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Time Line - Over 200 Years of Library Service in Rocky Hill

Dec. 11, 1794 Formation of the Social Library at a meeting held in the home of the Rev. Dr. Calvin Chapin, pastor of the Congregational Church of Stepney Parish.

Jan. 5, 1795 Formation of the Free Library of Stepney Parish, probably for political reasons, with Elisha Church as librarian.

1794-1847 The Social Library is housed in Waite Williams' store at the "Landing" approximately where the ferry slip is now. Waite Williams succeeds Dr. Chapin as librarian.

March 2, 1820 The Free Library and the Social Library combined under the name of the Social Library.

1850 The Union Library Society of Wethersfield, formed in April 1784 , closes because of apathy and the books are sold. Hence Rocky Hill's claim to be the oldest continuously operating library in Connecticut.

June 1855 The Rev Lebbeus B. Rockwood, Pastor of the Congregational, organizes a new society. This merges with the Social Library to become the Social Library Association of Rocky Hill. Mr. Rockwood is president and librarian. From 1855-1866 the library is located in Mr. Rockwood's home, 42 Riverview Road.

Jan. 5, 1877 The Rocky Hill Library Association is formed and merged with the Social Association with the hope of finding a permanent home for the library.

1886-1896 The library is located at the Bulkley House, the former Valley Hotel, at the corner of Main Street and Grimes Road.

Dec. 16, 1898 The Rocky Hill Library Association votes"that the Executive Committee be empowered to purchase land for a building site."

February 10, 1899 Voted that the committee's report on the purchase of a building lot be accepted and that a committee of five be appointed to submit plans for a building and to suggest ways and means as to raising funds for the same.

March 1899 Voted that a subcommittee of five ladies be appointed to raise funds.

April 24, 1899 Voted that the committee be instructed to submit plans not to exceed $2,000.

December 1, 1918 Nellie C. Warner is named librarian.

January 11, 1924 Committee of two appointed to investigate and report on procedure necessary to form a public library.

September 25, 1925 The building and books are offered to the town by the Library Association. The offer is accepted and on September 1, 1926 the town begins to operate the library. Direct fees are no longer charged.

April 5, 1950 At a special town meeting the name of the Rocky Hill Library is officially changed to the Cora J. Belden Library in honor of Mrs. Belden's more than 30 years of service to the Library Board.

1958 Helen Hitchcock becomes librarian.

September 24, 1967 Dedication of the new building at 33 Church Street.

1971 Peter Hanson becomes the librarian.

Jan. 1979 Michele Marshall becomes Library Director.

April 1979 Dedication of the expanded building.

April 12, 1995 Celebration of 200 years of library service in Rocky Hill.

January 1996 Betsy Bray becomes Library Director.

September 2008 Mary Hogan becomes Library Director.

June 2009 Building is renovated.

 


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