“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.”

~ Andrew Carnegie ~




The first known reference to a library of sorts in Hartland prior to a formally organized and town funded library was made in the 1896-1897 Maine State Yearbook and Legislative Manual listed as; “Library – Albert W. Miller, Librarian, 200 Volumes; Circulating Only.”


Circulating Libraries, also known as Lending Libraries or Rental Libraries, were private business ventures intended to profit from lending books to the public for a fee. They offered an alternative to readers who could not afford the price of new books but desired new reading material. Circulating Libraries were very popular and were the first to serve women and actively seek out their patronage so it was no coincidence that many of these libraries were located in millinery stores, stationery stores and drug stores. Their decline in part began with the introduction of cheaper paperback books in the early 1900s and the establishment of new public libraries. (Compiled from Wikipedia)


Albert W. Miller maintained the private circulating library for just a few years at his drug store business while it was located at the Hartland Drug Store building on Commercial Street but had ceased operations by about 1900 just before he returned to his original store building on Main Street in 1902. Soon after Miller closed his circulating library, a couple of local groups began efforts to establish a dedicated public book venue.

(L-R): A. W. Miller Drug Store, Linn Block & original Linn Woolen Mill Main Office – Commercial Street


It is historically noteworthy to the library’s timeline to include the first known movement toward any kind of dedicated venue offering free public access to books occurred at Hartland Academy. Although privately formed with its main intention to serve the student body, its first small school library room was initially opened to the public until other local campaigns began efforts to create venues for public reading and lending. Following the eventual opening of a public town library in 1903, to which the student body had made book donations, the library at the Academy continued substantial growth as a private sponsored entity of the Academy and remained an important resource for students and faculty throughout its decades of existence.

As compiled from a February 22, 1900 article in the Pittsfield Advertiser, a student led movement at Hartland Academy to have a library available began in the Fall Term of 1899 when they acquired a temporary State Traveling Library consignment of 50 books. At the beginning of the Winter Term in 1900, students then created a formal Academy Library Organization with assistance from the Academy Principal and Board of Trustees. 100 volumes of modern literature were bought and placed on the shelves and also made available for free to all citizens of Hartland. Within its first 4 months of existence, some 400 book borrowings by students and some citizens had been recorded.


Our research has revealed numerous newspaper article references to two distinctive but simultaneous movements to establish dedicated public book lending and reading venues for the citizens of Hartland at the turn of the 20th century. This included an effort led by the Outlook Club for a public Reading Room utilizing the State Traveling Library which coexisted with a citizen led campaign focused on the creation of a formally organized public library with its own collection of books. Many of the people affiliated with either of these movements often participated with the other group’s efforts in order to fulfill their mutual objectives for a public book lending and reading location in Hartland as compiled below.


The Outlook Club’s first known effort to establish a dedicated public book lending venue in Hartland occurred around March of 1902 when they secured a location at the Baptist Church Vestry to open a Reading Room utilizing a State Traveling Library book collection temporarily consigned to them for 6 months. The new Reading Room offered free book lending to the public available on Saturday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.

Pittsfield Advertiser – May 15, 1902


The Outlook Club began in Hartland as an extension of a local youth literary club known as the Key to Knowledge Club formed in 1898 by the Misses Birdena & Dora Trafton, daughters of Mrs. Fronia Trafton, and Miss Inda Gordan, daughter of Mrs. Jeanette Gordan-Schwartz. Feeling the need for a literary club more topically suited for older women in the community, the Outlook Club formally organized in 1899 led by a group of local ladies including Dr. Jennie Fuller, Mrs. Jeanette Schwartz, Mrs. Abbie Moulton, Mrs. Annie Lancey and Mrs. William Stewart.

