Restoring the Historic Stenciling
When the library first opened in 1901, the “delivery room” (the space between the historic front entrance and the circulation desk) was stenciled by William H. Sullivan, a painter from Manchester, NH. These lovely stencils were unfortunately painted over many years ago, but thanks to Library Aide, Linda Hough who found photos of the original room using Google Books, we were able to see them for the first time and wanted to recreate them.
Enter decorative artist Connie Dehnel. Connie has an impressive portfolio of work including many years of stenciling fine homes. Using the photo from Google Books, Connie enlarged Sullivan’s work and created a stencil of it. Climbing staging high up in the air, she went to work recreating Sullivan’s design. The work is breathtaking and is the perfect finishing touch to the renovated historic library building. Thank you so much Connie for donating your time!
Zachary Lunt of New Hampshire Wood Flooring is refinishing the original historic wood library floors. He mentioned to me that his Great-Grandmother Margaret Lunt had been a librarian here. I found her in the library history. According to Filling the Void by Rudy VanVeghten, Margaret Pynn Lunt was hired in 1922. He said, "I am thrilled to be bringing back the floor she originally walked on. I'm walking on the same floor!"
In case you missed the big news, here is a media round-up!
A huge thank you to the community for all of us at the Meredith Library. We could not do this without your support.
Don't forget two very important upcoming events:
February 29 at 11AM: Library Building Project Update @the Community Center
March 11 at 7PM: Town meeting is at the Inter-Lakes High School auditorium. The library building renovation/expansion project will be on the warrant for vote.
The Meredith Library 1901 vs 2020
This is an excerpt from The Public Library Bulletin, volume 1, published in 1901 and digitized by Google. To see the entire publication please click this link.
The Meredith Oral History Project is live! You can now listen to all of the interviews that we have conducted thus far and read the full transcripts!
Just visit the following link:
If you would like to participate in the Meredith Oral History Project and do an interview with us, please call the Meredith Library at (603) 279-4303 and ask for Matthew or Linda.
Time Capsule Opening
On July 4, we opened the fifty-year-old time capsule that was buried in the library front lawn! Hundreds of people gathered together to celebrate Meredith history on a very hot day!
The items pulled from the capsule will be preserved and displayed at the Meredith Historical Society at a later date.
To see our photo gallery of the event, CLICK HERE.
A full list of items in the time capsule is under the read more break!
Did you know...
Every family has some skeletons in their closet. When it comes to Benjamin Smith -- the donor of the historic Meredith Public Library building -- he may have had a little more than he reckoned. After some inquiry into his Mudgett relatives (His mother being Mary Mudgett Smith), it was discovered that: "Benjamin M. Smith is a third cousin once removed to Herman W. Mudgett (better known as H. H. Holmes). The nearest common relative is John Mudgett (b. 17 Dec 1700 in MA) and Susannah Scribner (b. c 1746 in Brentwood)." We thank Ray Scriber for this information.
H.H. Holmes is best known as a notorious serial killer, originally from
Gilmanton, NH, who did most of his nefarious deeds during the Chicago's World Fair in 1893. He is sometimes known as America's First Serial Killer and his crimes were recently detailed in the wildly successful book Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (and soon to be a film staring Leonardo DiCaprio).
It just goes to show the incredibly varied individuals that make up a
family tree - both good and bad.
For more information, visit these links:
The Official page for the Erik Larson book Devil in the White City
Variety: Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese Reunite for 'Devil in the White City'
A Documentary Film on Holmes, entitled: America's First Serial Killer
A Little Bit about the History of Meredith Public Library and Benjamin Smith
An Earlier Blog Post About Benjamin Smith's Donation to his Parent's Legacy
Now that we've gotten some people that could be our "mystery portrait" it's time to dig deeper. Lets look more closely at our candidates and our unknown man to look at their individual features. More after the read more!
The Librarians and Library Aides of the Meredith Public library: Erin, Chris, Matthew, Karen, John, Cherie, Joyce, Jessica, and Linda. Please check out our Staff page for more information.