Helen Osborne was born on September 22, 1864, in Auburn, NY. Her parents were
David Munson (“Munson”) Osborne and Eliza Wright. They were the parents of four children. Helen was the youngest. Although her parents’ early married life was modest by the time Helen was born, they had become a prominent family in Cayuga County Their Auburn mansion at 99 South Street served as a cultural center.
Helen was sent away to boarding school at the age of eleven she was interested in music. After boarding school, she spent time in Germany continuing her musical studies, Helen went on to graduate from Smith College.
Helen met James Jackson Storrow Sr., in 1882, while touring Europe with her relatives. They married in 1891.
James was a corporate lawyer until he took a position at Lee, Higginson & Co., an investment bank. James was an astute businessman and became very wealthy.
Although the Storrows wanted a large family, they only had one son, James Jr.
Helen became involved in many charitable activities. She was interested in settlement work as well as land conservation.
She focused on children’s charities such as the playground movement. She was on the board of the North Bennett Street Industrial School. Helen supported the Saturday Girls Club and Paul Revere Pottery until 1915.
Helen became interested in Scouting after she met Juliette Gordon Low. Helen hosted Girl Scout training courses at her summer home in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Helen founded the Pine Tree Camp, on her property at Long Pond, in Plymouth in 1917.
Between 1900 and 1930, the Storrows helped found the West End House, a summer camp in East Parsonsfield, Maine, and the Women’s City Club. They established a summer home for wounded soldiers of World War I. Helen began Storrowton Village in the late 1920s.
In 1931, Helen donated one million dollars to the State of Massachusetts to complete the development of the Charles River Basin.
Helen died on November 10, 1944.