WINDHAM — It’s been 150 years of celebrating community and residents’ love of reading.
The Nesmith Library turns 150 years old in 2021, and folks are welcome to visit Saturday, Sept. 18 for a special sesquicentennial celebration. The day will center on history, memories, fun family activities, food and much more.
The library has a long history in town, and got its start with a $3,000 donation from Col. Thomas Nesmith for the purpose of establishing a public library.
Windham dedicated its new library in June of 1871, first located in a small space in the upper level of the current Town Hall building.
By the end of the first year, the collection of books in the town’s new library totaled about 3,443.
With growth on the radar, the library was then relocated to the nearby Armstrong Building opened in 1899. The Armstrong Building now houses Windham’s historical artifacts and museum,
The current location welcomed the new library services in August 1997.
Schedule of events:
— 10 a.m., comments from guests including library director Sylvie Brikiatis, library board of trustees chairman Karen Moltenbrey, New Hampshire state librarian Michael York, state Rep. Bob Lynn, and state Sen. Regina Birdsell.
— 11 a.m., music by Windham Community Band.
– 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. cupcakes, along with food by B’s Tacos food truck.
— 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., self-guided tours of all three of Nesmith Library’s locations since it’s official start in town, including the Town Hall, Armstrong Building and the current space on Fellows Road. There will be a scavenger hunt, a commemorative sesquicentennial button, raffles, crafts and many historical facts to learn about the library.
— Ongoing events include a guest book to sign, stories, memories, a brick fundraiser, to make a donation and receive an official sesquicentennial window cling decal.
Events will be held rain or shine and a shuttle service will be available to drive people from parking areas to the three tour locations. Shuttles will run form 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and masks will be required for those riding.
Memories of the day will be preserved in a digital gallery at the library. Artwork and other personal thoughts about what the library means will also be accepted through Dec. 18. The digital gallery will be available for viewing in January.
To learn more about the history of Nesmith Library, visit nesmithlibrary.org/150-years-nesmith-library.