Library Visit: Jaffrey Public Library, New Hampshire

Jaffrey Public Library
38 Main Street
Jaffrey, New Hampshire 03452
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Dedicated: July 4, 1896
Memorial library bequeathed by Susan Bethia Clay
Architect: H.M. Frances of Fitchburg
Builder: J.D. Littlehale of Fitchburg

Date visited: 3/11/14

I didn’t take any interior pictures of this beautiful library. We were on our way to pay homage to Willa Cather who is buried in Jaffrey, but couldn’t drive past this beautiful library without a quick peek inside. It was also a busy weekday morning with patrons buzzing about and a meeting going on in one of the front rooms. I didn’t want to be intrusive with picture taking.

If you’re a library geek you’ll want to check out this free ebook: Dedication of the Clay Library Building. It’s a commemorative book (1896) about the creation of the library, past library activity in Jaffrey, and a fantastic historical record of the importance of libraries in the late 19th century (as well as contemporary attitudes and politics). You can download it from the link above as a PDF or EPUB.

View from the sidewalk.
A closer shot.
Exquisite architectural details–arches, columns, and scroll work.
A most impressive entry arch.
Corner carving. It’s a floral design, but doesn’t it look like a dragon from this angle?
The wise owl.
Plaque in the front entry.
Susan B. Clay
Lovely natural light.
Window detail.
Fireplace in memory of Lawrence H and Josephine B. Wetherell
Cather on the shelf.

I plan on making another pilgrimage to Cather’s grave, perhaps in the spring, and will definitely make time to visit this library again.


  1. What a lovely little library! The details in the glass of the windows are beautiful, and the fireplace seems very cozy. And thanks for sharing that ebook, too — my library was built around the same time and I'm interested in reading about this sort of thing from an historical perspective. (Also, please forgive me if this comment posts twice, I was having a bit of difficulty with the comment widget this morning.)

  2. I love your post!! Thanks so much for the link. We spent a lot of time driving around trying to find the cemetery as well, which was half the fun. I'd like to go back in the spring and then again in the fall. It's about a three hour drive for me.

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