A notable addition to the club’s membership was Mrs. Anna Foster (Teel) Osborne who had recently moved from Pittsfield to Hartland following her son George Teel Osborne’s marriage in 1900 to Grace Wilson Fuller, daughter of Henry C. Fuller & Mary I. Linn. The widowed Mrs. Osborne, originally from Massachusetts, had recently assisted with several major upgrade projects at the Pittsfield Public Library. She soon became an important part of the Outlook Club’s mission to establish a new Reading Room coinciding with her efforts to organize and lead a separate citizen initiative to establish a formal public library in Hartland.

Outlook Club Annual Program Cover for 1908-1909


With the end of the State Traveling Library consignment approaching that coming September, the Outlook Club continued to proactively seek another dedicated venue to establish a Reading Room. At a club meeting in May of 1902, they voted “to maintain a public reading room at the Opera House, on condition the Town Hall Association shall give the use of the room, and provided that the money can be raised to furnish it.” 

For reasons currently unknown, the Outlook Club’s proposal to the Town Hall Association, which built, owned and operated the Opera House, appears to have been declined or put on hold as no specific references to use the room there were noted in articles leading up to their move to another venue soon offered to them. With or without a secured venue, the Outlook Club began plans for a fundraiser event to be held on Thursday, December 4, 1902 at the Opera House.

Outlook Club – November 29, 1902


By the end of 1902, another local movement was underway which focused on creating a formally organized public library in Hartland with its own book collection. Initially organized through the Hartland Sunshine Circle Chapter of the King’s Daughters Society under the leadership of Mrs. Anna Osborne, a dedicated Hartland Library Committee soon formed which included a number of local citizens led by Mrs. Osborne, Mrs. Jeanette Schwartz, Albert W. Miller and George M. Lancey.

Somerset Reporter – February 26, 1903


Meanwhile, the Outlook Club had successfully held their Reading Room Fundraiser on December 4, 1902 despite having no apparent venue secured at the time. Their search for a feasible location in town ended soon after when the Linn Woolen Company offered them free use of Central Hall located next to the Main Street Bridge to set up their Reading Room. They took little time to accept the gracious offer and immediately formed a Reading Room Committee charged with several duties including moving their collection and ordering furniture. The Linn Woolen Company also installed electric lights at their expense to improve visibility for future patrons at the building.

Central Hall on Main Street – c1912


By January of 1903, they were moving their collection of periodicals into Central Hall awaiting furniture to arrive so they could open.

Outlook Club Reading Room at Central Hall – February 5, 1903


Arrangements for daily newspaper deliveries and a new consignment from the State Traveling Library were also made ready by the Reading Room Committee and on Saturday, February 14, 1903, the Outlook Club officially opened their new venue to the public. 

Outlook Club Reading Room at Central Hall – February 12, 1903


As noted in a later article from February 26th, “The public has already shown that such a room is appreciated. More than 30 people went in Saturday night. Daily papers and the best periodicals are on the tables. One of the club ladies will be in attendance each evening and books will be available for borrowing on Saturday nights.”   

Outlook Club Reading Room at Central Hall – February 19, 1903


Currently, it is unknown exactly how long the Outlook Club Reading Room at Central Hall existed but our research continues. It is known they refocused their efforts to the new Hartland Public Library soon after it opened and became essential and continuous supporters of a free public library for the citizens and children of Hartland.


As the Outlook Club continued on its quest for a Reading Room, the newly formed Hartland Library Committee also continued seeking private and public funding, book donations, furnishings and a viable location in town for a library. In order to centralize fundraising efforts, a “Lend-A-Hand” Library Campaign was organized and led by Mrs. Osborne on behalf of the committee and quickly became a successful means for interested citizens to participate in the cause. Mrs. Osborne was reported to have made trips to Boston to purchase books wholesale and also donated a portion of her personal library collection to the growing movement to create a formally organized public library in Hartland.

The Library Committee’s private fundraising efforts were very successful for their initial needs, however gaining additional public financing from the town was also an important consideration in order to maintain the library’s long term sustainability. The first proposal to the town to publicly support the new library was brought to its citizens in an article for the March 9, 1903 Town Meeting as noted in the Town Report: “Article 32 – To see what sum of money the town will vote to give to the Hartland Free Library and to accept any contribu­tions that any parties may desire to make for the same.” ($50.00 was appropriated)

Shortly after monies were appropriated at the Town Meeting, Mrs. Anna Osborne, Mrs. Jeanette Schwartz, Albert W. Miller and George M. Lancey were appointed Trustees of the newly named Library Fund. A small room behind the stage at the Opera House was secured for the new library location. The library received numerous private book donations and, along with its own book purchases, reported it had over 500 books on hand within its first year.

1st Location of the Hartland Public Library at the Opera House on Academy Street


On Thursday, September 17, 1903, Library Fund Trustees opened the doors for the first time to the public at the new Library Room at the Opera House with a reception and a fundraising Carnival put on by the Lend-A-Hand group featuring performances by the Sunshine Circle Hartland Chapter of the King’s Daughters Society. The Lend-A-Hand group would sponsor a couple more of these large fundraising events advertised as the Rose Carnival then the Valentine Carnival.

Bangor Daily News – September 24, 1903


An earlier article in the Pittsfield Advertiser had included the information above but added further details and names of the performances presented before the King’s Daughters entertainment program began.

Pittsfield Advertiser – September 17, 1903


Miss Inda Florence Gordan was the first Librarian for the new Hartland Public Library. She was born in Franklin, New Hampshire, daughter of Library Trustee Mrs. Jeanette (Mason) Schwartz, widow of Lucian Gordan. Soon after Jeanette remarried to Michael Schwartz in 1895 in New Hampshire, they moved with Inda to Hartland. Inda married William L. Anderson of Hartland in 1910 and in 1918 the couple along with their young son and her mother, widowed again in 1907, moved to Oregon where they all remained until their deaths. In letters sent for the Library’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 1953 sponsored by the Outlook Club, Inda noted her regular librarian duties had also included several janitorial duties such as cleaning the room, shoveling snow and building fires in the stove as part of her weekly salary of 25 cents.


On December 30, 1903, the Library Trustees officially incorporated as the Hartland Library Association. From the very beginning, the Trustees’ ultimate goal of building or purchasing a dedicated facility is noted throughout early library reports as the Library Building Fund, however it would remain at the Opera House until 1935.


A detailed newspaper article published on March 17, 1904 following the Hartland Library Association’s first official report at the 1904 Hartland Town Meeting is presented below as transcribed with edits to include full names and specific dates when possible.

The first report of the Hartland Free Public Library was given at the Town Meeting on Monday, March 14th and so well pleased were the citizens with the work of the Trustees that an appropriation of $100.00 was made without one dissenting vote. The citizens are all proud of their library, and for the benefit of small towns having no library, it may be interesting to know how Hartland secured its public library.

One year ago the town appropriated $50.00 for starting a public library, the same being placed in charge of Trustees, namely, Mrs. Anna F. Osborne, Chairman, Mrs. Jeanette Schwartz, Albert W. Miller and George M. Lancey. Money and books were collected and an unfinished room in the Opera House was secured. A fundraiser this past September with a performance by the King’s Daughters Society raised $72.20 to help further furnish the room for library uses.

Money to the amount of $92.00 was given by Thomas A. Linn, Robert W. Linn, Dr. Lynne H. Blanchard, George T. Osborne, Dr. Cecil P. Brown, Charles L. Moor, George M. Lancey, Mrs. Mary I. Fuller, Mrs. Anna F. Osborne and the Cooking Club. Books and furnishings amounting to $175.50 were given by Albert W. Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas A. & Clara B. Linn, Mrs. Annie C. Lancey, Mrs. Grace Williams, Mrs. Myra S. Moor, Mrs. Jeanette H. Blake, Mrs. Mary I. Fuller, Mrs. Anna F. Osborne, Nettie Steward, Miss Ethel Butts, George T. Osborne, John H. Osborne of Massachusetts and Students of Hartland Academy.

