Our Parish History
THE “CREATION” OF PANAGIA PARISH
In the mid to late 1800S there were about 12 or 13 “tycoons” who individually were
involved in building personal mansions of the day along Jerusalem Rd. From The Hingham/Hull line to the end of the road.
Colonel Albert Pope was one of this number; he had become the largest manufacturer in Hartford, Ct. By first importing bicycles from Europe and then producing them here in the 1880s (Columbia bicycles). His 20 year old son died in a boating accident, and in 1899 Col. Pope built the Pope Memorial Chapel dedicated in July, 1900 to his son Charles.
The building was designed in a Richardson Romanesque Style. Henry Richardson was one of the few American architects to have a style named after him.
Col. Pope Died In 1909 after having gone into bankruptcy. The chapel became a Methodist Church and in 1980 was later occupied by an Eastern Nazarene Community. A number of Greek Orthodox South Shore residents had formed a building search committee that year and heard of its availability for purchase. They met with Pope Family Representatives including several from the Paris, France area and also inquired about a mortgage at The Cohasset Savings Bank. Interest rates at the time hovered around 20%, but the group and the bank negotiated an agreeable rate and became the new owners.
There was minimal maintenance performed on the building as of 1980, and at the first Orthodox service on December 25, 1980, there was no heat. The new community installed a heating system and performed roof and window repairs and thus began a new era for this magnificent historical structure.