SUPPLEMENT TO BRUSH HISTORY OF St. JAMES PARISH

On the occasion of the celebration of St. James bicentennial
1784-1984
BY - LESTER BRUSH (Son of The Rev. George R. Brush)

A. Acknowledgements
In the main, this work is an effort to summarize and supplement or update the History of St. James Parish, Arlington, Vermont, and the Diocese of Vermont, written y my father, - George R. Brush, Rector of St. James 1926 - 1939. That book was my main source material, with many quotes from it. A St. James Sunday School record book (1873 to 1884) was used to list children of that period who were parishioners in my youth. Most of the supplement was from memory with some dates confirmed by referring to St. James Guild Minutes and Treasurer’s Record Books. Also, the session of part of the bicentennial Committee: Fred and Dot Grout, Art and Lorraine Moody and Larry Brush, when we taped memories of the past helped greatly in stimulating my memory.

I wish to extend my thanks to our former Rector, Father Douglas Culton, for encouraging me to get started. And especial thanks to Josie Rahe and Chris Meyer for their much-appreciated help in typing and editing my poor writing. Also, Josie Rahe assisted me in writing the section covering Father John Adams’ and Father Douglas Culton’s Rectorships. Many thanks to her for that valuable assistance.

Lester Brush

B. Our Beginnings
As we celebrate the bicentennial of the organization of the Episcopal Church in Arlington, it is only fitting that we include an account of our “goodly heritage”. For a century after Massachusetts and Connecticut were settled, Vermont was undeveloped and completely forested. Even the Indians had no settlements in Vermont except in the North in the area of Swanton, using Vermont chiefly for hunting game.
In 1749 the King of England instructed Benning Wentworth, then Governor of New Hampshire, to open up the area and make grants at $100.00 per township. One of the motivating reasons that caused people to pull up stakes and come to the ‘New Hampshire grants’ to clear the land and settle was that, following the French and Indian Wars in the 1750’s, the soldiers had come back to their homes in lower New England through the area known as Vermont. Those soldiers had spread the word about the virtues of Vermont - the good land, abundant natural resources and rich soil. In the pre-Revolutionary times, the progress of the Episcopal Church had been made difficult by the attitudes of prejudice and opposition of the Puritans and Separatists to the ceremonies and liturgies of the Book of Common Prayer. In addition, the Puritans and the churchmen were far apart in their modes of behavior. The Puritans banned any form of amusement and the churchmen felt that man functions more normally when he is free to indulge in amusement and recreation within Christ’s laws. Even so, at this time in the Newtown and New Milford, Connecticut, area, there were families of churchmen living amongst the prejudice of their Puritan neighbors.

By 1761, many families had settled in the Arlington area, bringing their religion with them. In Walter and Margaret Hard’s hook - This is Vermont - they commented: “I’ve always been proud of those early settlers of Arlington. You know they tired of the rigid Calvinist religion of their neighbors in Connecticut who criticized them for their frivolity and so they came up here and brought their Church of England with them... I’ve heard what they wanted especially was to be free to celebrate Christmas and Easter and May Day, and they wanted to dance too. I’m proud as punch of these people.”
The Town of Arlington was chartered by Governor Benning Wentworth, Gov. of New Hampshire, with his commission from the King on July 26, 1761. Living in Arlington at that time was Jehiel Hawley. He had been a Captain of Militia of the Town of New Milford, Connecticut, and had been chosen annually to be Lay Reader of the Episcopal Church in Roxbury, Connecticut. The Churchman Magazine, published in Connecticut in 1805 tells:
“Although encumbered by many things, Capt. Jehiel Hawley did not forget ‘the one thing needful’ but with unrelenting zeal for his Master’s glory and the salvation of his fellow men. He commenced the worship of the church at Arlington upon settling there and with the blessing of God upon his unrelenting and pious labors, he so spread the doctrine of the church that until the time of the Revolutionary War almost the whole town consisted of Episcopalians.”

Jehiel Hawley built the first frame house in Arlington situated just south of the present Railroad Station. He was Lay Reader for regular services in his house from 1764 - 1777, except for the years 1772 - 1773 when he traveled to England, during which period his son Andrew read the service. Shortly after his having settled in Arlington, a dispute arose between New York and the ‘New Hampshire grants’ over boundaries. Capt. Hawley and James Breckenridge, as Vermont delegates, traveled to England to submit evidence to the King and it was chiefly through Capt. Hawley’s efforts that the ‘New Hampshire grants’ claims were substantiated.

Through the history of Arlington furnished by the Rev. Frederick A. Wadleigh, we learn that the Rev. Gideon Bostwick of Great Barrington, Massachusetts and the Rev. Daniel Burban of Lanesboro, Massachusetts often came to visit Arlington to administer the sacraments. The Rev. Bostwick was a missionary for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts and during the years 1772 - 1789, he made eight distinct visits to this part of Vermont. Rev. Wadleigh goes on to relate that: “In 1764 the settlement was reinforced by a number of families from Newtown, Connecticut, some of whom were Capt. Jehiel Hawley and his brothers Abel, Josiah and Gideon, Phineas Hurd, Isaac Bisco, Samuel Adams, Ebenezer Leonard, Zaccheus Mallory, Thomas Peck, James Frume and Remember Baker of Roxbury, Connecticut. From 1765 to 1780 the following families, mostly from Newtown and New Milford, Connecticut, joined the settlement: Austin Seele, David Watkins, George Oatman, Caleb Dayton, Eliakin Stoddard, Zadock Hard, James Hard, David Crofut, Capt. John Grey, Lemuel Buck, David Buck, Daniel Burritt, George Mitchell, Pitman Benedict, Nathan Canfield, Israel Canfield and others. These were mostly all Episcopalians.” What is particularly interesting is to note how many of the descendants of these families are still living in Arlington today - the Benedicts, Bucks, Crofuts, Canfields, Hards and Hawleys.

Upon Jehiel Hawley’s return from England, he continued to read the service of the church in Arlington. Later, however, because of his loyalty to his sovereign, he was jailed at Litchfield. After the capture of General Burgoyne, Capt. Hawley went to Canada, one of the articles of capitulation being that those who had not taken up arms might go there, but he died on the way.

Following the departure and death of Jehiel Hawley, services of the church were held quite irregularly, but in 1784, the Arlingtonians were strongly of the opinion that a church and minister were necessary for the welfare of the community. Therefore, the Episcopal Society was formed under the name of ‘Bethel Church’. It was voted to build the church south of the churchyard. We note from the Minutes of the meeting of November 6, 1784, relating to the building of the church:

Voted to build a church 45 feet long, 35 feet wide, 18 posts.
Voted Nathan Canfield to have charge of the building.
Voted to raise two shillings on the pound for the use of building a church.
Voted that a man with a good team have 6 shillings per day, man with an axe 3 shillings.
Voted that shingles be 12 shillings per 1,000.
Voted that good pine boards be $6.00 per 1,000 delivered at the frame.
Voted that sideboards be $5.00 per 1,000 delivered at the frame.
Voted that carpenters have 4 shillings 6 pence per day and a joiner - 4 shillings per day.

The church was a large two-story building of wood without a tower standing on the main site as the present stone church. The front entrance was on the south side instead of the East Side as at present. It had galleries on three sides. On the ground floor there was a broad aisle and two side aisles. To the right of the broad aisle before the chancel stood the font; to the left the reading desk, back and over which was a large box pulpit, which was reached by a flight of ten or more steps. The floor was occupied with square pews, which would hold about twelve persons each. Because of troubled times, the church was not completely finished until 1803; however services were able to be held in it from the late 1780’s on.

