History of the Library

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The Middle Haddam Library building was constructed as a store in 1799.  situated on teh northwest corner of Moodus Road (Route 151) and Knowles Road, it is a 1 1/2 story, gambrel-roofed structure, with its facade entrance in the southern gambrel-end.  Constructed with a post and beam framing system, it is sheathed in clapboards and rests on a random course granite ashlar foundation.  Shed dormers have been added on the east and west roofs; the west ell, designed to architecturally compliment the original structure, was added in 1965.  A fascinating example of late 18th century Commercial style architecture, this building’s form is unique in the Middle Haddam area.  The east and west sides have broadly overhanging eaves and the south end displays a broad framed overhang between the first & second story level.  four knee braces presently support this overhang; however, these are not original.  Photographic evidence indicates that they wer added ca. 1909, when the property was renovated for use as a library.  Other remaining features include 8/12 sash in many of the windows (some of which contain original glass) and a large paneled dutch door in the facade entry.

Cyrus Bill and Daniel Tracy leased this land in the spring of 1799 with the stipulation that they be allowed the “liberty to erect a store thereon”.  At the time, Tracy ran a shipyard at the mouth of Mine Brook and may have himself been involved in the construction of this building.  Tracy soon left the partnership and was replaced by Seth Overton, who operated the store with Cyrus Bill under the firm name of “Bill and Overton” during the early 19th century.  In 1815 the building was purchased by Jesse Hurd, another prominent area merchant.  It was used as a commercial establishment until ca. 1825 when it was converted into a dwelling house.  In 1908 the property was sold to the Middle Haddam Public Library, Inc.

One of four buildings constructed around the turn of the 19th century at the intersection of Knowles and Moodus Roads, this structure is located within the Middle Haddam Historic District in a neighborhood comprised primarily of late 18th century houses.  It is a fine example of late 18th century commercial development.

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The Middle Haddam Library is a fascinating example of late 18th century commercial style architecture. Originally built as a store by Cyrus Bill and Daniel Tracy in 1799, Tracy soon left the partnership and was replaced by Seth Overton.library w man library as a homelibrary beginning

Over the years the building has been used as a general store, a school, a millinery establishment, and a residence.

A commercial establishment until 1825, it was converted first to a dwelling and in 1908 was donated by Delia Rounds, the former owner, to the local library committee.

It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Today the Library houses some 15,000 items, combined of books and DVDs.  The Middle Haddam Public Library’s collection is unique.  The Library has character, reflecting the interests of the community and perception of its librarians down through the years.

The main floor is devoted to Fiction, Mystery and our DVD collection.  You will find some of the latest best sellers here, as well as a solid representation of still living literature.  Connoisseurs of mysteries will find here not only the latest but the classic best.  Children have a room of their own, stocked with materials for reading – or just looking – for every age group.

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