After the original Whitneyville School burned in 1868, this two room 2 1/2 story Greek revival school house was built the same year by Whitneyville carpenters. It was used as an elementary school until 1966 when the one-story Hillgrove School was built. The Whitneyville Library and Whatnot Association, Inc., was then given use of the 1868 building "to create and maintain a free library" and "to increase the skill of handicrafts."
At the annual town meeting in 1966, Blanche S. Palmer suggested that the 1868 building be used for a public library. The Whitneyville Library and Whatnot Association Inc., was incorporated June 17, 1966, with Blanche S. Palmer, President; Arlene Fickett, Vice President; Ruth McReavy, Treasurer; and Dorothy B. Reynolds, Secretary. Trustees were: Edith A. Mureen, Minnie E. Monaghan, Lillian Sullivan, and Mary Pennell.
With the help of Bobby A. Gardner Jr. and many others, the trustees began collecting and raising money with fund raisers and free will gifts. The summer craft shop on the second floor was a large part of the magnet which helped fund raising. Years later former trustee Edith A. Mureen left the library a bequest that now is used to purchase books and supplies.
In 1972, at Blanche Palmer's suggestion, $501 was collected in gifts from 43 families. Thus began a children's book collection of 155 new books which by 1997 has grown to 4,175 books for children. Gifts of both books and money have helped the book collection for adults grow from 1,000 books in 1972 to 9,752 in 1997. Both collections now total nearly 14,000.
In 1976 with the Bookmobile gone, the Whitneyville library began delivering books to local elementary schools: Rose Gaffney and Machias Valley Christian School in Machias, as well as the schools in Jonesboro and Wesley. Machias Community Child Care Preschool also receives books. This book delivery service continues today.
Since the late 1970's this library has offered a children's summer reading program for those in preschool through grade eight. This program attracts children from nearby communities as well as Whitneyville. Highlights of this program include a reading certificate for all participants, gift certificates from a bookstore for winners and a pizza party for all children who have taken part in this reading program.
Current officers of the library are: President, Janet O'Neal, Vice President, Nate Pennell, Secretary, Pat Brightly Treasurer, Pat Brightly. Julia Grey, Jean Clemmons, Lilian Hanscom, Roberta Pennell, Virginia Wilkinson, Pat Dowling, Janie Cummings, and Ozias Bridgham are trustees of the library.
Photo by J. Cummings
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