During the Revolutionary period, the clergy were loyalists as they refused to omit prayers for the King and parliament. In addition, there were no Bishops in the country, which was probably good since there was a very negative feeling towards allowing Bishops here since the people looked upon a Bishop as living in a royal estate, which would incorporate the influx of the whole hierarchy of the crown. Consequently, any clergy in this country had to return to England or Scotland to be ordained and the supply of clergy was not prolific. The Arlington church had to get along with a lay reader until after the War. However, in 1784 they organized their Society and were able to obtain the Rev. James Nichols to be Rector in 1786. Unfortunately, there was dissatisfaction with the manner of life of the Rev. Nichols and the Vestry voted not to pay him any salary after a date in 1788 and asked him to withdraw as Rector. Between that date and September 6, 1790, there are no records of Vestry minutes until they met and elected delegates to attend the Convention of the Episcopal Church which was to be held at Arlington on September 21, 1790. Those delegates were Zadock Hard, Caleb Dayton and Nathan Canfield.

The Diocesan Convention held in Arlington on June 18, 1890 was the commemoration of the Centennial of the First Convention of the Episcopal Church in Vermont, held at Arlington on September 20, 1790 - it was called “our Jubilee”. The Rt. Rev. William H. Bissell, DD, Bishop of Vermont, presided over the Centennial Convention. Rev. A.H. Bailey, who gave the historical address, mentions the first Convention thus:

“On the morning of September 20, 1790, the leading Churchmen met at the dwelling of Nathan Canfield, Esq. (which stood on the west side of the highway about a half mile north of the Village) and talked over the steps necessary to be taken to organize the convention and agreed upon them. They then adjourned to the Church for divine services.”

At the 1790 Convention, there were two clergymen present (one from Sandgate and one from Manchester) and eighteen laymen. The main business of the convention was the appointment of Giddings from Manchester and Todd from Arlington to a Committee to endeavor to procure an act of legislation for the purpose of securing to the Church the possession of its Glebe lands. Glebe lands was a long and tedious topic of litigation for many years, finally resulting in the Church securing one half the land and losing the rest by a technicality.

In September of 1792, the Vestry entered into an agreement with the Rev. Russell Catlin for taking charge of the Parish. That original agreement is still in the possession of St. James. Unfortunately, Rev. Catlin was in Arlington for only two years, having been dismissed for intemperance.

So, the parish of the “Bethel Society” struggled along without a Rector until 1803 when the Rev. Abraham Brownson came to share his ministrations equally between Arlington and Manchester, making his residence in Manchester. This situation was renewed for the next twenty-three years. It was in 1803 that he started his ministry for the people of West Arlington, building a church four miles “down river”. Under Rev. Brownson’s leadership, both churches were completed - the West Arlington Church was called Bethesda and the Arlington Church was called Bethel, but they were one society under one vestry. The Vestry minutes do show that the two churches had a conflict of opinion as to whether the pews should be free or rented and it was finally decided that the Bethel (Arlington) Church pews would be free while the Bethesda (West Arlington) Church would sell pews to individual proprietors. It was also voted to remain as one society, hut half the officers would be elected from West Arlington.

“Priest Brownson”, as he was popularly called, wrote Historical Letters about his and the Church’s activities in Vermont. Among those Letters is the record of the formation of the Eastern Diocese and the election of its first Bishop. During the 1805 Convention, a resolution had passed to request Bishop Moore of the New York Diocese to take the Vermont church under his care. He agreed to that request, provided he was not expected to visit the State, so the request fell through. Then, in 1809, the Massachusetts Diocese Convention directed the invitation of Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont brethren to join in the election of a Bishop. So, in May of 1810, Mr. Chipman of Middlebury, Mr. John Whitlock of Castleton, Dr. Cutter of Rockingham and “Priest Brownson” met at Convention in Boston with other delegates to form the constitution of the Eastern Diocese. After the constitution was adopted, the convention proceeded to elect a Bishop. The name of Rev. Alexander Viets Griswold of Rhode Island was proposed and agreed upon. Although at first declining the election, Mr. Griswold was finally persuaded to accept. His consecration occurred in New York in June 1811. The year 1811 marked the first Episcopal administrations in Vermont. Although “Priest Brownson” was active in many church affairs throughout Vermont, he did not neglect the spiritual welfare of his flock in Arlington and by 1823, Arlington could count among its ranks eighty communicants.

In 1826, however, Mr. Brownson resigned from the Arlington Parish and moved to Manchester where he remained until 1833 when he traveled on to Ohio as a missionary. His title “Priest Brownson” was given to him throughout the State in recognition of the deep respect accorded him for his devoted administrations to churches throughout the State. Also, he received many honors - being President of the Convention from 1815 to 1832; a member of the Standing Committee from 1803 to 1833; a delegate to the Convention of the Eastern Diocese from its formation in 1811 until 1823.

In 1826, the Rev. J. Howland Coit officiated at Arlington and was ordained by Bishop Griswold in October 1827. At the Convention that year, Mr. Coit reported 93 communicants, 2 funerals, 4 adult baptisms, 3 marriages and 130 Sunday scholars. Rev. Coit was succeeded by Rev. J.M. Tappan in November of 1828.

In the following year, on October 28, 1829, the cornerstone of St. James Church was laid by Bishop Griswold. The large congregation which witnessed the cornerstone laying on the north wall also listened to the Bishop deliver the address, assisted by Rev. Abraham Brownson and Rev. James M. Tappan. The church had been built in Gothic style of dark blue limestone, which had been locally quarried. It was 67 feet long and 48 feet wide with a cellar under the whole building to provide a Sunday school room, a robing room and furnace space. At the time of the cornerstone laying, the foundation was complete, the walls were to a height of 5 feet and the window frames, sills and doorframes were complete. The total cost was estimated at $6,000, which was to borne totally by the members of the society. A third of the cost, plus the furnishing of an organ and a bell had been provided by Sylvester Deming. In the cavity of the cornerstone was placed a leaden box containing a prayer book and a parchment with the following inscription:
This cornerstone of St. James Church was laid by the Rt. Rev. Alexander Viets Griswold, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Eastern Diocese, October 26, 1829, being the 53rd year of the Independence of the United States of America.

Among those noted as being present were: Rev. James M. Tappan, minister of the Parish, Noble Hard, Simeon Cole Wardens, Enos Canfield, Samuel Baker, Anson Canfield, Zadock Hard and Martin Deming (Vestrymen), Lewis Dyer (Clerk), Martin C. Deming, Samuel
S. Canfield, Cyrus B. Hills, Simeon Cole, Phineas Smith (Building Committee), William Passwan of Aulston, Yorkshire, England (Architect). At the Vermont Convention held in Arlington on August 31, 1831, St. James Church was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Griswold. The current minister of the Church, Rev. William S. Perkins was present along with seven clergymen of other churches in the State. This turned out to be a special convention in that this portion of the Eastern Diocese was asked to allow the erection of a separate Diocese for Massachusetts and the retaining of the services of Bishop Griswold. Agreement was given and plans were started for the erection of the Diocese of Vermont as a separate independent Diocese. At the Convention the following year (May 31, 1832) formal action was taken for the separate Diocese and the Rev. John Henry Hopkins, the assistant minister of Trinity Church of Boston, was elected Bishop.

