Celebrating 100 years

BHML: 100 images for 100 years

Mon, 05/20/2024 - 8:45am

This year, Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library (BHML) celebrates 100 years of providing library services to area residents and visitors. In no particular order, this article represents a visual history of our beloved pillar – the milestones, the dedications and the faces.

1906 – the town votes to create a free public library and it operated for many years, unincorporated, and in a confined space on the first floor of the Townsend building on Oak Street.

1923 – the town votes to approve a bond to buy the Chapman Reed property, a private Greek Revival home built in the 1840s by William Maxwell Reed, allowing the library to expand and install a World War I Memorial, including the plaque over the fireplace, which is still on display today.

1924 – BHML is incorporated with a 15-member board of trustees.

1966 – the reading room is added.

1969 – the neighboring property, Hyde House, is willed to the library. Today it is home to Friends of the Library Used Bookstore.

1976 – the library is extended along Howard Street. The addition became the children’s room.

1977 – the library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1991 – a dedication of the library’s bronze tablet on the lawn is held, commemorating veterans of all wars and conflicts.

1994 – the library obtains internet access and ushered in the digital age.

2001 – the library joins Maine’s InfoNet and Minerva Consortium, connecting Mainers through a collaboration of academic, public, school, and special libraries.

2014 – the library completes Phase 1 of a two-phase renovation and expansion project, increasing the library’s size, making the first floor Americans with Disabilities Act accessible and creating a second floor with a community room and offices.

2024 – July 11, from 3 to 6 p.m., the library will celebrate its 100-year anniversary!