Friday, August 8, 2014

276. Richfield Springs, New York

Richfield Springs is located on Route 20, which was the main route across New York back in the pre-Interstate days when my folks drove me from New Hampshire to my college in Ohio. (No, I didn't drive myself. "Girls" were not allowed to have cars on campus, and I couldn't have afforded one in any case.) I do not specifically remember this town, but as I drove past a park that fronts on Main Street (route 20), I recalled quite clearly that we once stopped here and ate at a nearby diner. When the librarian told me about the clock that was, at that time, located in the middle of the road (yes, really!) I was certain, although the clock tower is now out of the road and in a corner of the park.

Enough of memory lane. This library was a gift to the town from the Proctor family, who had come from Germany to Richfield Springs by way of Vermont in the early 1900s. Their gifts also included three parks and that infamous clock tower. The library architecture includes a half-buttress design that makes it look rather like a cathedral on the inside.

A meeting room at the rear holds antique furniture and a piano. Various civic groups use this space for their meetings. When I was there, it was set up for a Village Board meeting, with comfortable-looking chairs for the board members and metal folding chairs for those with the temerity to attend.

The children's area has a fireplace, large windows, and a long low table. The adult non-fiction area also has a fireplace, plus study tables and a computer and printer.

A complete kitchen holds avocado appliances, a clue to when it was added!

I liked the note from a local Head Start class: "Thank you Mrs. Mahardy for taking us places when you read to us." Yes, Mrs. Mahardy, I thank you too for what you give these kids.

I noticed a dial telephone on a shelf behind the service desk and learned that it is still a working phone; children are allowed to use it if they need to call home! The librarian also lets them try a manual typewriter at times. This is a woman after my own heart...I provide similar opportunities at the school where I volunteer, though my dial phone does not work as a phone.

The library website is:

8/6/2014, car


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