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The Duxbury Free Library opened its doors to the public in the spring of 1890. Situated in a beautifully appointed house fitted throughout with paintings and works of art, George and Georgianna Wright conveyed the building and grounds that became the first library. The original seven person board of trustees had been established by the Henry Winsor bequest in 1889. The Board was to be self-perpetuating and, as such, was authorized to appoint members to fill vacancies as they occurred.
In order to receive a gift of $3000 offered to the
library from the Unitarian Ladies' Aid Society of Duxbury upon their dissolution,
the Winsor trustees formally incorporated as the Duxbury Free Library,
Inc. The incorporation preserved the stipulations of the original deeds
of trust, but under the new incorporation could receive money and property
from any source to be held and used for the library.
The incorporated board remained the governing body of the library until the extension was voted in 1967. In order to float the necessary municipal bond as voted by the Town Meeting of that year, Duxbury was required to own the library. The incorporated board of trustees gave the library and its grounds to the town. In accordance with Massachusetts' laws the town created a governing board of six elected trustees.
The library has been housed in three buildings throughout its history, the first a house refurbished and furnished as a library. The second, a brick, neoclassic library, was built on the same site near the Duxbury schools in the early 1900’s, with an addition in 1968 to meet the needs of a suddenly growing population.
In November, 1997, the library tripled its space in new quarters, a handsome old school building in the same campus setting, completely rebuilt into an open, airy, new state-of-the-art facility. The library’s new location, in a commanding position on a hill overlooking most of these other buildings, emphasizes the library’s importance and role in helping to fulfill all the above needs.
The Library has served the public, adapting to changing
needs and endeavoring to offer the best services, for over 100 years.