ARLINGTON — The Arlington Community House will hold a tag sale on June 26, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This sale raises funds for the care of this historic house which has served Arlington and the surrounding area for decades, since first donated to the Arlington Community Club.
Martha Canfield’s home was left to her niece, the well known author, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, who set many of her stories in Arlington. When she died, Dorothy Fisher gave it to the Community Club, so Arlington would always have a place where the town as a whole could grow and help one another.
Early in the Community Club’s history, town improvements (such as gas street lighting, providing sidewalks, or “oiling the town roads”) were planned; then money was raised to implement these plans that benefited all of Arlington. The house was used for concerts, movies, Victrola parties, and sewing classes. Residents would gather here to roll bandages or to assemble packages for “our boys” during both world wars. Funds were raised to provide for war orphans. Arlington and the surrounding area took in 53 child refugees after World War II, an undertaking spearheaded by Fisher. The barn was used for a boy’s gym; a tennis court was built, and the house even held a playschool before kindergarten was common. Nurses would come and teach skills, care for patients and perform well child care checks.
There was a street fair each year to raise funds for the many services the house provided. The house was open to all during Town Meeting Day and provided a dinner for all, back when Town Meeting was “an all day affair.” Arlington was home to several well-known artists, including Norman Rockwell, Mr. Rockwell held sketching classes at the house for young people; one would pose and the others would sketch, mentored by the famous artist himself. If there was an educational or humanitarian cause in Arlington, it always had a home at the Community House.
Historically, it has provided support for many local endeavors. By providing free meeting rooms, it still serves the community to this day. Volunteers have been collecting items for two years, and promise that there will be many interesting and unique things for sale.
For more information, email www.arlingtoncommunityhouse.com.
The Community House is located at 3854 VT-7A, Arlington.