Foreword by George Brush
and introduction by Dorothy Canfield
The birth of the
Episcopal Church in Arlington preceded by at least fifteen years
the entrance of the State of Vermont into the Union.
For this reason and also because of the important part which the
early pioneers of this parish shared in the spread of the
Episcopal Church in Vermont, as well as in its own activity and
development, the importance of a permanent record of the history
of this parish becomes self evident.
The purpose of this
book has been to examine the records of the parish and of the
diocese and other historical material available and to give a
review of some of the important events that have happened in
this parish during its life of over one hundred and fifty years.
The author is conscious of his shortcomings in being unable to
present in this volume many sidelights of human interest, such
as the bearing of current political events on the religious life
of the people. A more intimate picture of the social life of the
people of those early days which if chronicled would doubtless
prove most fascinating.
These records are
made in a prosy and sometimes commonplace fashion as a
compendium of facts and figures in which are woven some of the
hopes and aspirations of our Fathers in God who have guided our
people in the past days of stress and storm as well as in the
brighter days of prosperity.
In this work of
compilation and research the author wishes at this time to
acknowledge the valuable help of the following friends and
Mrs. Dorothy Canfield
Fisher, Miss Sarah Cleghorn, Dr. George A. Russell, Mr. Edward
C. Woodworth, Mr. Charles H. Crofut, Miss Hermione Canfield, the
late James Ross Roberts, Mr. Horace M. Abrams, whose chapter on
the "St. James’ Churchyard" adds much to the interest of the
volume, and the Rev. W. J. Brown, of Manchester. One of the
primary objects of this history has been to present a permanent
record of the lives and personalities of the rectors of this
parish who made such valuable contributions to its stability and
high standard among the parishes of the diocese.
It is the hope of the
author that this book may find its way into the homes of all the
parishioners and that it may become the means of inspiring them
to a greater loyalty to God and His Church as they read of the
faithfulness and the perseverance of those Christian men and
women who helped to build and maintain the household of God in
this parish and community.
George R. Brush
Arlington, VT, August 1, 1941.
WHERE would students
of Vermont history be, if it were not for the town histories
written by Vermont clergymen? Over and over, in the middle years
of the 19th century, they were the ones who, before it was too
late, gathered up the informally set down records and oral
traditions of our towns to preserve them in print.
It is something to be
thankful for that the Reverend George Robert Brush of our parish
of St. James, has been moved to follow this tradition - but to
our good fortune, very much in the modern way, that is, with a
scholarly responsible accuracy quite different from the urbane
vagueness of a good many of the early and mid-nineteenth century
amateur American historians. Mr. Brush has painstakingly checked
all facts recorded in this history. Anything, which is reported
herein as fact is accurate, as far as, can be ascertained by Mr.
Brush and Dr. Russell, our skilled and informed local historian.
Yet he has by no
means limited himself to facts of ascertainable precise factual
accuracy. That would have made a very dull book. Local oral
tradition has been called upon for human color and general
atmosphere, and this greatly helps to round out the record of
one aspect of our town’s life during a century and a half.
We, in Arlington,
whether members of St. James parish or not, are proud to have
this faithful history written by an honored member of our own
community. We can see it, as it will stand in the future, on the
shelves of libraries, in the workrooms of people interested in
our Vermont history, in the history of the Episcopal Church, in
American history. We see it taken down and consulted to verify
some detail of which Mr. Brush perhaps did not dream when he was
writing. We can wish other parishes, other towns, no better
fortune than to have someone who belongs deeply and fully to the
community, go and do likewise.
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