HISTORY OF LIBRARY BUILDING AS TOLD BY
LIBRARIAN, LENA MANSUR IN 1982
The Library building was once the home of Judge John Wilder who lived there in 1827. He kept the post office in the building and was Postmaster from 1830 until 1851. John Wilder was also State Representative in 1828, a Selectman of Weston (1834-37) and a State Senator (1858-59).
In 1907 the building was purchased by the descendants of John Wilder and after proper renovation was deeded to the Town of Weston in 1909 (for a cost of $1 ).
The interior paneling was done by Harry Lawrence, Sr. who later married Mabel French. Lawrence lived in Ludlow at the time of the Library renovation where he had a cabinet maker’s shop. While working in Weston, he lived at a Weston boarding house operated by the Mother of Harry Simonds. Mabel French worked at the Boarding House and we can assume that Harry Lawrence started courting her at that time. Nancy Jane French, the aunt of Lena French Mansur was the first librarian. Mabel French followed her as librarian until 1916 when she married Harry Lawrence.
The Wilder Memorial Library officially opened its doors on July 28, 1909.
EXCERPT FROM TOWN REPORT: YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 1910
During the past year many changes have occurred to the library and its system. So we trust you will all excuse an inconvenience it may have been to you in not always being able to get just the book you wanted to read.
June 18th, we moved into the new library—the “Wilder Memorial Library,” and on July 28th opened it for public use. I am sure we all appreciate the gift of such a coy little home for our books and papers. It has required considerable work to re-classify the books. But now we have a system that is approved by the best library authorities, and in the years to come must be better even for us. The work is nearly done and we trust that by March you will be able to read any book in the library.
During the past year fifty new books have been received, making a total of eleven hundred and forty-five volumes. There is also an excellent supply of papers and magazines. During the month of January sixty-four different people visited the library and manifested an increasing interest in its work, by taking out 140 books and 35 magazines. Our librarian suggests that some of us are past the school age, but that none of us are too old to learn. The library is their teacher and any may get a good education there is they will.