Public Libraries of Massachusetts

Cities L-N


Mason Brothers & Co. postcard.


Definitive 1892 Romanesque structure, replaced in 1973 and sold in 1974.


Oddly designed rusticated stone building with Tuscan columns and Romanesque windows on the upper storey. Still in use for now.


Valentine & Sons' Publishing product, printed in Great Britain.

Lexington (Cary Memorial Library)

Really, was it necessary to demolish this? I understand that even a 2005 addition wasn't big enough, but this was unique, and beautiful.

(L) The card is also dated 1906.

(R) The self-framed card is somewhat newer.


'Tis sad when a Flickr photo caption is the reference, but according to that, this was built as a Civil War memorial, and now houses the historical commission.


The Paper & Stat'y Co. Specialty Printers (Ayer, Mass.) produced this card, which was mailed in 1917.

Longmeadow (Storrs Library)

Still in use. There seems to be something odd about its façade.


Silvercraft Dexter Press card, mailed in 1960.

Lowell (Pollard Memorial Library)

Hugh C. Leighton card, manufactured in Portland, Maine.


Founded 1844. This building was built in 1889 and suffered a huge fire in 1915. Its most recent renovation was in 2002.
Information from the library history page taken from The Lowell City Library by Richard P. Howe.


(L) Early chrome card, publisher unknown.

(R) H.C. Leighton card, mailed in 1906.



Lynn received Carnegie funds in 1915, but they are not mentioned on the library's web site. I believe the branches that were built from these monies have been sold: in any case, they are no longer libraries.
Sic transit gloria mundi.


(L) The card has a textured surface, not a linen finish.
It was produced in Germany for the Hugh C. Leighton Company of Portland, Maine.
(R) Photo by Wm. L. Hallworth of Cascade Studio.


Founded in 1879: building still in use.


Yet again, a library building has GAR roots.
This time, the tri-partite building served the Library, a war memorial, and a GAR meeting hall. According to the Library, when the last GAR member died in 1927, that section went to serve library functions.


Mailed in 1911, the N.E. Paper & Stationery Card is rather hideous.


Still standing, but replaced. Lovely river rock construction, yet considered Gothic.


Dexter Press card, published by Skinner & Son for Cuneo's of Mansfield.

Marblehead (Abbot Library)

Founded in 1878. This newer building is still in use.

Card published by Sanborn Studio.

Marshfield Hills (Clift Rodger's Free Public Library)

Uncommon clapboard library building which looks to be the definitive firetrap.
This library has the oddest story I've ever read. It was built in 1897, with a stage for benefit plays. Spiritualist meetings could be held free. however. Because of the stage, it became the parish hall for the North Community Church.
The current building is a result of a 1950 swap, and is kept in service by a consignment shop. The library carries mainly fiction today and prides itself on offering no reference service. Most functions are carried out by a volunteer force.


Someone considered the war memorial more exciting than the library, but this card nicely shows what city streets lined with elms looked like. Anyone born after 1960 or so missed this.
For those in the Midwest whose city replaced the elms with ash trees (Good Morning, Madison!), you're going to get a feeling for what the devastation of Dutch Elm disease wrought when the ash borer hits your city.

Do you notice the gardener in the orange shirt?


Pioneer postcard in remarkable condition.

Rotograph postcard.

White border card shows a rather regal building.

Medford, Oregon and Medford, Wisconsin got Carnegie grants, but not Medford, Massachusetts.


All three cards show a background building which resembles a school.

Methuen (Nevins Memorial Library)

Interesting mix of Italianate, Mediterranean, and Romanesque style.
Card has a divided back, and was published by the Metropolitan News Co. of Boston.
Or by W.K. Ephlin.


It appears to be still in use, without any external modification.


Still in use.


Captioned as Public Library, Middleboro, Mass. Melvil Dui would be proud.


Still in use, with additions apparent via Google Maps.

Bridge-Cheney Co. postcard, 


Founded in 1819. The current library building dates to 1895. Bonus fact:

It was the first electrified building in Nahant.

The T. Alfred Johnson card was mailed in 1920, and after a quarter century, the library building needed a good sandblasting. The photos online show an immaculate stone building.

New Bedford

Known for its unusual collections, this library building is still in use.


(L) German card, mailed in 1908 from Colorado. How odd.

(R) I believe this to be a Metropolitan News postcard, mailed in 1907.

This is one of those buildings I can't stylistically identify. My SWAG is Italianate.

Although the marker on the photo postcard below states that it is a branch library, this is no longer true.


West Newton

No longer in use.

Several Wisconsin libraries (Durand, Platteville, and to a lesser extent, Waupaca and Kaukauna) share this Tudor/Gothic architecture.


The only manufacturer's identification seen is NOKO in the postage box.

North Attleboro (Richards Memorial Public Library)

Very wide age spread.
(L) Monochrome card.
(R) Chrome card from L-K Color Photo Cards of Providence.


The Romanesque building is still in use.


North Brookfield (Haston Free Public Library)

Perhaps the Haston Public Library is the definitive Romanesque structure.


Who can tell for certain with this blah card?
No publisher had the guts to admit to producing it.


From the interior pictures on the library web site, it looks as if this building is still in use.

North Easton (Ames Free Library)

(L) Early postcard mailed in 1905. It was distributed by O'Connor's Drug Store.

(R) Photo postcard from an unknown source. From the paper, I judge this to be post-WWII.

(L) Monochrome postcard, ca. 1957, of Ames Memorial Hall.​

(R) Rotograph brand monochrome card, postmarked 1906.

These Romanesque buildings were designed by the master of the style, H.H. Richardson.  This was built between 1877 and 1879, and the Library opened in 1883. A children's wing was added in 1931, and the library is still in use.

North Orange

The October, 1912 message on this RPPC describes it as the North Orange Library.


The community is possibly served by the Moore-Leland Branch of the Orange, Massachusetts library. Google Earth shows a building which just might—possibly—be the one shown.

North Scituate (Pierce Memorial Library)

A 2008 Scituate Arts Association newsletter stated that this is now privately owned, and also served as an Episcopalian church. The order is unknown to me.


Lovely building shown by Tichnor Quality views, mailed in September, 1925. Its message comments that 'little buildings like this are dotted all over the country.'

Northborough (Dale Library)

Village name misspelled as 'Northboro.'

This building appears annexed to the new building.


Mailed in 1913. No publishing information.

Northbridge (Whitinsville Social Library)

Located in the Whitinsville section of Northbridge.


Chrome postcard featuring a dressed stone Georgian Revival building.


(L) Curt Teich American Art card, mailed in 1924.
(R) H.A. Dickerman & Son card, printed for Hunt's 5 & 10 ¢ Store.


Norwood, aka South Dedham, had a lending library as early as 1790. 
This building is not it.
The 1898 building was added on in 1928 and 1965, then renovated in 2001.

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Scanned images are provided in the spirit of scholarly study. Most are of an age to be in the public domain. However, if you use my scans, please credit this site.