Arlington, Massachusetts. Pleasant Street Congregational Church. Records, 1842-2010.

Collection Information

Arlington, MA : Pleasant Street Congregational Church records.


Orthodox Congregational Church (Arlington, Mass.)
Pleasant Street Congregational Church (Arlington, Mass.)




8.5 linear feet.
4 record boxes, 1 document box.
35 volumes.

Collection ID #:

RG 4962

Conditions Governing Access:


Copyright: Language:

Material chiefly in English

Processing information:

Collection processed by Stefanie Maclin and Abraham Miller, 2011


This collection consists of the records of Pleasant Street Congregational Church, organized in 1842. The records document the functions and history of the church, including church governance, finances, church organizations, leadership, and membership.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by Pleasant Street Congregational Church of Arlington, Mass., May 2011.

Organizational History

Pleasant Street Congregational Church was organized in December, 1842, as the Orthodox Congregational Church of West Cambridge. Many of the original members of the Orthodox Congregational Church had been members of the First Congregational Church (Arlington, Mass.), but left when the church turned Unitarian in 1828. Anna Bradshaw (1785-1869) played an important role in founding this church by holding the early prayer meetings on her homestead. The parcel of land on which the church was erected was donated by Anna Bradshaw. The church steeple was destroyed by a tornado in 1871 and it was again damaged during a hurricane in 1938. Between 1940 and 1953, Orthodox Congregational Church was renamed Pleasant Street Congregational Church. During the 1960s, the church erected a new steeple. By 1963, Pleasant Street Congregational Church had joined the United Church of Christ. In April, 2010, a Merger Action Team was formed to explore a merger with the Congregational Church of West Medford, UCC. The church closed in early 2011.



Francis Horton 1843-1854                  
Daniel R. Cady, D.D. 1856-1877    
J. Lewis Merrill 1878-1880    
Edward Beecher Mason, D.D. 1882-1889    
Samuel Clarke Bushnell 1890-1920    
Don Ivan Patch 1920-1926    
Edward A. Morris 1926-1930    
Laurence Barber 1930-1945    
David G. Colwell 1945-1950    
John A. Heidt 1951-1960    
Stuart C. Haskins 1961-1969    
Mark Freeman Strickland 1969-1976    
Kenneth B. Wentzel 1976-1989    
Thomas L. Clough 1990-1999    
Pam Ware 1999-2001 (Interim Pastor)  
Danny Roman Gloro 2001-2003    
Lisa Stedman 2003-2006 (Interim Pastor)  
Rebecca Kavich Girash 2006-2011    


Scope of Collection

The Pleasant Street Congregational Church records document activities and the history of the church organization. Records document church governance, finances, church organizations, leadership, and membership. Included in this are calendars, correspondence, reports, minutes, registers, publications, directories, and photographs. Of particular note are the registers and record books from the early years of Orthodox Congregational Church.



The Pleasant Street Congregational Church records are arranged in eight series. The records are arranged chronologically, generally. Some files are in reverse chronological order. Some series have folders in multiple boxes.

Series I Governance  
Series II Financial  
Series III Auxiliary Organizations and Events                
Series IV Ministers  
Series V Membership  
Series VI Historical  
Series VII Photographs  
Series VIII Printed Material  


Related Materials

At the Congregational Library:

Arlington, MA : Orthodox Congregational Church. 17.11.1 AR5.32 ORTCC

Sermons by Samuel Clarke Bushnell (1852-1930).


Access Terms

Orthodox Congregational Church (Arlington, Mass.)

Pleasant Street Congregational Church (Arlington, Mass.)

Congregational Churches - Massachusetts - Arlington.

United Church of Christ - Massachusetts - Arlington.

Arlington (Mass.) - Church history.

Massachusetts - Church history.

Church records and registers - Massachusetts.

Arlington (Mass.) - Buildings, structures, etc. - Pictorial works.


