The stately brick building in the heart of Arlington Center and next to the town hall and the Arlington Inn is the Arlington Community House. This Federal style Dutch Tradition house was built in 1829 with a wood frame addition added in the mid 1900's. It was deeded to the Arlington Community Club by the noted author Dorothy Canfield Fisher who inherited it from her aunt Martha Canfield. Conditions of the deed were that it be used as a meeting house for the citizens of the community and for space for the Martha Canfield Free Library. Further conditions were that no rent be charged for the use of the house. Donations alone are allowed. To help provide income to sustain the house, 2 modest dwelling units were constructed on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the house. Rents are used toward heat, electric and general maintenance.
The Arlington Community Club is an established non-profit (501-c3) with an all volunteer Board of Trustees who manage and maintain it as a Community Center to serve the needs of Arlington and neighboring communities.
The northern section of the house is used by the Martha Canfield Library as a Used Book Store. The main portion of the house is used by many organizations, including a Senior Citizens Group, a Girl Scouts group, the Lions Club, the Arlington Public Health Nursing Service, the Park and Recreation Board, the Battenkill Runners, Al Anon, Arlington Garden Club and many others throughout the community. About 16 groups meet there regularly as well as many one time users by request and availability.
The Annex in the NE corner is used by a group called "Burdett Commons" whose mission is to foster a healthy community. It is a mentoring group program for youth participation in healthy activities including an after school program. It is managed by a Youth Advisory Board. An adult craft series also takes place there once a month. (see the Burdett Link on home page for more information and schedules)
The challenge of the Board of Trustees is great. Due to the age of the building, there is a definite need for renovations. Fundraising is ongoing, however a major fundraising has recently begun. The Board of Trustees and a few other members from the community have been organizing this effort. They welcome support and ideas that anyone may have.
Please feel free to contact any member of the Board with questions, to offer a donation or to visit the building.