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When the Vicar Carved the Turkey: Thanksgiving at the Mission House, 1911

The Trinity Mission House at 209-211 Fulton Street in an undated photo.

On Thanksgiving Day this year, community members from Trinity Church Wall Street, Park 51, and Tamid: The Downtown Synagogue will host Thanksgiving dinner for their neighbors, including those in need of food and fellowshipThe event echoes Thanksgiving Day, 1911, when the parish held a similar dinner in the Trinity Mission House at 209-211 Fulton Street (Click here to see the view from the Mission House towards St. Paul's Chapel.)

“At the Mission House, there was a dinner for twenty-seven of the lonely ones in our midst who would otherwise have missed the warmth and joy of this great family feast of our land,” reported the Trinity Church Record 

The dining room presented a festive appearance, with its long tables decked with candles and Thanksgiving favors, to say nothing of the steaming turkey which graced one end of the table, waiting for the Vicar to carve him." 

The Rev. Caleb R. Stetson

“Then came, of course, the pumpkin pie and the nuts and fruits which were eaten in truly picturesque style, with paper caps adorning the heads of all. A dance followed, which was a delight to watch, as age and troubles were all forgotten, and the gaiety reached its climax in the closing game of 'Going to Jerusalem.'”  

Trinity’s vicar at the time was the Rev. Caleb R. Stetson. “Going to Jerusalem” is a version of musical chairs in which a leader taps a cane to cue players to join a line dance, and when the musical stops all rush for a row of chairs lined up in the middle of the dance floor.