Detailed Description and Container List

Series I: Governance, 1842-2010

The Governance series includes records relating to the administration and government of the church. Included are Annual Reports, By-Laws, Committee Records, and Correspondence. This series includes records from the foundation and early years of the church. The Records of the Orthodox Congregational Church, 1921-1931, were removed from their original binder and kept in original order. The bound volumes of church calendars are not boxed, rather on a separate shelf.
Box 1    
Folders 1-15 Annual Reports 1932-2010
Folder 16 Notices of Annual Meetings and Annual Meeting Minutes 1954-2010
Folder 17 By-Laws 1947-2009
Folder 18 Committee Records 1950-1956
Folder 19 Committee Records 1955-1962
Folder 20 Committee Records 1970-1978
Box 2    
Folder 1 Committee Records 1978-1983
Folder 2 Committee Reports 1954-1972
Folder 3 Committee Reports 1972-1973
Folder 4 Committee Reports 1974-1983
Folder 5 Church Planning Committee 1947-1954
Folder 6 Canvas Committee 1953-1958
Folder 7 Board of Deacons 1961-1962
Folder 8 Correspondence 1957-1978
Folder 9 Records Book, Orthodox Congregational Church 1844-1855
Folder 10 Records 1856-1946
Folders 11-12 Records of the Orthodox Congregational Church 1921-1931
Box 5    
Folder 3 Original Records of Formation of West Cambridge Orthodox Church 1842-188
Bound Volumes Church Calendars, 35 volumes 1951-1954;
return to series list

Series II: Financial, 1855-1997

The Financial records document the church finances and the church building.  Included are Treasurer’s reports, committee records, insurance information, property records, and documents related to building repairs and renovations.
Box 2    
Folder 13 Financial Records 1882-1972
Folder 14 Church Treasurer Reports 1954-1960
Folder 15 Building Committee, New Parish House 1953
Folder 16 Parish House Furnishing Committee Records 1955-56
Folder 17 Estate Bequests and Wills 1941-1956
Folder 18 Insurance Papers 1957-1958
Folder 19 Property Deeds and Mortgages 1921-1989
Folder 20 Building Repairs 1955-1972
Folder 21 Blueprints and Architectural Plans 1952
Folder 22 Schedule of Rates for Use of Facilities 1950-1968
Folder 23 Inventory Lists 1984
Folder 24 Existing Conditions Report 1996-1997
Folder 25 Steeple Renovation 1962-1966
Folder 26 Church Bells 1948-1962
Box 5    
Folder 4 Account Book, Orthodox Congregational Church 1855-1920
return to series list

Series III: Auxiliary Organizations and Events, 1899, 1937-2010

This series includes the records for church organizations and events, such as the Sunday School and the Pageant of the Brides, an annual event. The church also held retreats at Craigville, a conference center and village, part of the ministry of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. Pleasant Street Congregational Church put on and rented space for musical events.
Box 2    
Folder 27 Education, including Sunday School 1956-1970
Folders 28-30 Craigville 1978-1984
Folder 31 Pageant of the Brides 1937-1950
Box 3    
Folder 1 Auxiliary events 1956-1979
Folder 2 Church World Service Day, Cuban Family 1963
Folder 3 Homecoming Sunday 1973
Folder 4 Church Organ and Musical Events 1899, 1973-2010
return to series list

Series IV: Ministers, 1870-1980

This series includes programs, biographical sketches, correspondence, and scrapbooks.  The scrapbooks from Samuel C. Bushnell were removed from the original bindings and kept in original order.
Box 3    
Folder 5 Ministers 1890-1980
Folder 6 Ministers, Installations 1878-1961
Folder 7 Ministers, Bushnell, Samuel C., scrapbook 1890-1920
Folder 8 Ministers, Bushnell, Samuel C., scrapbook 1916-1946
Folder 9 Pastoral Search Committee 1968-1976
return to series list

Series V: Membership, 1842-1976

The Membership series includes records related to church vital statistics, such as lists of members, admissions to the church, and membership transfers. The genealogical records predominantly include clippings from the marriage and obituary sections of newspapers.
Box 3    
Folder 10 Register of Members, Orthodox Congregational Church 1842-1938
Folder 11 Letters of Dismission, stubs 1939-1947
Folder 12 Marriage Certificates 1952-1960
Folder 13 Genealogical Records 1947-1976
return to series list

Series VI: Historical, 1901-2004

This series includes clippings about the church and records generated for or about the church anniversaries. Church Book II and III were not with the materials transferred to the Congregational Library. The scrapbooks were removed from their original bindings and kept in original order.
Box 3    
Folder 14 Newspaper Clippings 1901-2004
Folder 15 125th Anniversary 1967
Folder 16 150th Anniversary 1992-1993
Folders 17-18 Church Book I, scrapbook 1949-1955
Folder 19 Church Book IV, scrapbook 1960-1976
Folders 20-21 Church Book, scrapbook 1986-1989
return to series list