According to the present library laws of the State, the Hartland Library Association was formed on December 30, 1903 and the officers chosen were Albert W. Miller, President; George T. Osborne, Vice President; Mrs. Jeanette Schwartz, Secretary and Treasurer. Directors chosen were Mrs. Anna F. Osborne, Mrs. Fronia S. Trafton and George M. Lancey.

At a meeting held March 7, 1904, all the library property held by the Library Trustees, which at present amounts to $400.00, was given to the Hartland Library Association, the same at this town meeting being presented to the town on condition that it be kept as a free public library.

The library currently contains 523 books; the number of borrowers are 220. We begin our second year with bright prospects with $100.00 from the town and $40.00 and books to the value of $100.00 from the State and the men, women and children interested in the library. We expect to report 1,000 books in our library at the next town meeting. What has been done in Hartland can be done in any town for success lies not in the great things a few can do, but in the small things all can do.


When the library first opened, the minimum age for borrowers was 14 years old, however its commitment to include and further enhance reading experiences for younger children began soon after. On Saturday, June 11, 1904, the library opened its first dedicated Children’s Reading Room which included age appropriate books and magazines for their use. Open every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm, the afternoon often featured adults reading books or telling stories to the young audience. As noted in the newspaper article reporting the opening which drew 14 young children to participate, “Everything will be done to interest the children in reading and instill in their minds a desire to do so”.  This commitment by the library to provide children a dedicated space for reading remained constant throughout its history and continues today.  


As it was funded in part by the town, its inventory, financial reports and a general summary of library affairs became a regular part of annual Hartland Town Meeting Reports. They were originally created for town reports by Library Trustees until 1917 when they were then submitted by the Librarian and Library Treasurer. Several of these reports are presented below from decade to decade showing the library’s progress over the years.


Additional Annual Library Reports in Hartland Town Reports may be found on the link below to Folger Library – University of Maine at Orono

Hartland Town Report Collection


 Library Report 1905-1906

No. Volumes in Library as of March 1, 1905…..1,200

No. Volumes added during the year…………………194 

Total No. Volumes as of March 1, 1906……….1,594

No. of Borrowers during the year…………………….570

No. of Volumes loaned………………………………….4,464

From July 15th to September 1st, the library was closed. Every book was accounted for and 65 books were rebound. Several years of magazine subscriptions have been given to the library and as they were considered especially helpful reading, they were bound. We realize that the books of today, especially fiction, are bound cheaply and therefore we urge patrons to be careful in handling them.

It is very gratifying to see so many children coming to the library. A taste for good reading acquired in youth is a great factor in forming the characters of our citizens. The teachers in our schools are doing much to instill into their pupils a taste for good reading by reading during the session from the books on the children’s stack. This method interests them in the books and they then want to read more books. We would urge those having the care of children to be very particular and place good reading before them. The reading table is supplied with good reading for old and young.

The library is open every Wednesday from 2 to 5pm and every Friday from 2 to 5pm and 7 to 9pm.


Balance on Hand ………………………………..     47. 67

Fines on Books ……………………………………… 12. 61

Dues Hartland Library Association…………… 1. 50

Supplies and Books sold………………………….. 5. 68

Received from Mrs. Anna F. Osborne……….. 6. 50

Received from Lend-A-Hand Society………. 72. 20

Received from W. Evans, Entertainment…  19. 00

Town Appropriation                                      100. 00

Total Receipts                                               $265. 08



Freight and Express………………………………    7. 42

Insurance …………………………………………….. 14. 05

Annual Salary of Librarian…………………….. 55. 25

Bills for Books…………………………………….. 148. 50

Supplies for Library ……………………………….. 5. 47

Bill for binding books……………………………. 51. 40

Bill for Wood …………………………………………. 6. 40

Stacks for books and Case …………………….. 8. 70

Cash on Hand                                                  7. 89

Total Expenses                                          $265. 08


Library Building Fund ……………………….   154. 01

Value Books & Magazines Donated ……    41. 75

Submitted by Hartland Free Library Directors; Anna F. Osborne, George M. Lancey & Fronia S. Trafton


In their 1911 submission to the Town Report, a special tribute was made to Mrs. Anna F. Osborne, an original advocate and Trustee & Director of the Hartland Public Library, who returned to her native state of Massachusetts with her son George T. Osborne after he remarried in 1910 where she remained until her death in 1926.