The Rt. Rev. John Henry Hopkins became the first Bishop of Vermont and proved to be a man of force, vigor and scholar. He established a boys’ and girls’ school at Rock Point in Burlington where he built his home. In addition, he was elected to be Presiding Bishop in the late 60’s until his death in 1868. Due to his toleration of the seceded States, yet remaining loyal to the Government, he was able to bring together the several Dioceses of the Churches with the least possible bitterness. Recognizing Bishop Hopkins’ capabilities, he was sent (all expenses paid) to the First Pan Anglican Council in England in 1867.

The years from 1829 to 1833 saw the Rev. William S. Perkins as Rector of St. James. Starting out as a Deacon, he was ordained by Bishop Griswold at St. James in October of 1831.

Rev. Perkins was followed in 1839 by the Rev. Anson B. Hard, who was born and brought up in Arlington, a son of Noble Hard. The years from 1833 to 1840 had been lean for the Church and the Rectorship of Rev. Mr. Hard had brought a return of prosperity. However, in 1844 he resigned and moved on to Chester, Vermont.

The Rev. Frederick A. Wadleigh was called and became Rector of St. James in 1844, remaining in that position for 20 years. By 1845, the Diocesan journal reported that the parish owned, in addition to the Church edifice, a parsonage valued at $800 and 3 glebe lands bringing in rents of $80. This is the first actual reference to a parsonage, which was probably located where Merwin Crofut presently lives.

By 1848, it was recorded that horse sheds had been built around the west and south sides of the Church property for $150. Those sheds remained for 75 years, finally being taken down in 1929.

In 1852, Mr. Wadleigh reported holding services once in two weeks in West Arlington, once in two weeks in East Arlington and once a month in Sunderland. He also noted that a missionary of the Congregational Church would be coming to East Arlington. Part of Mr. Wadleigh’s permanent contribution to the community was a valuable history of Arlington and of the Church. Much of this early history, which he wrote, was to be found in Hemenway’s Historical Gazetteer, Vol. I.

Rev. Wadleigh was followed by Rev. Charles S. Hale. Rev. Hale had been born in Brandon, Vermont, and studied for the ministry with and was ordained by Rt. Rev. John Henry Hopkins, DD. He was Rector of St. James, Arlington, from 1865 - 68 (and had been Chaplain of the Fifth Vermont Volunteers from 1862 - 64). During these years we come to the close of the Episcopate of Bishop Hopkins, who had been tireless in his energies for the development of the Diocese.

A special convention was held in Burlington on March 18, 1868 at which a native Vermonter, Rev. William Henry Augustus Bissell was elected the second Bishop of Vermont. He was consecrated in Montpelier on June 3, 1868.

The departure of Rev. Mr. Hale from Arlington in 1868 brought Rev. Francis W. Smith to be Rector. The records of the Vestry show that calls had been extended to four clergymen, all of which had been turned down. Towards the end of 1868, Rev. Mr. Smith was called at a salary of $1,200, which he accepted. At this tine, the Vestry was comprised of Harmon Canfield, A. Dow Canfield, Henry S. Hard, Fernando West, Samuel Benedict and Abner Davis and the communicants numbered 124. However, Rev. Smith’s stay was short and in 1871 the Rectory of St. James was again vacant.

In March of 1872 Rev. Gemont Graves became Rector. By 1873 a parish school was opened under the Rector’s charge with a Miss Wooster as Principal. There is still evidence of that School in the form of Sunday school library books and the original notebook listing the titles of the Parish and Sunday School libraries, dated from 1873. The listing was arranged for different age groups as follows:

Classes 1 & 2 Vol. 1 to 32
Classes 3 & 4 Vol. 32 to 73
Classes 5, 6, 7 & 8 Vol. 72 to 143
Parish library Vol. 143 to 178 (later 202)

The names of children in each class are also listed. Many of these children were later to be the adults of the parish during the Rectorship of this author’s father (1926 to 1939); namely:

Class I Frank Robinson, Sadie Hard, Ethel Viault
Class II David Robinson, Anna McAuley
Class III Clarence Hard, Winnie Phillips
Class IV Florence Hard, Hallie Phillips, Maud Adams, Florence Holden
Class V Seymore Hard
Class VI
Class VII Charles Crofut, Fred Farmhum

These “children” were to continue to play am active role in the church - in the 1920’s David Robinson was the stone mason who built the stone wall around the cemetery; Clarence Hard was later organist; Florence Hard, Hallie Phillips and Maud Adams married other active parishioners - William Beves, Clarence Gilchrist and Henry LaBatt, respectively; Florence Holden was a teacher in Bennington - upon her death in the 1960’s, she left an endowment to the St. James Sunday School. In the original notebook, the Sunday School teachers were listed as:

Class I Mrs. F. M. Canfield
Class II Mrs. D. W. Elmore
Class III Mrs. Fanny Barney
Class IV Mrs. C. L. Stewart
Class V Mrs. J. K. Judson
Class VI Mrs. J. K. Batchelder
Class VII Miss Mattie Canfield

Mrs. Stewart continued as a Sunday School teacher for 17 years (as well as organist for many years), Miss Mattie Canfield continued for 40 years. In later years, Rev. Graves’ oldest daughter, Marie, was to marry Rev. John Henry Hopkins, DD, grandson of the Bishop. When Marie Graves Hopkins attended the Centennial of the Women’s Auxiliary held in Arlington in 1928, she was to recall her experiences in the private parish School and speak about some of her schoolmates - Frank N. Canfield, Edward C. Woodworth, Charles H. Crofut, Alice Canfield Hoyt and Hermoine Canfield.

In 1875, Rev. Mr. Graves tendered his resignation, in which he mentioned the financial embarrassment of the parish.

In April of 1877 the Rev. John Randall became Rector of St. James. During his rectorship, the heating system was changed from the old to the new with the installation of a steam heating plant, which plant remained until after World War II. Prior to this change, some parishioners would carry with them their individual foot stoves. After a long illness, Rev. Mr. Randall died and was buried in the St. James Cemetery. Bishop Bissell, six clergymen, and a church full of mourning parishioners paid their last respects at the funeral service on St. Phillip and St. James’ Day, 1883.

During Rev. Randall’s illness and for other periods when the rectory was vacant, Dr. Eli H. Canfield assisted as supply priest. Dr. Canfield had been born in Arlington in 1817 and was educated in the district school of the Village with added instruction from Rev. William S. Perkins who maintained a private School in his home in the Village. Dr. Canfield attended Burr & Burton Seminary and the academy of East Bennington; attended Virginia Theological Seminary from 1841 - 1844 and was Rector of various churches in New York until 1870 when he retired to Arlington to the brick house opposite St. James.

January of 1884 brought a new Rector to St. James - the Rev. Francis Gilliat. He is remembered as a faithful priest and the organizer of frequent social activities at the Rectory. His rectorship ended in the spring of 1886.

In December of 1887 the Rev. George S. Pratt was ordained Deacon and became minister in charge at St. James. However, his stay was for less than a year and was to be followed in 1888 by the Rev. Richard C. Searing.