Series VII: Photographs, 1871-1999

The Photographs series includes photographic prints and 35mm color negatives of church events, portraits, including ministers, and images of the church structure.
Box 3    
Folder 22 Photographs, Church structure 1871-1959
Folder 23 Photographs, Events 1924-1999
Folder 24 Photographs, Portraits 1950-1973
Folder 25 Photographs, Myron Charles Taylor and Elizabeth Pinkerton Crosby 18--, 1998
Folder 26 Photographs, Edith Fox 1900-1955
return to series list

Series VIII: Printed Material, 1901-2007

Printed Material includes the programs for services and the issues of the church bulletin, first called "The News Letter" and later named "The Banner".
Box 3    
Folders 27-29 Church Services 1936-1960
Folder 30 Church Services 1901-1981
Folder 31 Church Service, Children’s 19--
Box 4    
Folder 1 Church Newsletter 1948-1950
Folders 2-16 The Banner 1967-2002
Box 5    
Folders 1-2 The Banner 2003-2007
return to series list


Appendix A: Items removed to the Congregational Library Print Collections

The following are materials that were originally transferred with the Pleasant Street Congregational Church records, but have since been transferred to the Print Collections. This material is predominantly found in the following three sections: History of the United States – Local; Sermons and Religious Miscellany; Church History – Local.


History of the United States – Local

Arlington Celebrates : The Growing Years: 1875-1975 / Arlington Heritage Trust, 1977.

Pipe organs of Arlington Massachusetts / by Alan Miller Laufman, 2000.


Sermons and Religious Miscellany

     All Sermons listed are by Samuel Clarke Bushnell.

Sermon in Commemoration of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Pastorate of Rev. S.C. Bushnell, Arlington, Mass., Feb. 5, 1905.

Sermons [Bound Volume].

Sermon Preached in Madison, Conn., August 9, 1914. The Transformed Life.

Sermon Preached in Old South Church in Boston, June 4, 1917.


Church History – Local

Favorite Recipes, Bradshaw Friendly Union, Orthodox Congregational Church.

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Orthodox Congregational Church, Arlington, Mass., 1842-1892.

The First Congregational Parish "The Unitarian Church," Arlington, Massachusetts.

Manual of the Orthodox Congregational Church, Arlington, Mass., 1880.

One Hundredth Anniversary of the Orthodox Congregational Church, June 7-14, 1942.

Pleasant Street Congregational Church Directory, 150th Anniversary, 1842-1992.

Two Statements to the Church, December 31, 1944.

"The Web Unbroken" : Historical Episodes in Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Orthodox Congregational Church.


Other Print Material

Harold C. Knight Associates, Architects [Brochure].

The Small Church Study [1965?].

The Ten Laws : A Foundation of Human Society / by Edward Beecher Mason, 1897.


Appendix B: Items removed due to Duplication of Congregational Library Holdings

The following list of items were weeded from the Pleasant Street Congregational Church records because they duplicated material already available in the print collections.


Church History – Local

Manual of the Orthodox Congregational Church, Arlington, Mass., 1925.

Rededication, 1842-1909.

Seventy-fifth anniversary, 1842-1917.

Two Statements to the Church, December 31, 1944.


Sermons and Religious Miscellany

     All Sermons listed are by Samuel Clarke Bushnell.

The Mission and Message of the Church, 1918.

Easter sermon preached in Arlington, Mass. Sunday, April 12, 1914.

Missionary sermon : The World's need of Christianity, 1918.

Sermon on Abraham Lincoln preached in Arlington, Mass., February 7, 1909.

Sermon preached in Arlington, Mass., Sunday November 12th, 1916 in the Pleasant Street Congregational Church, 1916.

Sermon preached in Arlington, Mass. February 18, 1914.

Sermon preached in Arlington, Massachusetts, 1915.

Sermon preached in Madison, Conn. August 1, 1915.

Sermon Preached in Simsbury Conn. Sunday, February 6th, 1916 at the Westminster School, 1916.

Sermon, Thirtieth Anniversary, 1920.

Sermon : Twentieth Anniversary, 1910.

Why some Christians are Congregationalists, 1919.


Other Printed Material

The Pilgrim Hymnal, 1935.

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