There is no one in Winterport now who can remember not having a library. The Hon . Fred Atwood can be considered the father of the local free library. It was he who invited a group of interested citizens to his home to consider the establishment of a town library in January of 1895.
At the meeting on February 26, 1895 the Winterport Free Library Association was established. A set of by-laws was adopted which called for a chairman, secretary, treasurer and five trustees.
The town voted $100 to encourage the project. Donations of books, subscriptions and moneys were used to start the library with 600 books and was open to all Winterport inhabitants on Saturdays.
The new building was built of field stone collected from far and wide during the winter of 1921. The building committee along with Bangor architect Victor Hodgin had planned well and produced a useful design which continues to serve well to this day. The interior provided space for housing 10,000 volumes. On each side of the entrance were tablets with the names of the soldiers, sailors, and marines who served in the recent wars.
The celebration and dedication took place on August 23, 1922.
The librarian who held the position the longest was Grace Young. She took up her duties and served for 27 years. She was a foundation of information and enjoyed the children who came to the library. She retired in 1979.
The question has been raised as to whether the Winterport Free Library Association was incorporated. In 1895 the original founders were listed as “incorporators” and Col. Atwood offered to procure a corporate seal. In 2000, the Secretary of State cited the Winterport organization in honor of its 100th anniversary by presenting Philip Sherwood with a certificate of achievement. It was noted that the library was one of ten Maine corporations celebrating centennial anniversaries in the year.
In 1922 this Winterport Memorial Library was dedicated to the veterans of the Spanish American and World Wars. In 1963 the American Legion erected a granite monument in front of the library “in memory of the veterans of World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, and Grenada, Panama and Persian Gulf.
“excepts from More River Town History by Theodora Weston”