Foreword by George Brush

and introduction by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

 

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 neighbors:
 

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.


 

Introduction
 

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.

 

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

 

 

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