francisco, to join her brothers Ammi and Nelson.  During their time in San Francisco, Fanny, as she was called, and her brother Nelson met Nathaniel Carter. Fanny, not fond of San Francisco's damp climate, traveled south with her brother Nelson (on Carter's glowing recommendation) where each bought twenty acres in Mr. Carter's new Sierra Madre Tract. Their brother Ammi soon followed and also bought 20 acres. 

Frances' property ran from Grand View to Highland, and Baldwin to Merrill. As a skilled horticulturist she landscaped her yard, and eventually opened a small nursery at the corner of Baldwin and Grand View. While her original house still stands (enlarged and improved from the original one room), it is not quite visible from the street, so I can't show you a photo. But Miss Fanny's home is not her most important legacy.

Being a devout Episcopalian, Fanny was dedicated to the idea that there should be an Episcopalian church in Sierra Madre.  At that time, the closest parish was The Church of Our Savior, five miles south in San Gabriel.  Following a meeting with other like-minded people in the area, Fanny drove to San Gabriel and asked the Reverend Dr. Trew if he would conduct services for the group in the Sierra Madre Schoolhouse building.  He agreed, and the first service was conducted in April of 1885. 

Always moving forward, Fanny then promised a 1/2 acre plot of her own land, to build the town an Episcopalian church. With a generous outpouring of donations and a great deal of gift-giving (including a stained-glass window given by Abbott Kinney, of nearby Kinneloa), the new church was built, at a cost of $1760.00. The Episcopal Church of the Ascension thrived until October of 1887.  Then a huge windstorm came through (probably what we now call Santa Ana winds) and the much-loved church was destroyed.

Tomorrow: The Legacy Continues...

 
(Source: The History of a Parish, by Catherine Turney)

10 comments:

  1. that fanny was a busy lady! i don't blame her for moving south..not a fan of san fran either...a nice place to visit but wouldn't want to live there!

    i'll be back tomorrow for the rest of the story

    have a great weekend :)

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    1. Wasn't she, though? I love SF, but think I'd get too cold being there year-round.

      Hope you've had a great weekend!

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  2. I adore San Francisco, though I have to agree with Fanny that the damp gets to you quickly:) (Not that Santa Ana winds are any fun either, haha). She left quite a legacy!

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    1. I believe it would be a toss-up between damp weather and the Santa Anas, which I cannot stand! I didn't put this into the text, but she was 47 when she was doing all this. Really an interesting woman!

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  3. Re-arranging my schedule for tomorrow :) so I can read the next installment! Beautiful photo, Adele!!! Are you using you new camera regularly now?

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    1. I hope I didn't disappoint! :) ...and thank you! I took these with my new camera but, sadly, it has acquired some sort of orb that keeps showing up. I guess it's a piece of dirt or lint, but since I bought the warranty, I'd rather just go and exchange it. :(

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  4. Replies
    1. They did a lovely job, didn't they?

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  5. Fanny was one industrious babe!!! And who says women were repressed back then???

    New camera??? What did I miss???

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    1. No kidding! Apparently some unrepressed women slipped through!

      I think it happened when you were traveling! It's nothing fancy, just a Canon Power Shot, but it has a 20x optical zoom and HD, and I love it! (Until the above-mentioned orb crept in. Now I need to deal with that. Dislike!)

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Comments are welcomed and most appreciated. When I win a million-dollar lottery, I will think of you first!