The Little Village Church
The following article is taken from “The Traveling Post Office” by William J. Dennis:
There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier place in the dale:
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.
A church erected by a railway postal clerk from contributions solicited from clerks and railroad men is the unique edifice of worship which stands in the village of Eagle Bridge, New York. This memorial church was the result of the efforts of the veteran clerk, Mr. John H. Pitney. Mr. Pitney felt the need of a church in the village and conceived the idea of raising the necessary money among the men with whom he associated in his work on the road. As a result of his solicitations and work the church was dedicated to the worship of God on October 26, 1882. Mr. August Binderman in the “Railway Post Office” describes this memorial church to postal and railroad men as follows:
“The large window in the gable next to the street was contributed entirely by postmasters, post office clerks, railway postal clerks and railroad men. The design is by Mr. Pitney ,and the drawing is by Conductor Issac Sargent, of the old Fitchburg road. The dimensions of the window are six feet by seven feet six inches. In the oval top is a cross and crown with the initial letters of the church society in monogram. Directly underneath this is a carrier pigeon carrying a letter in his beak, which represents the earliest recorded manner of transporting intelligence. Underneath this on the left the post rider is represented; on the right the third era in the march of intelligence is represented, a mail coach and four horses traversing a highway on the bank of a river, the Hudson, on the bosom of which is seen (in the distance) Robert Fulton’s first steamboat. The Scripture motto surrounding these historical scenes is the angel’s proclamation to the watching shepherds, ‘Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. Which shall be unto all the people,’ and ‘May this church be indeed good tidings’ and ‘glad tidings’ and a ‘source of great joy to the people.’ Beneath all this is a train of cars, with a United States postal car attached, telegraph and telephone lines with telegraph instruments, key and sounder, and a telephone instrument. A church and schoolhouse are seen in the landscape, twin sisters of a Christian civilization. Just over the telegraph and telephone line is the Scripture motto: ‘Their lines are gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.’ Over the telephone instrument is the motto, ‘Let every man be swift to hear and slow to speak,’ and over the telegraph instrument this motto: ‘For this is the message that ye learned from the beginning, that ye shall love one another,’.........
The little Eagle Bridge church is a fitting memorial for men who performed such faithful tho’ inconspicious service, and doubtless the minds of not a few whose bodies have grown tired in long years of exacting service.”
“How sweet on a bright Sabbath morning
To list to the clear ringing bell;
Its tones so sweet are calling,
Oh, come to the church in the vale”