Mrs. Emma Aldrich came to California in 1905 from Colorado
and started the Christian Science church in this area. She
had learned of Christian Science while in Denver when she
was healed with the help of a Christian Science practitioner.
The Aldrich family moved to South Santa Anita (what we
now call Arcadia) in 1908 and traveled to Third Church,
Los Angeles, until late in 1913, when 2 or 3 Christian Scientists
started to meet in the Aldrich home on the corner of Sunset
Boulevard and Duarte Road to read the Lesson Sermons together.
Soon, others began to join them and in April of 1914, a
Sunday School was formed for the children. The first Sunday
School was held on Easter Sunday with 12 pupils and 3 teachers.
Among those attending these services were people from Sierra
Madre, El Monte and Arcadia.
The attendance at church services soon became so large
that accommodation at the Aldrich home was inadequate, and
they began looking around for a lot to build a suitable
meeting place. In August, 1914, a lot on Duarte Road was
purchased for $1000. This lot was priced so low because
there was a water reservoir on the property, and it was
thought that it would cost about $5000 to remove it.
an architect was hired, he presented a plan to transform
the reservoir into a church rather than demolishing it.
By January, 1915, the Christian Science Society of South
Santa Anita was formed, and on Sunday, March 22, 1915, the
first service was held in the new church. In February of
1916, Bicknell Young delivered our first lecture. By June
of the next year, the building was completely paid for and
In 1925, the Society was able to fulfill the requirements
for becoming a church, and on May 9th, became First Church
of Christ, Scientist, South Santa Anita with 19 charter
members. In July of the same year, the church was incorporated
under the laws of the State of California. 21 years later,
the property on which the church was built was annexed to
the City of Arcadia and, in 1946, the name changed to First
Church of Christ, Scientist, Arcadia.
1950, the Sunday School had outgrown its space and plans
were outlined for a new ediface to be built on the same
property. This new church, a New England Colonial, red brick
design with white wood trim was completed in August 1953.
The Sunday School took over the water reservoir building.
This new church was completely paid for and dedicated by
years later, in 1964, plans for a new Sunday School building
had been detailed and the membership had voted funds to
begin construction. Then an unsolicited offer was made for
the church property in exchange for property of comparable
size and a sizable sum of money to assist in building a
new church. The church at 812 Duarte Road was vacated in
June of 1966 and, after considerable delays for rezoning,
construction started at 100 West Duarte Road, in May of
Much gratitude was felt during the construction period
for the availability for church services in the new Masonic
Temple just down the street from the new church site, for
the securing of adequate office space, and for the generosity
of Clairbourn School in offering their facilities for committee
and membership meetings. Easter Sunday, 1968, marked the
opening of this new edifice. By March 1974, this property
was free from debt and the dedication services held.
2000, the members voted to sell the Duarte property and
purchase a new parcel to build a smaller, more intimate
church edifice. An architect and contractor were found and
a new design formulated. While the new facility was under
construction, the church held Sunday services, Wednesday
meetings, and membership meetings at Clairbourn School in
San Gabriel. The first service in the new church was held
on January 19, 2003. The property is free of debt and held
a dedication service May 4, 2003.
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