History of the West Stockbridge Library

At an annual town meeting on April 6, 1891 an article was adopted to establish a public library. A board of library trustees was elected and money was appropriated for the library. The board made the following report: “The trustees met and organized May 19, 1891, and C. W. Kniffin was chosen Chairman.” J. C. Carpenter, Secretary, filed certificates with the chairman of the State Library Commission and the rules and regulations were adopted for the care and control of the library: “We have received from the state one hundred dollars’ worth of books, consisting of 169 volumes purchased and contributed by individuals making a total of 324 volumes.”

The West Stockbridge Library 1904 – 2006, Watercolor by Anne Bone

C. W. Kniffin presented the use of a room over his store to the town and fitted it up as a library. The library opened to the public on June 20, 1891. Mrs. Julian Williams performed the duties of librarian. She received no compensation for that year. A large portion of the volumes was non-fiction. Miss Grace Wheeler and other teachers gave entertainment at the Town Hall and raised money to purchase 71 fiction volumes.

The library outgrew the room in the Kniffin block and moved to the first floor of the Town Hall in 1904. The Town Hall building is a 2 1/2 story Greek revival structure, built in 1854. The building originally housed the Town Hall, Miner’s Savings Bank and Spaulding Law Office. In 1904 the library moved into the space vacated by the bank.

The West Stockbridge Library

In the fall 2007 the library moved from the Old Town Hall to the newly renovated Town Offices Building, the former West Stockbridge Village School. The Old Town Hall on Main Street now houses the West Stockbridge Historical Society.