Library Stop: East Haddam Free Public Library

Last weekend we made a delivery to a friend who lives in Moodus, Connecticut. Moodus, population 1,413 per the 2010 census, is a village in the town of East Haddam (population 9,126).

I looked up the origin of the name Moodus and according to the town website it comes from the Native American name “Machimoodus,” which means “the place of noises.” The noises are attributed to a series of earthquakes in the area between 1638 and 1899. They’re known as “Moodus Noises” and according to a Wikipedia article (with a footnote that leads to a footnote on the Internet Archive), H.P. Lovecraft used them as the basis for the sounds in his story, “The Dunwich Horror,” which I now have to read.

On the way home, we stopped to take some photos of the charming East Haddam Free Public Library, which we’ve passed far too many times without going in (only because we’ve been in Moodus on Sundays when the library is closed).

View from the street of the East Haddam Free Public Library

The view of the East Haddam Free Public Library from the street. The library was erected in 1919 and started with 1,300 volumes. It now has over 20,000 volumes.

This library is part of the East Haddam Library System, which also includes the Rathburn Free Memorial Library, established in 1935.

The East Haddam Free Public Library specializes in teen fiction, graphic novels, and manga. The Rathburn Free Memorial Library houses adult fiction, biographies, and history. The two libraries are about 4 miles apart.

Original Front Entrance - East Haddam Free Public Library

The original front entrance.

Railing detail - East Haddam Free Public Library
Front entrance handrail.
1919 Cornerstone - East Haddam Free Public Library
The Cornerstone: Erected AD 1919 A Gift of Hon A.E. Purple

In 1888, William E. Nichols started the East Haddam Free Public Library and Reading Room Association.

Albert E. Purple (1823-1924) donated the funds and land for the library building. Purple owned three twine mills in Moodus. He was also a bank president, a judge of probate, a state legislator, and a partner in a dry goods store. When he died, he was the wealthiest man in town.

South West Corner Detail - East Haddam Free Public Library

Detail of the South West corner (if my sense of direction is correct).

South facade - East Haddam Free Public Library

The south facade. Those two side structures are covering stairs to the lower level. Notice the bench.

Memorial Bench - East Haddam Free Public Library

I appreciate library benches. This one is in Memory of Frances W. Kuzaro. I looked up Frances and discovered that the ‘W’ represents her maiden name, which was Wolak. What a coincidence!

Rear facade - East Haddam Free Public Library

The back facade faces a sizeable parking lot. I think this is the new main entrance.

Rear facade with picnic tables - East Haddam Free Public Library

It’s lovely that they have a couple picnic benches out back.

Library Return Box - East Haddam Free Public Library

Drive-up library returns have been handy for years and perhaps even more so now during this time of Covid.

East Haddam Free Public Library
18 Plains Road
Moodus, CT 06469

If you enjoyed this post, check out more of my library stops and visits here:

Categories: Library

Tags: , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. I love these library visits. It must be so beautiful on the inside, too. And yes,what a coincidence with that bench!

  2. Beautiful building! Nothing like it in my adult life but I think childhood picture books must have influenced my love of this type of architecture 🙂


  1. Library Visit: Rathbun Free Memorial Library • Chris Wolak

What do you think? Leave a comment and let's talk!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: