Public Libraries of Massachusetts

Cities F-G

Fairhaven (Millicent Library)
Millicent Library, Fairhaven, MA; Gothic style

Hugh C. Leighton card.

 

Built in 1891-2 to memorialize the daughter of oil tycoon H.H. Rogers. The Library's history page calls the Norcross Brothers' building, planned by Charles Brigham, Italian Renaissance style. It was expanded in 1968.

Fall River
Fall River, MA Public Library

(L) Rotograph card.
(R) 1966 Yankee Colour Card. More like an Off-Colour card.

 

Still in use, with branches.

 

Fall River, MA Public Library
Falmouth
Falmouth, MA public library


(L) This Tichnor card, mailed in 1943, also features a World War memorial, with some benches.
(R) The picture came from Gray of Falmouth, and the card was distributed by the New Bedford News Co. Its linen finish and feel are characteristic of cards from MWM, or possibly, Colourpicture.

Falmouth, MA public library

Built in 1901.
The Library's history page discusses a dome, which is not visible on these cards. Wings were added in 1966-8, another addition was built in 1978, and a major renovation was completed in 2008.

Fitchburg (Wallace Library & Art Building)
Wallace Library & Art Building, Fitchburg, MA

Rotograph card, dolled up with glitter. Ghost flag on the building next door!

Wallace Library & Art Building, Fitchburg, MA

Silvercraft (Dexter Press) card:
deckle edge cropped.

Wallace Library & Art Building, Fitchburg, MA

Magically made of red brick.

1885 building, replaced in 1967. To celebrate the second generation of Wallace philanthopy, Archibald McLeish authored 'Remarks at the Dedication of the Wallace Library, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, June 3rd, 1967.'

Florence (Lilly Library)
Lilly Library, Florence, MA

Lilly Library, said to be a Victorian building, was founded in 1890. Somewhere along the way it picked up an addition, but kept the attitude that its purpose is a 'quiet, peaceful reading environment.'

 

An annotation on the Newvochrome postcard states:

Large building with tower is "Cosmian Hall"-Lilly Library at the left.

Foxborough
Foxborough, MA library on early monochrome postcard

Published by H.F. Gray, Newsdealer.

I like the 'Foxboro' spelling much better.

 

The 'Memorial' alludes to its other function as a GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Hall. It is opined that the GAR Memorial Hall in Aurora, IL is an identical building. It also served as Aurora's first library, which is something I did not know.


As you would surmise, the Library is now in a new building.

 

 

Framingham (Edgell Memorial Library)

Framingham's first public library building dates back to 1872, when Gothic architecture was in vogue.  It escaped the wrecking ball in 1963, and houses the Framingham History Center today.

 

As a Civil War memorial, its statue, sculpted by Martin Milmore, appears on the Massachusetts Memorial listing.

Edgell Memorial Library, Framingham, MA
Franklin (Ray Memorial Library)

This is another one of those libraries that claim to be 'America's first public library.' 1790 is pretty doggone early, though.

 

An imposing Greek Revival building, built in 1904 and maintained from the Ray Memorial Fund by the Franklin Library Association until 1981. After the Town of Franklin took over, the building was restored between 1987 and 1989, and a children's wing added.

Ray Memorial Library, Franklin, MA

Although children's literature has a long history, adequate service for them, including a separate place of their own, is more modern. The ALA (American Library Association) formed a separate division for children's librarians in 1941.

Gardner (Levi Heywood Memorial Library)
Levi Heywood Memorial Library, Gardner, MA, self-framed on birch-bark background

(L) Self-framed card, with a birch bark pattern, which was printed by M.J. Griffin.

(R) A Curt Teich postcard, dates to 1915. It was mailed to collector Abbie Barber, with message:

Is this a new library for you. ...

Levi Heywood Memorial Library, Gardner, MA

Replaced in 2004: fate uncertain.

 

 

Gloucester (Sawyer Free Library)

Many additions and renovations have been made to this structure since 1884. It also serves as the Gloucester Lyceum.

 

The card predates 1907, and was printed in Germany for the Metropolitan News Co.

Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester, MA
Granville

I can't find a lot of information about this little Romanesque jewel, except that it was built in 1894, and is still in use as a library. Rather impressive for a town with about 1,000 residents at that time.

 

A Springfield News card, this was mailed in 1907.

Granville, MA public library, Richardsonian Romanesque style
Great Barrington
Great Barrington, MA library, demolished

Demolished for the Mason library building, below.

 

This card was a product of Raphael Tuck & Sons, an English firm with a Royal Warrant. So where was it printed, before its export to America?
 Saxony.

Mason Library
Mason Library, Great Barrington, MA


(L) 1956 chrome Curt Teich card. Quite some station wagon parked in front!
(R) Earlier postcard incudes a totem pole.

Mason Library, Great Barrington, MA, with totem pole at side

Sister library: Ramsdell, in Housatonic.

Built in 1913 from Blanchard & Barnes' plan. Renovated in 2007 for accessibility issues.

Greenfield

This building was replaced in 1909, but I don't know its fate.


Actually, this really was a gorgeous building. It wasn't torn down for the library building shown below, as that is an older building.

 

Rotograph postcard dates prior to 1907.

Greenfield, MA public library, replaced.
Leavitt-Hovey House
Leavitt-Hovey House, Greenfield, MA, used as public library

According to the Library, the main house was built in 1797 and purchased by the town in 1907. It was renovated and the wings rebuilt. The library opened in 1909, and is still in use. However, it's ripe for replacement.

 

This is a Curt Teich 'C.T. American Art' card printed for Chas W. Hughes.
It purports to be 'Star Quality.'

Groton

Founded 1854.  This building dates to 1893: its architect was Arthur Rotch. It received a giant addition in 1997.

Weirdly, this library did not become open stack until 1955. I don't know of another public library which was this tardy.

The Frank W. Swallow postcard was mailed in 1912.

Groton, MA public library

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