About

About Us

The Land on which this beautiful building stands was purchased on July 23, 1900 by Col. E. C. Benton from Charles Hartshorn.  Previous to this date Charles Hartshorn owned and operated the fashionable Essex House, one of the best hotels in the area, on that property.  In 1892 fire
destroyed the hotel.  Mr. Hartshorn chose not to rebuild and held the land until 1900.
 
On September 27, 1900 the corner stone for the public library and Masonic building was laid and then on Tuesday, July 9, 1901 the dedication of the Masonic Lodge was held followed by the presentation and dedication for the library on Wednesday, July 10, 1901.  Col. Benton read the deed of conveyance which deeded the building to seven trustees and their successors.  Trustees include representatives from Guildhall, Maidstone and the Masonic Lodge.
 
This beautiful building houses the public library on the first floor and the second story belongs to the Benton Lodge.  The seven statined glass windows depict the various degrees of the lodge.
 
On the East wall of the library hangs a beautiful painting of Col. E. C. Benton which was unveiled in August 1920.  Jay Rogers Benton of Belmont, Mass and Guildhall gave the Memorial clock that is placed high in the building's tower in memory of his father Col. Benton.
 
In 2010 new bookshelves that are moveable to allow room for programs were installed.  The library has also purchased three computers, a projector and screen for power-point presentations and offers high-speed internet. The library collection totals 3,044.  Programs offered by the library include a summer reading program for ages 4-6th grade, Halloween and Christmas story time and craft night, adult book discussion group, area artists and travel programs.

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