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Library History
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A brief history of the George Holmes Bixby Memorial Library


1805:~ The state legislature incorporated a group of men as Proprietors of the Social Library in Francestown. This group gradually purchased a total of 5,000 books, which were housed in the residence and law office of Titus Brown ( the present home of the GHB Library building.)
1846: Mrs. Mary C. Hillard~formed a small literary group in the shed adjacent to her home.
1851: A second group, The Home Circle Society, was formed in 1851 to raise money for a library building and to support the Francestown Academy.
1855: A fire gutted the building and destroyed all the books.
1872: The two groups, the Home Circle Society and~the Francestown Academy, ~proposed a public library.
1873: Voters at Town Meeting accepted the proposed library plan, and the Town leased Mary C. Willard's small shed as the new lending library for $100.00 a year. Miss Willard served as the town's first librarian.
1880: With a circulation of 5,300 books, the three town- appointed trustees appealed for a larger appropriation than the $100.00 a year but were turned down. The $100.00 a year for library expenses remained in place until the 1920's.
1904: The library moved to the ground floor~of the Masonic Hall, having outgrown Miss Willard's small shed.
1923: Alison Bixby Hill purchased the Titus Brown house, restored it, and deeded it to the Town to be used as a a public library in memory of her father, George Holmes Bixby. The town accepted this gift and agreed to maintain it.
1932: The dedication ceremony for the George Holmes Bixby Memorial Library was held on September 3.
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The pleasure of reading, the thirst for knowledge, and the hard work of the community to provide and maintain a Library continues to this day-over 200 years later!



 
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