During Rev. Searing’s rectorship, the Diocesan Convention met in Arlington in 1890 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Diocesan convention at Arlington in 1790. During Rev. Mr. Searing’s rectorship, the Episcopate of Bishop Bissell came to a close, his death occurring on May 14, 1893. Quoting from the Brush History of St. James, it is noted:

When Bishop Bissell came to Vermont, he entered upon no easy task as successor of a Bishop (Rt. Rev. John Henry Hopkins) who was a lawyer, a musician, a painter, an architect as well as a scholar and theologian. The two characters presented a strange contrast. The one was raised up for a special crisis and was bold in resources; the other took the work as it was left, was quiet and undemonstrative and did his work faithfully and with satisfactory results.

Therefore, a special convention was held in June of 1893 for the election of a Bishop. The elected party - Rev. Samuel Hart, DD, of the Diocese of Connecticut and Dean of Berkeley Divinity School, declined the position; so a second convention was held in August at which time Rev. Arthur C.A. Hall (of the Diocese of Massachusetts) was elected. His consecration took place in Burlington on February 2, 1894.

At his first Diocesan convention, Bishop Hall read the Canons of the general Church regarding the ministrations of lay readers. Bishop Hall felt that without the help of lay readers, many churches would have suffered badly. He also stressed the importance of celebrating the Holy Eucharist at least once every Sunday, a practice which was at variance with many churches in Vermont in those days.

During the Episcopate of Bishop Hall, the following clergymen served as Rectors of St. James Parish:

The Rev. James C. Carmahan 1894 - 1897
The Rev. Henry B. Ensworth 1897 - 1899
The Rev. S. Halsted Watkins 1900 - 1904
The Rev. Van Rennselaer Gibson 1917 - 1918
The Rev. Sherwood Roosevelt 1918 - 1923
The Rev. John Mills Gilbert 1923 - 1925
The Rev. George Robert Brush 1926 - 1939

At the September 10, 1893 Vestry meeting, a call was extended to the Rev. James C. Carnahan at a salary of $700 and use of the rectory, which he accepted. Mr. Carnahan had worked in business for ten years before studying for the ministry. He graduated from Hobart College in 1891 with honors where he remained for a few years as an instructor of Greek. (One of his students was later to also be a Rector at St. James, namely, Rev. George R. Brush.)

By the summer of 1894, Rev. Carnahan had secured a young teacher and the two conducted a school in the lower part of the Town Hall for those pupils who had finished the grades of the public school. That school was short-lived, but some of the students continued their studies at the Rectory.

In 1897, Rev. Carnahan was called to the Church of Our Savior in Sherburne, Vermont, where he served faithfully until his death in 1918. (This church in Sherburne had been newly erected and had received a $35,000 endowment from Mrs. Charles Clement, together with a rectory and farm, in memory of their family.)

On June 15, 1897, the Rev. Henry B. Ensworth accepted the call. At this time the Vestry voted to build a recess chancel. A subscription fund of $1,677.80 was raised by Mrs. Jessie Burdett and the contract was awarded to Mr. Lyman at $1,750.00. However, the total cost of $1,912.70 left a parish debt of $234.90. In May of 1899, the Rev. Charles S. Hale, now of Claremont, New Hampshire, but a former St. James rector, through a memorial furnished by Horace Thompson offered to complete the improvements in the chancel provided he supervised the work.

The important improvements included the removal of the galleries, the high pews and the high pulpit, the installation of the organ in the chancel and the refurnishing and reseating of the church and chancel. The making and carving of the woodwork in the chancel and sanctuary and the placing of the large window above the altar, which was done by the local firm of A.D. Canfield. Charles Canfield, a member of the firm, and his brother Frank, both expert cabinetmakers and wood carvers, did the beautiful and churchly workmanship of the furnishings. For many years Frank Canfield was a vestryman and later was Senior Warden.

On January 31, 1900, the Vestry adopted a testimonial expressing their gratitude and that of the whole parish to Mr. Horace Thompson for providing such a fitting memorial to his wife, and to the Rev. Charles Hale for the free gift of his time and talent in directing the work. This testimonial was signed by E. C. Woodworth, Secretary of the Vestry. The Leake sisters, who as young girls were living in Albany, New York, but spent their summers in Arlington, observed much of this work. As Charles and Frank Canfield were working on the pulpit, the sisters said, “You ought to have a hanging pulpit”. After very crudely explaining to the men a pulpit with invisible support, the men became very impressed, experimented with the construction, and a hanging pulpit became a reality.

In June of 1899 the resignation of Rev. Henry B. Ensworth was accepted and in September of 1900 a call was extended to Rev. S. Halsted Watkins of Calvary parish, New York. Rev. Watkins was a gifted scholar, preacher and pastor. In 1902 the Vestry presented him with a resolution of thanks for all his work together with a raise in his salary to $850.00 per annum and use of the rectory. (It is noted that at this time the rectory was located just north of the Canfield brick house across from the church. This house had been given to the Church by the Jesse Burdetts at some point in the 1890’s.) During Rev. Watkins tenure at St. James, a white marble font was given by Mr. J. R. Judson in memory of his wife, Virginia. Rev. Watkins remained at St. James until 1904 when he accepted as call to St. Luke’s in St. Albans, Vermont.

The Rev. S. Halsted Watkins, making Arlington his retirement home, has been a Godsend to the Rector, Church and community. His interest and involvement in community affairs was rewarded after his death when the town baseball park (where the present recreation park now is) was called “The Watkins Memorial Field” and the beautiful rehrodos over the altar were created in his and his wife’s memory.

Succeeding Rev. Watkins in May of 1905 was the Rev. Alfred Taylor. Rev. Taylor was remembered as a good musician. His leadership of the choir was appreciated by the choir as well as the then organist, Mr. Clarence Hard. Rev. Taylor endeared himself to his parishioners by his friendly and informal fellowship. But, in 1911, he accepted a position as Canon of the Cathedral at Albany, New York, and left St. James.

The Rev. William M. Warlow became rector of St. James in May of 1911, continuing until November of 1915 when he returned to his native British Isles. Rev. Warlow was fond of walking and mountain climbing. He was remembered as a good storyteller with a keen sense of humor.

During World War I, the Rev. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer Gibson served as Rector of St. James at a salary of $1,000. Every day at noontime the church bell was rung and people joined together in prayer. Rev. Gibson made every effort to interest lapsed members through intensive calling, pastoral letters and special services and programs. He cooperated with “Miss Mattie” Canfield in her faithful work in the Sunday School (which she taught continuously for 40 years). Rev. Gibson formed a Boy Scout Troop and acted as Scoutmaster until he was able to secure Ralph Nichols to replace him. He also organized the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. Rev. Gibson and his five small children left St. James in the Fall of 1918 so that he could work in the Diocese of Western New York.

The Rev. Sherwood Roosevelt was called to be Rector of St. James in November of 1918 and continued as such until his death in September of 1923. Many of the parishioners were familiar with Rev. Mr. Roosevelt as he had first come to Arlington in 1899 to convalesce from a severe illness. He came from Brooklyn as a friend of Dr. James Canfield and summered in Arlington for eight years. Mr. Roosevelt was a good pastor and a leader in worthy community activities. He was a member of the School board and was active in the campaign to build the Arlington Memorial School, which was to be built in 1922 (but which burned to the ground in November, 1940). During this time, on January 2, 1920, Miss Martha (“Mattie”) Canfield died and a part of her estate was deeded to the parish. The Vestry sold that property and invested the proceeds with the Trustees of the Diocese; the interest was to be used for support of the parish.