“The Library Association regrets the loss of Mrs. Osborne from the town. The success of the library has been largely due to her conscientious and untiring efforts. With your assistance we hope to continue the good work as it has been done in the past.”


Hartland Library Association Officers & Directors met annually to discuss library business.

Minutes of Hartland Library Association Officers & Directors Annual Meeting – March 1, 1913


Numerous people from the area graciously donated books to the library over the course of time. A large number of books from several private collections were also donated including 75 books from Albert W. Miller and a portion of the collection of Mrs. Anna F. Osborne with the remainder later donated by her son George T. Osborne following her death. Other large known donations included books from the personal libraries of David D. Stewart, Frank Woodbridge, Frank Pratt and the Civil War Book collection of Leroy Harding, a local Veteran of the war. Countless financial contributions were also made by citizens and various groups including a few large donations from David D. Stewart, Frank Hersey and Margaret & Marion Morrison. Magazine subscriptions purchased by citizens were also a popular gift to the library.


“We wish especially to call the attention of the people of Hartland to a gift of $200 from the Hon. D. D. Stewart of St. Albans. This was given to the library to enlarge the shelf room, buy a stove, and give us more new books which were badly needed. This was attended to in the summer while the library was closed.”  – 1914 Town Library Report

David Densmore Stewart (1823-1917) was born in Corinna, the son of David Steward & Elizabeth Merrick, and graduated from Hartland Academy then studied law at Bowdoin College. He moved to St Albans where he was a successful lawyer and state politician for the remainder of his life. He spent the last few years of his life disbursing his personal accumulated wealth and the vast fortune he inherited from his brother, Levi Merrick Stewart (1827-1910), who also attended Hartland Academy for a time. Among David’s other generous contributions to Hartland were funds for a new Athletic Field behind Hartland Academy in 1914 and remodeling the Academy gymnasium.

David Densmore Stewart


Some of those mentioned by Library Trustees in early Town Reports who served as Librarian during the early years of operation included Miss Eunice Linn and Mrs. Dora (Hazelton) Libby. The first person to make a report as Head Librarian was Mrs. Nellie W. Haley in 1917.


The Spanish Flu Pandemic affected schools, Town Meetings and various other public gatherings including the Library as noted In 1918;

“The library was closed for its usual repair work in August and also on account of Influenza for two weeks in October and again in November.”


Library Report 1919-1920


No. State books in library March 1, 1919                                474

No. State books added during the year                                     11

No. of other books in the library March 1, 1919                 2,851

No. of other books added during the year                             242

No. of books discarded                                                               20

Total No. of books in the library March 1, 1920               3,551

Books delivered for home use                                               7,289

Magazines delivered for home use                                          438


We are grateful to the following friends who have given books this year; Mr. Walter Moore, Mrs. Annie Lancey, Mrs. Grace Williams, Kit Kat Komedy Klub, Mrs. Robert Linn, Mr. Henry Getchell, Mrs. Annie Fuller, Mrs. Brawn and Miss Elizabeth Linn.

Respectfully submitted, Mrs. Nellie Wade Haley – Librarian




Cash on hand March 1, 1919                          42.84

Received from town                                       150.00

Received from Kit Kat Komedy Klub              83.70

Received from State                                         15.00

Received from fines                                         22.21

Received from new books                                6.70

Received from dues                                           2.25

Sale of one book                                                  .25

Total                                                               $322.95



Librarian salary                                             100.00

New books purchased                                 143.00

Magazines                                                        15.25

Insurance                                                          12.85

Supplies                                                               6.40

New steps for door                                            2.37

Cleaning library                                                  1.00

Shoveling path                                                     .50

Kindling                                                                 .15

Total                                                               $281.52


Cash on hand                                                    41.43

Building Fund                                                  281.52

Total                                                                $322.95

Respectfully submitted, Mrs. Marguerite Burton – Secretary and Treasurer (Wife of Elmer Burton)


Around 1916, Hartland native Mrs. Addie Mary (Coston) Smith (1884-1971) began working at the Library. Mary later succeeded Mrs. Nellie Haley in 1923 as Head Librarian and continued serving in the position until her retirement in 1966.

