The land for the Friends Meeting House, with a front-age of 106 feet on the Park was purchased in 1855 for $24,000 and the edifice, which was completed in 1857, has a long record of social as well as religious usefulness to its credit. During the Civil War the members of the Society took an active interest in the cause of the negroes, or “Freedmen,” as they were then called, and in supplying their needs, and the third floor of the building was used as a sewing room for making garments. In addition to its usual meetings the Society has conducted an Armenian mission and a school for men of the very poorest class, with an attendance of several hundred, who are provided with breakfast and given instruction and amusement. The “annual meeting” is the event of the year and in former days its occurrence was evidenced by the throng of gray bonnetted or gray coated figures which were seen in the Park, but of late years the picturesque and distinctive garb has almost entirely disappeared.
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