On October 28, 1923, the Vestry extended a call to the Rev. John Mills Gilbert at a salary of $1,800 and use of the Rectory. He came from a rectorship of ten years in Chester, Pennsylvania. Rev. Gilbert wrote this author that he “was very happy in Arlington” and recalled with pleasure “the fine community spirit that prevailed in Arlington”. After two years, he left Arlington so that he could be nearer his aging father. The youth of Arlington remembered him for the vacation school he conducted each summer. This school was called the “Mayflower Club”. Classes were held in handicrafts, simple woodworking, designing, stenciling, sewing, knitting and cooking. Between 25 to 30 were enrolled, some from other area churches. One of the boys, Francis Squires, later made a jig sawed woodcarving of the Lord’s Prayer, which he presented to the Church.

Rev. Mr. Gilbert also conducted services frequently on Sunday afternoons in the Methodist Church in Sandgate and North Shaftsbury, often accompanied by one of the Young People’s Fellowship.

The Rev. George R. Brush, this author’s father, held his first service at St. James on February 14, 1926. One of Rev. Gilbert’s Young People’s Fellowship members (Mrs. Nora Guber Foster) was recently remembering when the Brush family came to Arlington. It was at an early fellowship supper that one of the Young People’s Fellowship members, Chris Martin, was noted as having red hair. Mrs. Anna Brush, this author’s mother, upon seeing Chris Martin, commented, “So, my son John is not the only copperhead among us”. From that point on, John Brush was always known as “Copper”.

“The Rector’s Message” was a paper Rev. Brush edited, printed and circulated each week for the thirteen years he was Rector of St. James. This paper, in addition to containing a program of services and a bulletin of church activities, always had a little sermomette. This way, the parishioners were kept in touch and those absentees had an opportunity to share in the church teachings and thinking.

The basement under the stone part of the church was not yet finished off in 1926. The floor was dirt with a wooden walkway from the stairs in the northeast corner to the west center into the church room (which is now the kitchen and lounge). The basement contained a wood-fired, steam boiler, large enough to be fired with four-foot logs. Each fall, Albert Buck of East Arlington, the Junior Warden and later Senior Warden, who was also a lumberman, furnished the church with 15 cords of wood and it became the job of the Brush boys to throw each stick down the wood shoot into the basement and stack it on the dirt floor. Also lodged in the south center of the basement was a boarded up area, which contained the plant for producing the gas, which was piped all over the church for lighting. This, however, was a very volatile and dangerous element. In the spring of 1927, just after everyone had left an evening service, the plant blew up. Fortunately, no serious damage was done; but still, fund raising efforts were begun to commence wiring the church for electricity. The marble memorial tablet on the right hand east wall of the nave contains the names of people who contributed to that project. Also, it was in 1927 when the stone wall around the cemetery was built by David Robinson, with help from his son and Larry Brush. The fund-raising effort for the stone wall was continued after paying of the expense of the wall to provide an endowment for maintenance of the cemetery. In 1940, that fund amounted to $1,985.00. Additional bequests were made to this endowment fund for the support of the Parish over the years.

The last Sunday of June 1930 was made notable by the visitation of Bishop Booth for the blessing and setting apart of the new rectory south of the church, which had been bequeathed by John Lathrop Burdett. One of the rooms was also blessed for a chapel and was used for weekday services and other occasions when the church itself was unavailable.

In 1926 there was a well-supported choir and a Boys’ Choir under the leadership of organist Miss Grace Buck. Upon Miss Buck’s departure from Arlington, Mrs. Dorothy Russell took over as organist. She continued the Boys’ choir, often paying each boy $0.10 for each service they sang. Some of the choir during this period were Annie Grout, Mary Wilson, Lena Wyman, Robert Williams and Ed Woodworth, who completed 50 years service when he retired from the choir in 1932.

Throughout the 1930’s Mrs. Annie Grout was organist and choir director. The choir membership was increased and in 1935 the choir was first vested and a Processional Cross (in memory of Clarence D. Gilchrist) was presented by Mrs. Gilchrist and friends. Among the choir members at the time were: Florence Bevis, Lena Wyman, Mary Wilson, Doris Cole, Eleanor Cole. Youths that joined were: Betty Cole, Fred Grout, Lorraine Grout, Marion Wilcox, Eloise Henderson and Ida May Henderson. At Christmastime, the choir would often go caroling to shut-ins, followed by a festive (and delicious) repast at the choir mother’s (Lillian Henderson) home. The choir also frequently had an annual group excursion.

Rev. William J. Brown of Zion Church in Manchester assisted in the writing of the Brush History of St. James and made this observation about the Brush rectorship:

Every Rectory has its days of sunshine and shadow and a real heavy shadow fell upon the Rectory when, in 1936, the final illness of Anna Brush, the wife of the Rector became apparent to all. Six long months of painful suffering and distress were her lot - but those months were characterized by great faith, patience and fortitude. Her courage and steadfastness - remains as a perpetual challenge to the members of her family as well as the parishioners, and they speak volumes concerning her quiet and devout life with all its care in the rearing of her family and the work she felt called upon to do for her Parish.

In 1932 the Centennial of the dedication of the church by Bishop Griswold was observed. For this purpose, Dorothy Canfield Fisher wrote a Historical Pageant of the settling of the Parish, which was presented in the Church.

During the Brush Rectorship, the yearly Christmas traditions of decorating the church gained in popularity. These traditions, which had begun in 1900, are still largely carried out and for many years became quite a social event. Many people would be involved with the tying, bunching and breaking of branches of greens while others were involved in preparing refreshments. Four half-inch ropes, about 40 feet long, were tied. These were either spiraled around the four pillars in the nave or draped from the two front and two back pilasters about 20 feet up to the center where a wire was let down from a hole in the ceiling. The four rope ends were then attached to a wire and the wire drawn up by means of a reel with ratchet. A screen tied with greens was set up and attached to the uprights of the choir stalls. There were also six wreaths and a greens’ star.

The author would also have you envision what the interior of the church looked like before electricity. There are converted gas fixtures next to the sacristy and choir room doors. Similar fixtures were at strategic places, such as the organ, pulpit, lectern and along the wall. One large ring, similar to the rings presently used, was dropped from the center hole in the ceiling. It must have been quite an operation getting the church lit up for an evening service as well as requiring a knowledgeable and responsible man to do it and to be certain that the plant produced a sufficient reserve of gas. (An explosive carbide powder was needed for the production of that gas. After the church was electrified, some of the kegs of carbide were still in the basement. We Brush boys and our pals, on July 4th’s, used to place a teaspoon of the powder on the road, attach a wick, cover it with a tin can, light the wick and watch the can be propelled 50 feet In the air!)

For 35 years the Vermont Diocese was fortunate to have the spiritual leadership of the Rt. Rev. Arthur C.A. Hall, the third Bishop of Vermont. Quoting from the Brush History of St. James, it is observed:

From time to time in annual conventions, Bishop Hall made definite pronouncements in formal discourse which he termed ‘charges’, clearly defining the teaching of the Church, in doctrine, discipline and worship. These charges, the fruit of the Bishop’s ripe scholarship, were looked upon by his clergy as classics of theology, and gave him the position of a spiritual leader, not only in his own Diocese but in General Convention where he was recognized as an authority on the doctrines and polity of the Church.

