In 1934 Miss Grace Libey, long-time librarian of the School, wrote a 50-year history which was never published. It was a big scrapbook with clippings of pictures and typewritten text, hidden in the school vault for many years. Her listing of the gifts and memorials in St. James Chapel is the most complete I have seen, so I transcribed it here from my photocopy.
“The tile pavement of the Sanctuary and white marble altar steps are also in memory of Bp. White. The faience tile floor, the Agnus Dei, and medallions of the four evangelists, are given in memory of The Reverend Charles Nelson Spaulding, D.D. first Rector of Howe Grammar School, predecessor of Howe School. The choir tile floor and marble steps into the nave are a gift of James Howe Nichols, a nephew of Ms. Mary Nichols and her brother Charles S. Nichols; Charles was Treasurer of the Howe School Board of Trustees for twenty-five years.
“The large stained-glass window filling half of the nave west wall tells the story of the Epiphany, as the Maji present their gifts to the infant Savior. The window dedication is, “To the memory of Jessie Couthoui this window is given by her sister, Florence Couthoui. Trinity 1910.” The pews on the balcony at the west end of the nave are given by St. Mark’s Parish at the time they began worshiping in St. James (1909).
“The high altar is carved of Parian marble, quarried on the Greek island of Paros in the Aegean Sea. The same marble was used to carve the famous Venus De Milo and other classic Greek works. This marble is pure white and translucent. The altar appears to glow in late morning sunshine through the south windows, which windows are from the original St. Mark’s Church. The altar was given by Sister Mary. O.H.N. in memory of The Right Reverend John Hazen White, D.D.; he is buried in the crypt. Order of the Holy Names is a nuns’ order founded in Canada. The altar crosses, vases, candlesticks, Paschal candle stick, Requiem candlesticks, processional crosses, and torches are all memorials. Gold and silver chalices, a gold pyx, glass and silver cruets, ciboria, and lavabo bowls and a baptismal shell are all memorials presented by friends of the school. Among vestments of great beauty and value are several Eucharistic sets of cloth-of-gold, a white set with many jewels, and several other sets. Embroidered linens and lace superfrontals for the three marble altars, and other linens are gifts to the chapel. The credence table of hardwood was hand-carved; given to the chapel by Mrs. R. B. Julian, a long-time patron of the school.
“The white marble altar in the Mothers’ Chapel was given by the children of Bishop White in memory of their mother. Their gift included dossal curtains for every season of the church year. The two triple-stained-glass windows in the Mothers’ Chapel were given by the classes of 1929 and 1930, the former portraying scenes from the life of the Blessed Mother and the latter telling the childhood of Our Lord and his love for children. Originally there was a rood beam across the interior of the main chapel which had a cross on it. The beam was sawed off, leaving hammer beams like the rest of the roof structure. The cross was hung in the west end of the Mothers’ Chapel with the figure of Christ which had been carved by Anton Lang, who played Christ in the famous Passion Play. The figure had been brought from Europe by Dr. McKenzie.”
The cross was moved in recent years to the altar in the Mothers’ Chapel. The roof on the Mothers’ Chapel has failed in recent years, causing black mold which is visible at the top of the east wall. The copy of the Sistine Madonna which hangs in the Mothers’ Chapel was given to the Rev. J. H. McKenzie by Mrs. John B. Howe. It was copied in the Dresden Gallery and brought from there on one of her visits to Europe.