Mrs. Mary (Coston) Smith


“We wish to express through this report our appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Hanson, who presented to Hartland Free Library 450 volumes of reference books from the home library of the late Hon. David D. Stuart containing books on History, Biography, and other subjects.”  – 1927 Town Library Report


Library Report 1929-1930


No. State books in library March 1, 1929                593

No. State books added during year                         9

No. fiction and non-fiction, March 1, 1929             5,744

No. fiction and non-fiction added                            426

No. of books discarded                                              310

Total No. books in library                                         5,860

Books delivered for home use                                 12,263

Magazines delivered for home use                          279


At this time we wish to thank the following list of patrons who have so kindly remembered the library with gifts of books and magazines the past year; Elizabeth Linn, Grace Williams, Annie Fuller Linn, Maud Carr, Sarah Fuller, Eunice Linn, Annie Lancey, Ada Wilbur, Annie Hersey, Nellie Haley, William Russell, Edison Goodrich, Harold Heath, Norman Huff, Vincent Goforth and Albert Ordway.

Respectfully submitted, Mrs. Mary Coston Smith – Librarian




Balance on hand March 1, 1929                     72. 61

Received from town                                        500. 00

Received from State                                         60. 00

Received for dues and fees                             12. 85

Received from Outlook Club                           28. 00

Total                                                                $673. 46



Insurance                                                            39. 55

Books                                                                 188. 63

Magazines                                                           31. 30

Librarians salary                                              250. 00

Supplies                                                               30. 73

Expenses of librarian to library meeting         2. 83

Wood and labor, George Goodwin                15. 20

Kindling                                                                 1. 00

Library Association dues                                    4. 00

Maine State Library for traveling library         1. 25

Total                                                                $564. 49


Balance on hand March 1, 1930                   108. 97

Building Fund Balance March 1, 1929      1,118. 43

Received from Outlook Club                           42. 00

Interest                                                               51. 88

Balance on hand March 1, 1930              $1,212. 31

Respectfully submitted, Miss Ina M. Moulton – Treasurer (Daughter of Dr. Charles A. Moulton)


In 1863, Archibald Linn had moved to Hartland and built the Linn Woolen Mill on Main Street. He also built a company office on Commercial Street which continued to serve as an office location for the American Woolen Company when they took over the business in 1916.

Following the American Woolen Company’s bankruptcy in 1932, numerous real estate holdings they had obtained from the Linn Woolen Mill takeover were auctioned off, however several buildings were kept under control by Hartland Mills, Incorporated which had formed to find a suitor for the abandoned mill. One of several buildings Hartland Mills, Incorporated acquired was the former Linn Woolen Mill Main Office.

Hartland Drug Store, Linn Block & Original Linn Woolen Mill Office – Commercial Street


Several unsuccessful attempts by Hartland Library Trustees to purchase the former woolen mill office building were made until a special Hartland Mills, Incorporated Stock Holders Meeting was held on September 25, 1935. Library Trustees Dr. Charles A. Moulton & George M. Lancey pleaded their case in detail for the building to be sold so it could be used as a permanent home for the library which was still operating out of the Opera House~Town Hall at the time. This time the proposal was accepted by a substantial majority of the stock holders and following a special Town Meeting to formally vote on the proposed sale, it became the first dedicated home of the Hartland Public Library in 1935.

