Beardslee and Memorial Library (1898)

May 10th, 2010 Posted in Libraries, Romanesque Revival, Winchester

This week, we’ll be looking at libraries again. Our first library is the Beardslee and Memorial Library in Winchester. As explained by Robert S. Hulbert, in Winsted; the Development of an Ideal Town (1906):

The educational awakening of Winsted was also helped in 1874 by Mrs. Delia Ellen Rockwell Beardsley, widow of Elliott Beardsley, who gave into the hands of [seven] trustees $10,000 for the founding of a library [in West Winsted]. For twenty-five years the books were in a pleasant room in the Beardsley building. Before his death in 1897, the late Jenison J. Whiting began the construction of the Memorial Library. The building was completed [in 1898] after his death by Mrs. Whiting, and with the lot on which it stands, representing a total outlay of about $20,000, was given to the town for the reception of libraries. The Beardsley Library, whose funds had been augmented by a gift of $1,000 from Miss Martha Beardsley at her death, and by $600 given by Rufus E. Holmes of Winsted, was placed in the building. The town then voted [in 1899] an appropriation of $1,500 annually, to meet, with other expenses, those for which a small fee had been charged, and the books in the library were made free to the public.

Today, the Beardslee and Memorial Library continues as a private non-profit organization, voted by the citizens of Barkhamsted, Colebrook, and Winchester to be their public library.

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