MIDDLEPORT — In 1928 a group of local women, known as the Middleport Study Club, stepped up and formed Middleport Free Library. Under the direction of this group, a small reading room was opened in the Universalist Church Parish Hall in January of 1929. Donated books were collected by the Boy Scouts, and a local theater raised funds through a benefit show.
Middleport Free Library received its charter from Albany on July 19, 1929. Over the early years the library had many homes until in 1942 the Library Association received the generous gift of the Roger Stilts house on Vernon Street. That building remains today as the home of the Royalton Hartland Community Library.
On Nov. 11, 1945, Middleport Free Library was dedicated to the men and women who served their country in World War II, and it was rededicated to honor them on the 50th anniversary in 1995.
In 2012, the library’s name was changed to Royalton Hartland Community Library, indicating that it services the area encompassed by the Royalton Hartland school district. The library has grown through the years, adding the upstairs Meeting Room and internet terminals in 1980. It continues to be a popular place to come for meetings, special programs and, of course, books, periodicals, movies and music CDs.
The library also houses several unique collections pertinent to the area’s history. Lining the walls of the library are oil paintings of area homes and landscapes painted by Mrs. Myrtle Wilmot. The local history collection features copies of the “Hammond Gazette,” a newsletter created by Ray Hammond that was sent to area servicemen in World War II, the Korean War and Viet Nam.
To celebrate 90 years of service to the Royalton Hartland community, the Friends of the Library and the Board of Trustees are hosting a birthday party/open house on Saturday, July 27, at 1 p.m. at the library, 9 Vernon St. Come to the party, enjoy cake while you browse for books or learn more about our programs and services. For more information, call the library at 716-735-3281.