Library Postcards

Divided from the rest of New England in January 2008.

Down East: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont

The libraries of New England have their own appeal. Many, by reason of their architecture, are also found on other pages. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have a new page.

In March, 2007, I discovered the New England Carnegies page. For the libraries I have tagged as Carnegie libraries, Corinne H. Smith's web page is the reference.


Many of these cards were purchased on a 2005 vacation.


Auburn, ME Carnegie Library

A truly deviant 1903 Carnegie library, large for the size of its town, and thrice renovated.
Still in use.
The odd Carnegie buildings, I have learned, are the earliest.
Auburn's is considered to be Eclectic style, influenced by Richardson Romanesque, according to Smith.
Her page has some great photographic documentation of the library's recent renovation.

 Augusta (Lithgow Library)

Lithgow Library of Augusta Lithgow Library of Augusta

History taken from the library's web site.

$9,000 Carnegie grant; built in 1894. Named for Llewellyn Lithgow, who put up $20,000.
So there!

First addition, 1979, with another planned (2011).

(L) Dexter Press card with its deckle edge cropped. It deserves it, calling the building 'The Litheau Library.'
(R) Early C.T. American Art postcard, never mailed.


Bangor Public Library

Although this was not a Carnegie library, it shares a resemblance with Illinois' Freeport Carnegie library and the Galesburg library, lost to fire. The current building, along with the high school, were planned by the architects of Peabody & Stearns, of Boston, of course, in 1912--after a fire. Its renovation and addition date to 1997. Its roots date back to the library of the Bangor Mechanic Association.

(R) This C.T. American Art (Curt Teich) card was mailed in 1917.

Bangor Public Library Bangor Public Library

Two similar linen finish cards are featured below.

(L) White border card from a ca. 1940 photo.
(R) Curt Teich post card also features the city's high school. The steps to the library have some shrubs in square planters.

Other information from the library's web site.

 Bar Harbor (Jesup Memorial Library)

Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor

Dedicated in 1911. Still in use.

(L) Thought to be a Curt Teich reprint.
(R) Leighton and Valentine Card with an unevenly divided back, photographed to show off the buildings symmetry.
I believe that Hugh C. Leighton merged with Valentine Souvenir, possibly due to the Great War.


Bath, ME Library Bath, ME Library

A.K.A. Patten Free Library. Built in 1890: still in use, with 2 additions.

Especially on the righthand card, the library facade looks a touch horrified.
This looks like a very inefficient use of space, but I like the building anyway. The link will show you an interior view, if you're curious.


Belfast, ME Library Belfast, ME Library

An 1888 building that could possibly have served as a model for the Carnegie 'Standard Plan.' It's still in use, with 4 additions, the latest in 2000. It makes for a rather clunky, but functional, building.

I like both these cards, but some of the details in the street view are wonderful. Many New England cards were Hugh C. Leighton products that were printed in Germany.

 Boothbay Harbor

Boothbay Harbor library

Established 1906.
The current building is the 1840s Greek Revival residential structure, slightly altered, shown on the attractive 1946 Curt Teich linen post card.

Its neighboring Hyde House holds the library's book store. I suspect its patrons are tourists and summer people.

 Bucksport (Buck Memorial Library)

Buck Memorial Library

Dual publishing information: American Art Post Card Co. and C.T. American Art Colored, an early Curt Teich imprint.


Calais, ME Free Library

Very Romanesque.
Designed by Arthur H. Vinal. Built in 1892. Still in use, with a little help from a 1985 addition.

Although the card has an entire back and was printed in Germany, there is a hand stamp of JUN 9 1931. What it signifies, I do not know.


Camden, ME library Camden, ME library

Unusual views, front and rear, of the library and its accompanying amphitheatre. The only other similar combo I have seen is in Waukesha, Wisconsin, but its amphitheater is separate.

Both cards were produced by Curt Teich and date from the 1930s.

In 2011, the library saw the return of a 215 year old book, found by the grandson of the man who just might possibly had light-fingered it.

 Clinton (Brown Memorial Library)

Clinton, ME Library Clinton, ME Library

(L) Monochrome card mailed 1906.
(R) Color card has entire back. Close examination indicates that the red walls are retouched. This card seems to be produced by the same folks that brought you the color Waukesha, WI card.

Entirely donated by W.W. Brown in 1899-1900. Still in use.

 Dexter (Abbott Memorial Library)

Dexter, ME library

Built in 1894, and given to the Town of Dexter. Nice Christmas present, and useful, too! Today it serves six communities.

 Farmington (Cutler Memorial Library)

Cutler Memorial Library, Farmington, ME Cutler Memorial Library, Farmington, ME

Built 1901, per detail on color card. On the National Register of Historic Places, per Archiplanet.

(L) Purchased as the Farmington, IL library. Oops. But it is the only 'lilirary' card in my collection. Publisher George H. Hodgdon needed lessons in mirror writing.
(R) Hodgdon did a little better with this card, but it looks like he may have bought the plate(s) from Berry Paper of Lewiston.

