History of the Library

Presidents and Library Directors

A Look Back - The History of the Waterford Public Library 1923 - 2003

Waterford has had a public library since 1923 when an association was incorporated by a little group of interested people to provide library services for the town. Among those who were active in getting things started were: Miss Nettie Edwards, principal of Jordan School; Mr. V. B. Moody, supervisor of schools; and Mrs. Ellery Allyn.

Judge Charles A. Gallup drew up the articles of incorporation, which were signed by the following:

V. B. MoodyJ. James Floyd
Marguerite A. AllynJosephine Maxon
Anthony DixonHelen K. Floyd
Agnes E. EdwardsAnnie B. Allyn
Jennie W. Jacques 

In addition to the above signers, the following also attended the incorporation meeting on May 22, 1923, and had a part in the organization of the Waterford Library Association: Edith L. Lewis, Lena R. Brooks, Jennie Hoagland, Annie S. L. Perkins, Frederick W. Jacques and Charles A. Gallup.  The first president, elected June 3, 1923, was Mrs. Courtland B. Darrow, who served until 1944.

A small collection of donated books was assembled in the First Baptist Church in Jordan Village, but in the fall of 1923 a fire in the church basement necessitated their hasty removal to Judy Gallup's woodshed across the way, where volunteers deposited them "helter-skelter," as the minutes record.

In March 1924, Mrs. William Saunders offered the free use of a carriage house on her property and the committee set up the library there. All the furnishings, as well as some books, were donated by the committee and interested friends, and the library started operation entirely by volunteers. Minutes of May 31, 1924, record: "Number of volumes in collection - 1302; circulation - 1426." The town fathers were evidently impressed and in September 1924, the Town made its first appropriation to the Waterford Library - $100.

In 1925, Mrs. Jennie Jacques, who had been active on the library committee from the beginning, took the library course at Yale University Summer School, and the association minutes record "assumed the duties of librarian and book committee." This was as a volunteer, without remuneration.  More