Steenstra - Mary F. Steenstra (1874-1953))


Steenstra - Mary F. Steenstra (1874-1953))

Mary F. Steenstra was born on July 30, 1874 to Rev. Peter Henry and Susan Brown (Learned) Steenstra in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mary’s father, famous as P.H. Steenstra (1833-1911), born in Holland, was professor of Old Testament (Hebrew) literature and interpretation at the Episcopal Theological School [affiliated with Harvard College] in Cambridge, Massachusetts for forty years. He wrote several books on theology and Christian interpretation and was often quoted in his lifetime.

The Steenstra family seems to have lived at the Theological School at 18 Hawthorn Street, Cambridge. They summered near Money Maker Lake in Robbinston, Washington County, Maine. Grace Episcopal Church in Robbinston, was founded in 1882 by Dr. Steenstra to serve the colony of summer people in the area. The Carpenter Gothic building is still used for summer services and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#01000816).

Mary F. Steenstra’s brother, Frederick Henry Steenstra, graduated from Harvard and her sister, Isabella Greene Steenstra, a librarian, was an alumna of Radcliffe, but we have found no record of Mary at any college. Neither Mary nor her sister Isabella married. From about 1920 to at least 1935, when Mary was 61, the sisters had rooms at 23 Berkley Street in Cambridge. The head of the household was Marion Abott [Sic], 66. The only other resident was a servant. Mary and Isabella traveled widely. We have found no record of Mary’s employment .


“Steenstra - Mary F. Steenstra (1874-1953)),” Southwest Harbor Public Library, accessed April 19, 2019, 15170