Bishop Hall was often called upon to make speeches and hold missions, but was always diligent in his Diocesan visitations. By 1912, Bishop Hall determined it best, for health reasons, to resign and at Convention that year it was voted to elect a Bishop Coadjutor. Rev. William F. Weeks served ably in that capacity until he was untimely stricken with cancer. The position was filled by Rev. George Y. Bliss from 1915 to 1924.

At a Special Convention held at St. Paul’s Burlington, in February 1925, the Rev. Samuel Babcock Booth was elected Bishop Coadjutor. A graduate of Harvard and Virginia Theological Seminary, he had served a rural mission in Pennsylvania. He entered his work in Vermont with enthusiasm and quickly made friends with clergy and laity alike. On February 26, 1930, Bishop Hall died, whereupon Bishop Booth took on full burden of the Episcopate.

Bishop Booth was intensely devoted to what he felt was of the greatest importance - the surrender of man’s whole being, body, soul and spirit to Christ’s way of life through the acceptance of the teachings of the Catholic faith. He cherished the plan of making Rock Point into a Diocesan Center for clergy and people young and old to come for conferences, fellowship and retreats. That summer of 1930 marked the first Young People’s Conference. This author and his twin brother Fred were St. James’ delegates to that conference and we were particularly inspired by two of the counselors - Bob Booth, the Bishop’s son, and Harvey Butterfield, at that time a student at UVM. (Harvey Butterfield was later to be Rector of Trinity Church in Rutland; Rector of St. Paul’s in Burlington; and eventually Bishop of Vermont.)

Bishop Booth’s forcefulness as a preacher and his spiritual leadership quickly became widely recognized and the frequent demands placed upon him eventually taxed his physical strength. After a brief leave of absence, he returned to his active duties only to be stricken with pneumonia and, after a week’s battle, died. Bishop Booth was buried on June 17, 1935 under the chancel of the outdoor chapel at Rock point - one of the fruits of his labor.

On February 24, 1936, the Rev. Vedder Van Dyck was consecrated Bishop of Vermont, becoming the Fifth Bishop of Vermont. He had an unusual capacity as both preacher and administrator. As Bishop, he quickly became familiar with the special problems of the Diocese and showed a peculiar versatility in helping resolve those problems. Since the Diocese was experiencing financial troubles, it was decided to concentrate on Rock Point’s Hopkins Hall.

On May 1, 1939, the Rev. Philip T. Fifer entered upon the Rectorship of St. James. His arrival was well timed in that Rev. Brush six months earlier had notified the Vestry of his intention to resign as of the last Sunday of April. One of the chief interests of Fr. Fifer’s brief (two year) stay in Arlington was to place religious education on a more efficient basis. He maintained that in spite of, and being mindful of, the affectionate and generous devotion of the many laymen and laywomen who had staffed the Sunday schools over the past 100 years, in his view the children were not being adequately grounded in Christian faith and Christian living. He felt that wherever possible, he should assist in the teaching and that the teaching should be placed in the school and on school time. Happily, this was put into effect in the latter part of the 1939 - 1940 school year, religion having temporarily been dropped from the school curriculum due to the reorganization of the school following the building having burnt to the ground.

Father Fifer was also a musician and he gave a great deal of thought to the matter of church music. It was during this time that Annie Grout, then organist and choir directress had recently attended a church music conference and the emphasis on church music became Plainsong. The Merbeck music was used regularly and the “Missa DeAngeles” and “Missa Mariallis” were used for Christmas, Easter and festivals. The organ at the time was an old tracker organ, which had tremendous volume and caused the church to seem to tremble with the reverberations of the deep bass motes.

In March of 1941 the chancel was enriched by the addition of a tabernacle and sanctuary lamp, given by the Leake and Jackson families. The Fifer Rectorship was enriched by the charm of four young children in the Rectory household and a wife whose devotion to her family and church earned her the esteem of the Parish.

These reflections on the story of our past bring to mind the words of the Psalmist:

The lot is fallen unto me in a fair ground;
Yea, I have a goodly heritage.

C. Introduction To Supplement
In 1928 my Father deemed it prudent to arrange to have a mission week at St. James. For that purpose, he invited Dr. John Henry Hopkins, Vermont’s first Bishop’s grandson, himself a former Rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Chicago who at that time was retired and living in South Hero, Vermont. Dr. Hopkins’ wife, Marie Graves Hopkins, was the daughter of one of our former Rectors, Rev. Gemont Graves. Mrs. Hopkins, recalling when she lived here at the age of ten years old, went into the Church to point out her pew and was completely surprised to see the changes in the interior of the Church.

During the course of the week, Mrs. Hopkins recounted to us how her father’s first name had originated. When he had been born, his parents disagreed on naming him. One wanted to name him George and the other wanted to name him Vermont. Finally compromising, they ended up calling him Gemont.

Also during the course of the week, Dr. Hopkins conducted a daily session in which he informally talked to the young people (of which I was one). He pointed out to us that we were very fortunate to have the potential to live in the next fifty years because that time framework would witness a gradual change toward Christian unity and that the Episcopal Church would be uniquely situated to be leaders in this field due to our tradition of being both Catholic and Protestant.

And so, in this supplement to the Brush History of St. James I think that it is a dominant aspect to consider how this came about.

Lester Brush
Winter-Spring, 1984

D. Our More Recent Past
A few days after Father Fifer’s first service at St. James (May, 1939), he attended a meeting of the St. James Guild (later to become known as the Women of St. James). He noted to them that May of 1940 would be the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Vermont and he suggested that St. James offer to host the Diocesan Convention. With the women’s consent, the offer was presented and accepted. One involved discussion at that Convention concerned President Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease Program and the involvement of the United States in assisting Great Britain by providing ships and war materials. That discussion was ended following a comment by Oscar Rickford (an outstanding layman from Northern Vermont), who spoke:

You mean to tell me that if your neighbors, say Shaftsbury, should have a huge forest fire that the people of Arlington would wait until the fire spread to the Arlington town line before a single man would go to help fight it?

Norman Rockwell lived in Arlington throughout the 1940’s and, although not regular churchgoers, he and his wife were Episcopalians and made certain their children attended Sunday School. Mr. Rockwell was most generous to St. James when, in the late ‘40’s, the Vestry set about raising the funds for work on the church heating plant. Mr. Rockwell gave the church an original painting, which was auctioned, and, with an additional donation from the Guild, an oil burner fund was established. The steam boiler and old radiator had been installed during the Rectorship of Rev. Mr. Randall, who came to Arlington in 1877. In the early 1930’s, Byron Danforth, our local plumber, replaced a leaky section of the steam boiler; but, in spite of much repairs on the radiators, they continued to leak. By the end of World War II in 1946, materials were once again available and the Vestry arranged for the conversion of the steam burner to oil and the replacement of piping and radiators to the present finned pipes.

In 1943 Fr. Fifer resigned as Rector and in the fall of 1943 Fr. Richard Lyman was instituted Rector. Sunday School classes were reconvened, being held after the 10:00 service. A large group (10 to 12) of acolytes was gathered and they joined the “Order of St. Stephen”. Also, the membership of the Parish was increased by nine when all of Mrs. Cyril Hoyt’s family was baptized. But, Fr. Lyman’s rectorship was short and he resigned in the spring of 1945.

