The Story of the ACH
The stately brick building in the heart of Arlington and between the Arlington 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 1900s. 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 Library. Donations alone are allowed.
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. The house offers several meeting spaces and a full kitchen, as well as a centrally located lawn. To help provide income to sustain the house, two modest dwelling units were constructed on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the house. Rents are used toward heat, electric bills and general maintenance.
Local groups like the Arlington Garden Club use the house by request and availability. The north wing of the house is used by the Martha Canfield Library as a book store named Martha's Used Books which supports the general fund of the town's public library. The annex (east addition) is used by Burdett Commons. Burdett Commons is a mentoring group program for youth participating in healthy activities including an after school program. It is managed by the Youth Advisory Board. An adult craft series also takes place at Burdett Commons once a month.
The challenge of the Board of Trustees is great. Due to the age of the building, there is a definite need for renovations. Costs are ongoing, however major fundraising has recently begun. The Board of Trustees and other members from the community have been organizing this effort. Please feel free to contact any member of the board with questions, ideas, to offer a donation or requests to visit the building.
- Vicki Corey Dejnozka
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."