 Freeport (B.H. Bartol Library)

B.H. Bartol library, Freeport, ME B.H. Bartol library, Freeport, ME B.H. Bartol library, Freeport, ME

1905 Carnegie grant. In 2005, occupied by a factory outlet store. The houses in the background are also all gone.

The monochrome card, by F.E. Mehrill of Freeport, should get the award for the most depressing library postcard ever.


Gardiner, ME Library

Designed by Henry Richards and built in 1888. Per Corinne Smith, it's Queen Anne style. Frankly, this looks more like a poorhouse or a penitentiary than a library.

Although the library received a small ($2,500) amount of Carnegie funding in 1897, calling it a Carnegie library connotes a lot of Andrewphilia.


Hallowell, ME Library Hallowell, ME Library

Who can resist an aluminum postcard?
Evidently, a lot of folks did: I've seen two to this date.
Apparently the aluminum card was mailed in a glassine envelope, as fourth class mail. This card was produced by Owens Bros.-- Hillson Co., of Boston.
The other, more ordinary card with an unevenly divided back, was made in Germany. I believe one of the publishers reversed the negative.

Back of aluminum card

I don't think this library exists as an entity any more. There is a Hubbard Free Library in Hallowell now, but I'm not finding any pertinent info about it online.

 Houlton (Cary Library)

Cary library, Houlton, ME

Another ethereal, misty Maine library. This one dates from a 1903 Carnegie grant. Still in use with a whopping addition.


Lewiston, ME Carnegie Library Lewiston, ME Carnegie Library

Hard rock library in a hard rock (and hard-scrabble) town. The Carnegie building was finished in 1903, received an addition in 1996; and apparently was replaced in 2005, becoming a cultural center.


Lincoln, ME Memorial Library

Still in use.


Madison, ME Carnegie Library

A 1904 Carnegie grant resulted in a pleasant red brick library building.


Norridgewock, ME Library

Aww, what a cute little library in the woods. Maybe this could be called a 'liberry' without making me enraged.
Its operating income was just a touch over $10,000. Somehow I don't think this building has ever been replaced.

The card was No. 11560 from the Metropolitan News Co. of Boston.

 Old Town

Old Town, ME Carnegie Library

Carnegie (1903) building.

Entire back German lithograph postcard mailed in 1906. The quality of the handcoloring is obvious.

To the left of the library front is 'HISTORY,' to the right, 'SCIENCE.'

The library now has a new wing, 'FICTION,' courtesy of Tabitha King.
I made some of that up.


Portland, ME library Portland, ME library

It's as if the library's history is classified information. I know it was founded in 1867, and I know that in 2005, this building was replaced.

(L) Early tinted post card.
(R) 1946 Curt Teich linen finish card also features the State building.

 Presque Isle

Presque Isle Carnegie Library

Carnegie (1906) building, still retaining Romanesque touches until its huge 1966 addition.
Now known as the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library, it's currently (2011) being renovated.

Tichnor Quality Views linen card.


Rockland, ME Carnegie library

Built 1903 - 4 from a 1902 Carnegie grant. 2000 - 1 addition.
Very modern looking library on a linen-finish card mailed in 1935.
If you take a look at more recent buildings such as that of Plainfield, Illinois, you can see the resemblance. Beaux Arts has some staying power.


Sargentville, ME Library

Evocative card featuring a tiny Maine library and three pine trees. One of my favorites.

 Seal Harbor

Seal Harbor, ME library

Simply designated as 'The Library' on this early divided-back card, by the Hugh C. Leighton Co. of Portland. Yes, it was made in Germany.


Seal Harbor, ME library

From the card, it looks as if this incredible hulk Queen Anne edifice was built in 1889. Still in use.


Waterville, ME Carnegie Library Waterville, ME Carnegie Library

Yes, it's a Carnegie building, from a 1902 grant. An addition was built in 1976.
If two cards can be considered an interesting progression, these illustrate the maturation of a library's setting.

Library of the town where the HBO production of 'Empire Falls' was filmed.

New Hampshire


Berlin, NH Carnegie library

Carnegie grant dated 1902. Still in use. According to a town web site, A.I. Lawrence was its architect, with Steward and Snodgrass, the builders.


Claremont, NH Carnegie library Claremont, NH Carnegie library

Carnegie library, built in 1903; first addition, 1922; renovation, 1966. Smith states that this became New Hampshire's first library that was handicapped-accessible. They must have done this gently and subtly, since in 1978, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

(L) In a nearly prescient touch on the post card, notice the gentlemen on the right. The older, shorter man, is using the taller man's arm for support and guidance.
(R) This card is so garish, it might have been a product of the Elite Postcard Co. of Kansas City, except it was made in Germany. Made after a few too many steins of Pilsener.

 Danbury (George Gamble Library)

Danbury, NH library

Built 1911. Very simple building of cement block. Still in use, except that a very long ramp has been added to the front.
I use 'in use' very loosely, as it seems to be open only 10 hours per week (2013).

Frank W. Swallow card mailed in either 1918 or 1919, using a 3 cent stamp for no apparent reason.