In the mid-40’s, Annie Grout left Arlington and H. W. Congdon became organist. He advised that the old tracker organ was getting harder to keep in tune and, in the early 1950’s; he located a church in Troy, New York, which was getting a new organ and was willing to give St. James their pneumatic organ provided St. James would transport it. It was a wonderful gift, but, once put together, it too would not stay in tune, so a new organ was ordered. The manual of the new pipe organ was originally placed in the chancel on the pulpit side and three of the four choir stalls were on the other side. It soon became apparent that that placement was not good, so when the choral bass rank of pipes were added, the manual was moved to its present location, north and in front of the pulpit.

Next, Fr. Clement Belcher was called to St. James from Bethel, Vermont. Of the thirty-five rectors (Bethel) St. James has had, Fr. Belcher served the longest - 25 years. (Other long terms were Rev. Brownson, 23 years; Rev. Wadleigh, 20 years, Rev. Brush, 13 years. All the others served 5 years or less.)

In the early 1950’s Mrs. Marie Mattison returned to Arlington to teach in the local schools. She also volunteered to teach the St. James Sunday School and continued faithfully in that service for 20 years. During those years she held classes in the tower room, the vestry room, the kitchen, the church room (now the lounge), and in a cloak room (which no longer exists) off the church room.

When Fr. Belcher came to St. James, he was a bachelor living with his elderly mother. When she required nursing care, he was assisted by Agnes Williams, who had returned to Arlington to care for her own elderly parents. Fr. Belcher and Agnes married in the late 1940’s and were a very devout couple. Fr. Belcher related to this author his difficulties in securing a Directress for St. Mary’s Altar Guild. I related to him my father’s similar problem and resolution by appointing my mother directress, provided every member cooperated in the work, which resolution had worked well. The Belchers followed this suggestion and from then on, Agnes’ work for the Altar Guild was very dedicated for the balance of her life.

Prior to the death of Fr. Belcher’s mother, she had given to the church an electronic carillon. During the service, Mr. Congdon would often slip off the organ bench after playing the Sanctus and operate the thumb stricker during the Prayer of Consecration.

The repair and maintenance of the church building has been the diligent concern of the Vestry and the Women of St. James at all times. In 1949, the Guild (later becoming the Women of St. James) had renovated the kitchen and had the Church room (now lounge) floor converted from cement to wood and covered with carpeting. The painting of the interior of the church has always been a major project. It was done in the 1930’s at which time Mrs. Harlan Miller, a parishioner and an artist herself, chose a beige tint to match the beige in the narthex stained glass windows. The next time, a scaffolding platform on wheels was used. The height of the platform was a foot or so under the pillars and it covered an area from one pillar to the next and eliminated the use of dangerous, extra long extension ladders.

Maintenance of the church tower has also been a project of concern. This author remembers the tower being painted in 1928 or 1929. At that time a young man, Frank Brownell, hung from a rope sling from the tower and completed the job. The next painting occurred in 1948 or 1949 when some steeplejacks did the work. In addition to painting the tower, however, there has also been structural work performed. In the mid-50’s the beams and side walls of the tower were renovated. The outside boards had become so punky that a pencil could be stuck through them and the only thing holding it together was the paint! The tower was well shored up at this point, but no work was done on the finials.

In the late 1950’s Mr. Francis Dunbar from Manchester was a regular attendant and involved parishioner at St. James. Upon the death of his mother in the early sixties, he decided to furnish the church with a parish house in memory of his mother. To that end, he proposed to give a small house situated on his property to St. James, provided it could be moved down Route 7 and set up between the Church and the Rectory (in about the position where the garage is presently). However, the estimate by a professional house mover was so prohibitive, that the plans were discarded. Instead, Mr. Dunbar funded the conversion of the church basement from a dirt floor to cement and it was at this point that the stairway to the basement on the south side of the narthex was built. The west entrance was built at this same time and the stairs from the music room behind the organ along with the steps down into the lounge were housed under one roof. The renovations in Dunbar Hall were complete enough to use by 1966.

During the sixties, Lorraine Moody took over as organist and choir directress and continued faithfully in that role until 1982.

Also in the 1960’s, the Vestry realized that the steam boiler itself was nearing a century old and decided to replace it. The then current Junior Warden, Donald Brown, had an engineering firm study the requirements and furnish a blueprint for the job - which consisted of a very complicated, but efficient plan. The Job was completed by Karl Kilburn of Manchester and we are still enjoying the efficiency of that system. It was also at this time that it was noticed that at least two of the tower finials were pointing at an angle considerably off the perpendicular. Because the tower was considered to be in a dangerous condition, its door was kept locked.

From the period of 1945 to 1970, St. James was blessed with the spiritual leadership of Rector Fr. Clement Belcher. His wife, Agnes, was also a great asset to the church and during their years at St. James, parish life maintained a steady spiritual growth and was kept on an even keel. Father and Mrs. Belcher retired to a home in East Arlington in the latter part of 1970 where they lived happily until his final illness in 1973. Agnes continued her work in the Church and was particularly revered for her dedicated work in directing the Altar Guild.

The Rt. Rev. Vedder Van Dyck, fifth Bishop of Vermont, continued steadfastly for 25 years until his retirement in 1961, when the Rev. Harvey Butterfield was elected and consecrated Sixth Bishop.

In the early 1960’s the Diocese had a Capital Funds Drive (E.D.F. - Episcopal Diocese Fund) through which $400,000 was raised for the service of the whole Diocese. A Diocesan office building was constructed as well as a chapel for the University Campus. In addition, a quarter of the Fund was set aside for a Revolving Fund to be used to grant interest-free loans to Vermont parishes, which has been of tremendous benefit to all parishes throughout Vermont. Since that initial Drive, two others (E.D.F. II and “Word ‘79”) were held. These drives have been very beneficial and have bound the Diocese into a strong, cohesive unit.

Father Donald Boyer (Dean of St. Paul’s, Burlington) assisted St. James in a very intense self-study and, in the early 1970’s, Bishop Butterfield recommended Rev. Lawrence Sherwin as Rector for St. James. Fr. Sherwin was called and accepted, and was instituted in December 1970. Rev. Sherwin had been born and raised in Bennington County, Vermont. Being very social-minded, he asked the Parish to allow the Lounge and Dunbar Hall to be used five days a week for a Day Care Center, which was in operation for about two years. This proved to be a great service to the community but, lacking both sufficient adult supervision and adequate funds, it shortly closed. Fr. Sherwin had also arranged with the Vestry that five days a week he serve as a Psychologist through facilities in Bennington. Within the Church, Father Sherwin felt that in celebrating the Holy Eucharist, the celebrant should not have his back to the people, so it was at this time that the altar was moved away from the wall. During this period there was also a change in the Prayer book, which had been in trial use for ten years.

In the early 1970’s, Bishop Butterfield became troubled with a heart condition and by 1973 decided to retire, whereupon the Rev. Robert Kerr (of St. Paul’s, Burlington) was elected and consecrated the Seventh Bishop of Vermont. Bishop Kerr offered a great deal of assistance to St. James in counseling and guiding the Vestry in calling a Rector to replace Fr. Sherwin, who had resigned in May of 1974.

In January of 1975, Reverend Adams, his wife Joanna (now Taylor) and their two children, Suzanne and Jason, moved to Arlington and Father Adams was instituted in February 1975.

Though the new prayer book had been on trial for ten years, the congregation had been wavering in its use. Father Adams ordered new prayer books and led the congregation into Rites I and II. With the help of his wife, he developed a curriculum for the Sunday School and it was during his time that the Sunday School teachers and Sunday School children made individual tapestries, as well as the beautiful tapestry over the baptismal font, which was dedicated on Easter, 1976.