First Dedicated Home of the Hartland Public Library – Commercial Street


“We wish to extend our appreciation to the many friends and patrons who responded so readily to our many calls for help while moving into our new library and for books and magazines donated the past year.”  – 1936 Library Report 


Library Report 1939-1940


No. State books in library Feb. 1, 1939 ………………………. 65

No. State books added………………………………………………… 6

No. fiction and non-fiction, Feb. 1, 1939 ………………… 6,616

No. fiction and non-fiction added …………………………….. 275

No. fiction and non-fiction discarded………………………….. 25

Total number books in library ……………………………… 6,866

Books delivered for home use……………………………….. 12,677

Magazines delivered for home use…………………………….. 396

No. books rented from rental library……………………….. 1,256

Rental books presented to library………………………………… 85


We wish to express our appreciation for books, magazines and money donated the past year.

Respectfully submitted, Mary Coston Smith – Librarian


Hartland Public Library Book Mark


“The Hartland Public Library remodeling project is now practically complete. This work has been possible due to the generosity of the Misses Margaret & Marion Morrison of Dexter who as children lived in Hartland and were anxious that better facilities be made available for the children.

The single doors have been removed and large archways cut, the old cloak and toilet rooms done away with and a new toilet room provided in the rear of the Library. This additional room will be used for the children. They will have tables and chairs for their own use, new display racks and a most attractive location of their own.

The walls throughout are finished in white enamel. The woodwork and cases are stained walnut brown. Every part of the Library open to the public may now be seen from the Librarian’s desk. The cases and books left by the late Bertha Cook Longley have also been received.

Mrs. Mary Coston Smith, the Librarian, and the trustees deserve much praise for the time and effort they put in on this project. The town officers have also assisted and Mrs. Smith visited several Libraries for ideas and suggestions. The stock and utility room in the rear of the building remains untouched as present as does the top floor which contains much usable floor space for future uses.” ~ Pittsfield Advertiser – September 1947


“We wish to express at this time our appreciation to the Misses Margaret and Marion Morrison for their kindly and thoughtful gift of money for a Children’s Room.”  – 1948 Library Report

Margaret Morrison (1876-1948) and her sister Marion Morrison (1881-1967) were born in Hartland while their father was working at the Linn Woolen Mill. They spent some of their childhood in Hartland before the family moved in the early 1890s and eventually resided in Dexter. Their sister Tina Morrison passed away at just under 2 years old in 1880 while the family was living in Hartland and is interred at Ireland Cemetery.

In early 1947, they made a $1,500 donation to the Hartland Public Library to build a Children’s Room with the balance to be held in a trust fund. Margaret had been ill at the time as noted in her obituary and passed away on December 23, 1948 at 72 years old. She and Marion are interred with their parents at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Dexter. Marion continued making additional cash donations to the library over the years and The Morrison Children’s Fund and its earned interest would be perpetuated for decades by the library as an important source of their funding.


Library Report 1949-1950


Number of State Books in Library Feb. 1, 1949 ………… 692

Number of State Books added ……………………………………. 2

Number of Fiction – Non-Fiction ……………………………. 9,965

Number of Fiction – Non-Fiction added ……………………. 100

Total number of Books in Library ……………………… 10,065

Number Books delivered for home use ……………….. 10,350

Number Magazines delivered for home use……………… 170

Number Books rented from Rental Shelf …………………. 960


We wish to express at this time our appreciation for the Books and Money donated this year.

Respectfully submitted, Mary Coston Smith – Librarian


MORRISON CHILDREN’S FUND (From Treasurer’s Report)

Cash on hand February 1, 1949                             $ 401.66

Loaned Regular Fund                                                    51.01

Balance on February 1, 1950                                  $ 350.65

Respectfully submitted, Miss Ina M. Moulton – Treasurer


The Outlook Club has continued their generous and immeasurable support of the Hartland Public Library since its humble beginning through fund raising contributions and donated books. Along with their regular club programs for book readings, they have participated in numerous other local civic fund raising activities such as sponsoring a local girl to attend Maine Legislature Day and have bestowed numerous scholarships to local students.

