Friday, July 21, 2017

The Cutest Little Library

Shortly after I moved to Milton, NH, I went in search of the local library. I was delighted to find out there are actually two! One of them is adjoined to the local high school, and the other is in Milton Mills, a village that is included in the town of Milton.

The library adjoined to Nute High School is fairly modern, whereas walking into the Milton Free Public Library is like walking into another century. That's not a criticism; the building that houses the library is an old schoolhouse that was constructed in 1875. The building appears now as it did then, because the only renovations have been to repair the building and to preserve it.

The building was originally a grammar school on the ground floor, with the high school on the top floor. In 1902, the high school students started attending Nute High School. As time went on and progress beckoned, the schoolhouse was threatened with closure several times through the decades. By 1975, the building was used only for grades 1-3; however, the school remained in use until 1991.

The following year, the building was re-opened as the Milton Free Public Library.

I love this library. I love that the old hardwood floors creak and groan as you walk around perusing the shelves.

I love that the original chalkboards were preserved.

I love that the movie selection is on the teacher's platform.

In 2002 the schoolhouse was added to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places.

Last year a local Eagle Scout refurbished the wooden floor on the second story as his project.

The second floor retains the little coat hooks used by the kids in 1991, as well as the remnants of their name tags:

Seeing those little stickers with faded names like James and Lindsey on them was a little sad; those kids were the last ones to use this school, and it made me think about the schools I attended (St. John's, Nazareth Academy), which are now defunct. But they are also a tribute to the building's original use, and the generations of kids who were educated within its walls. And now it has a new life as a library.

That's not a bad life.

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