Together with Rev. David Andrews of the Federated Church, Father Adams started an ecumenical youth group. He was a community oriented parish priest and had good rapport with the local clergy and lay people. He served as President of the Arlington Park and Recreation Board. Father Adams was an exceptional counselor and many of the congregation remember his welcome strength in times of stress.

In the spring of 1979, Father Adams left Church and Ministry to decide on the course of his career. He is currently doing supply work in Massachusetts, and is enrolled in a doctoral program.

In the early 1970’s, one of the tower finials had fallen to the ground, which set the Vestry to the immediate task of arranging for the removal of the other finials and recapping the tower with copper. The loss of the finials was severely noted, as the Church now seemed to have lost its historical character. It was in 1974, as plans for the National Bi-Centennial were underway, that Jane Gardner (Town Representative in Montpelier and a Vestry member) was able to have St. James declared a National Historical Site and obtained matching grant monies. Through the generosity of all the townspeople, $7,000 was raised (and then matched by the Federal Government). Donald Brown drew up the plans - the finials and balustrade were made at Miles Lumber Company in Arlington; Ted Hoyt and his crew built the foundation which consisted of posts sticking 4 - 5 feet above the roof upon which the eight finials were placed, or capped, over the posts. The finials themselves were 15 feet long. A construction company did the final placing of the finials over the posts by use of a huge telescoping crane. By August 4, 1976, the job was complete.

It was in the mid - 1970’s that the interior of the church was again repainted. This time, the contractor completed the work within one week so that there was no break in the Sunday services.

During and since the Rectorship of Father Adams, there has been the development of an increasingly close family relationship in Parish life. Part of this has been brought about through the use of the new liturgy of the Prayer book, which requires more participation by the entire congregation. However, it has largely been due to the excellent leadership of our Rectors.

There has developed a tremendous spirit of participation and cooperation among all parishioners. One would be hard pressed to bring to mind any member who is not involved in some activity of the Parish - be it acolyte, lay reader, usher, choir or Altar Guild member, activities of the Women of St. James, Vestry, the Missions Committee, the Sunday School, coffee hour, prayer meeting, printing and mailing of the weekly and monthly bulletins etc.

Much of this growth and development in spirit as well as in members and finances has come about recently through the leadership and charisma of Father Douglas Culton.

When Father Adams left, the congregation went into a lengthy and intensive self-study with the help and support of Canon Howard Van Dyne. In September of 1979, the Vestry called Father Douglas Culton, Assistant Rector of Fox Hollow Chapel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Father Doug, as he was known to most, his wife Yvonne, and their two children, Duncan and Heather, moved into the Rectory and established a real feeling of change and growth in the Parish.

During the next four years, Father Doug started a “Burning Books” discussion group, a Bible Study group, a Missions Committee, the Saint James Players group, which produced Everyman for the community ..., the Church was the meeting place for a food cooperative, was responsible for a community garden and contributed to the Food Shelf of the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council.

Father Doug continued the Youth Group, and the Sunday School was further developed by him and his wife. When he arrived, the Sunday School was one class. Under his direction, it grew to three classes and a Children’s Choir was re-activated. The Cultons attracted many young couples with young children.

Like his two predecessors, Father Doug was community oriented. He joined and led ecumenical events, and became a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. His caring extended not only to his parishioners, but also to others in the community. He was there for anyone in need.

In 1982, he enrolled in a Doctoral program to further his education, and established within the Parish a group of Co-Learners who advised and helped him with his courses. In the summer of 1983, he headed the Episcopal Summer Camp Program at Bishop Booth Conference Center, Rock Point, and was active on many committees within the Diocese.

It was during his time here that the Rectory was refurbished with white aluminum siding and the Culton’s third child, Nicole, was born.

Supportive of one another, Father Doug and Yvonne were attractive and dynamic leaders for four years. In November of 1983, Father Doug received a call from St. Peter’s Church, Lewes, Delaware. He felt a deep spiritual calling to that Parish and left St. James on December 31st, 1983. He was instituted in his new church on April 7th, 1984.

E. Our Future
Earlier in this supplement to the Brush History of St. James, I mentioned that in 1929 Dr. John H. Hopkins, the grandson of the first Bishop of Vermont, in conducting a mission here, had predicted to us young people that we would witness the development of Christian unity. I would be remiss if I closed this writing without any further word of this important phase of the Christian Church and history. Dr. Hopkins claimed that in the two thousand year history of the Christian Church, great changes came in five hundred year epochs. This epoch in the twentieth century is for Christian unity.

For many years now the clergy of this area have been meeting regularly for dialogues. This usually resulted in planning ecumenical services or study groups - such as Thanksgiving Day service and the Lenten study group. To me, the importance of this development is that we recognize that we are all one family in Christ’s Church and recognize each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

I am glad to note that in celebrating St. James’ Bi-Centennial, we have united with the First Congregational Church in Manchester and the United Church in Dorset, who are also celebrating their Bi-Centennials. This is done in the spirit of the times.

At our first service celebrating our Bi-Centennial, the Very Rev. H. C. N. Williams, retired Provost of Coventry Cathedral in England, in his sermon, gave an interesting comment - that in celebrating the Holy Eucharist we are not alone but are with “all the company of heaven”, so we should be aware that all the parishioners of St. James in the past two hundred years are there celebrating with us.

So may this “Goodly Heritage” of which we are proud be “a never ending incentive to nobler deeds, higher thoughts and greater achievements” in St. James in the next century.

F. Appendix
A listing of Rectors who have served
St. James Episcopal Church, Arlington, Vermont

Rectors of Bethel Church:

Rev. James Nichols 1786 - 1788
Rev. Russell Catlin 1792 - 1794

Rectors of Bethel and Bethesda (West Arlington):

Rev. Abraham Brownson 1802 - 1826
Rev. J. Howland Coit 1826 - 1828

Rectors of St. James Church:

Rev. James M. Tappan 1828 - 1829
Rev. William S. Perkins 1829 - 1833
Rev. Lyman Foot 1833 - 1835
Rev. John Grigg 1835 - 1837
Rev. Anson B. Hard 1839 - 1844
Rev. Frederick A. Wadleigh 1844 - 1864
Rev. Charles S. Hale 1865 - 1868
Rev. Francis W. Smith 1869 - 1871
Rev. Gemont Graves 1872 - 1875
Rev. John R. Randall 1877 - 1883
Rev. Francis Gilliat 1884 - 1886
Rev. Eli H. Canfield (Acting Rector) 1883 and 1886
Rev. George H. Pratt 1887 - 1888
Rev. Richard C. Searing 1888 - 1893
Rev. James C. Carnahan 1894 - 1897
Rev. Henry B. Ensworth 1897 - 1899
Rev. S. Halsted Watkins 1900 - 1904
Rev. Russell Taylor 1905 - 1909
Rev. William M. Warlow 1911 - 1915
Rev. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer Gibson 1917 - 1918
Rev. Sherwood Roosevelt 1918 - 1923
Rev. John M. Gilbert 1923 - 1925
Rev. George R. Brush 1926 - 1939
Rev. Philip T. Fifer 1939 - 1943
Rev. Richard E. Lyman 1944 - 1945
Rev. Clement G. Belcher 1945 - 1970
Rev. Lawrence Sherwin 1970 - 1974
Rev. John Adams 1975 - 1979
Rev. Douglas Culton 1979 - 1983

 

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