Dover, NH library

The hand detailing on this early German postcard is amazing. It was made for the Hugh C. Leighton Co. of Portland, ME, printed in Frankfort O/Main. It is card No. 2813.

I want to see 1 - 2812.


Dublin, NH library

Another Tudor/stonework building, this time with prairie overtones. Whether it is still in use, I do not know.
This is a photograph I dearly wish was in color. It's really not much of a card, all in all.

From the comfort of my home, I can't find any further information on Dublin's library history. It is currently located at 1114 Main Street in Dublin.

 Henniker (Tucker Free Library)

Henniker, NH Carnegie library

Linen finish card mailed sometime after 1954.
The library was built in 1903, and is still in use. There is no evidence that it was a Carnegie building.


Hollis Social Library

About all I can find out about Hollis Social Library is that this building is still in use.

 Kingston (Nichols Memorial Library)

Nichols Memorial Library of Kingston

Built 1898: still in use, barely. As of 2011, soon to be replaced.

 Laconia (Gale Memorial Building)

Laconia, NH library

Did they miss the library's true colors!

According to the web site history, Laconia's Romanesque Revival library was designed by Charles Bingham and built by E. Noyes Whitcomb and Co., all out of Boston. Two types of granite were used. A large addition was made in 1956-1957 to the 1903 building.
Still in use.


Lebanon, NH library

Printed by Frank W. Swallow of Exeter, N.H.; published by the Hotel Rogers; and mailed in 1935.

It's still in use (2011), but its partner in West Lebanon has a new building.

 Manchester (Carpenter Memorial Library)

Carpenter Memorial Library, Manchester, NH Carpenter Memorial Library, Manchester, NH

Now known as the Manchester City Library.

The Carpenter Memorial Library building is not as obviously Italianate in design as the Providence, Rhode Island library. Strongest clues are the first storey windows and the roof line.


Nashua, NH library

Quite unusual architecture for a public library: a little Gothic, a little industrial, and a touch of gymnasium. I believe this is the only card of a public library I have that features a clocktower.

The card is a Tichnor Bros. 'Lusterchrome,' for Rudy's Post Card Service. Whether it was Rudy, or the Tichnor boys' shot, the third car captured is an especially fetching Ford Country Squire.


Pelham, NH library

Not a Carnegie building. Somewhere along the way, this little Romanesque building was replaced.


Portsmouth, NH library

Only the building is hand-colored on this early postcard.


Rochester, NH Carnegie Library

Late 1903 Carnegie grant, which came about midway through the library's history.
Its precursor, the Rochester Social Library Company, was founded in 1792. Disparate forces such as the Grange and the local postmaster, who sought the Carnegie funding, led the library into becoming a public institution.
Guess what! The building was built in the black, by about $22. Credit the contractors, Kelly Bros. of Haverhill, Massachusetts to that feat.

The unfortunately bland Randlett and Griffin building looks more typical of the states to its south.


 Burlington (Carnegie Fletcher Library)

Burlington, VT Carnegie library

Curiously, the library's history page makes no mention of the architects or builders of this 1904 Carnegie-funded library building. Perhaps it's because the darn thing nearly fell down in 1973. It took until 1977 to save the building, and an addition was dedicated in January, 1981.

Published by Chas. W. Hughes, Mechanicsville, N.Y.

 Derby Line (Haskell Free Library)

Haskell Free Library

Very strange library: the books are in Rock Island, Quebec, and the checkout counter is in Derby Line, Vermont. The collection is split between French and English material.

The equally strange library card also features the Dominion of Canada flags.

 Fair Haven

Fair Haven, VT Carnegie library Fair Haven, VT Carnegie library

1905 Carnegie grant.
No web site, but there is some information, including a picture that shows the library still in use.

(L) Ah, the wonders of autumn in Vermont! The leaves cover the ground in a cozy blanket, and the retoucher restored them to the trees.
(R) Some mighty tropical looking plants decorate the library's lawn.

 Montpelier (Kellogg-Hubbard Library)

Kellogg-Hubbard Library Kellogg-Hubbard Library Kellogg-Hubbard Library

I'm up to 3 of these now, which is a very bad thing.

In self-defense, sometimes the details make the difference. In the lefthand card, there is a bike leaning up against the stairs. In the center card, a small bike rack appears on the treebank. On the righthand card, bushes appear.

 Vergennes (Bixby Memorial Library)

Vergennes, VT library

Stealth bequest.

Built in 1912, and still in use.

Curt Teich 'American Art Colored' card commissioned by C.W. Hughes 'Star Quality' & Co. in 1930.

 Woodstock (Norman Williams Public Library)

Norman Williams Public Library

According to the date in Roman numerals above the entry, this was built in 1883, the same year that the Cairo, IL library was built. It must have been a good year for library architects, as these early public libraries' architecture seldom repeats.

The card, from the 'C.T. American Art' series (whose plate number I cannot make out), was made for Edward L. Mc Cann of Woodstock.

© 2003 - 2013 Judy Aulik

Updated 18 June 2013.