Outlook Club Meeting


Meanwhile in 1956, Donald Shorey built a new dedicated location on Mill Street for his existing funeral home business in Hartland. Although the event was unrelated to the library at the time, it would later play a significant role in the library’s future.

Construction of Donald Shorey Funeral Home –  Mill Street – 1956


Library Report 1959-1960


Number of State Books – January 1, 1959                   801

Number of State Books Added                                         1

Number of Fiction – Non-fiction                               12,424

Number of Fiction – Non-fiction Added                        272

Total Number of Books                                           12,696

Number of Books Delivered for Home Use            8,361

Number of Magazines                                                   191

Number of Books Rented from Rental Shelf              75


Many more books were donated this past year. We are grateful to all the townspeople, The Outlook Club, and people from other towns for their gifts of books and money.

Respectfully submitted, Mary Coston Smith – Librarian




Cash on hand February 1, 1959                      588.44

Received from Town                                      1,500.00

State Stipend                                                        84.00

Outlook Club                                                        50.00

Marion Morrison                                                 50.00

Outlook Club Meetings                                      16.00

Dues                                                                        6.05

Insurance Dividend                                              3.90


From Mr. and Mrs. Rae Randlett

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Hollister

Mrs. Lillian Towle                                                10.00_

                                                        Total      $2,308.39



Librarian’s Salary                                              611.52

Social Security                                                     31.20

Central Maine Oil Co.                                       358.78

Central Maine Power Co.                                   35.51

Maine Library Association Dues                         1.00

Books and Magazines                                     183.68

Supplies                                                               26.85

Floor Tile                                                            161.05

Bank Charge                                                         2.40

Postage                                                                  2.47

Labor                                                                   19.50_


Cash on hand February 1, 1960                   514.27

Morrison Fund – Cash on hand                    292.90_

                                                       Total      $2,308.39

Respectfully submitted, Bertha G. Moore – Treasurer (Wife of Merrill A. Moore)


“We respectfully dedicate this 1966-1967 Annual Report to MARY COSTON SMITH in appreciation of her many years of unselfish service as Librarian of the Hartland Free Library. We will ever be grateful to her for instilling in many generations of our school children, a love of good reading.”  – Municipal Officers ~ Town of Hartland


Upon Mary’s retirement, Mrs. Ethel (Webster) Fox (1895-1994) began her tenure as Head Librarian at the Hartland Public Library.

Hartland Public Library – Commercial Street – 1988


Library Report 1969-1970


No. of Books in Library Jan. 1, 1969 Fiction and Non-fiction            15,052

New books added                                                                                         396

Total number of books January 1, 1970                                             15,448

Delivered for home use                                                                             1,608

Circulation of magazines and records                                                        381


Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Ernestine Carson for the many books brought to the Library and also to Mrs. Ardis Stewart for books.

Respectfully submitted, Ethel W. Fox – Librarian



Cash on hand February 1, 1969                       592.66


Town of Hartland                                            5,000.00

State Stipend                                                         99.70

Outlook Club                                                         50.00

Outlook Club Meetings                                       12.00

Dues and fines                                                     26.12

Donations                                                               2.00

Interest from Morrison Trust Fund             4,058.98

Total                                                                $7,841.46



Librarian’s Salary                                            1,300.00

Insurance                                                              67.75

Social Security                                                   129.60

Staples Oil Company                                       431.40

Central Maine Power Co.                                  59.46

Hartland Water Company                                34.76

Bank Service Charges                                         3.80

Check Book                                                          3.85

Books and Magazines                                    338.95

Rebuilding Cellar Wall                                    616.50

Labor, Cellar Wall                                              96.00

Materials, Cellar Wall                                        61.35

Mowing Grass                                                      8.00

Supplies                                                                6.00

Total                                                             $3,157.42


Cash on hand February 1, 1970

Checking Account Balance                           625.06

Savings Account Balance                           4,058.98

Total                                                             $7,841.46

(Treasurer not noted in report)


Mrs. Ethel Fox retired in 1976 and was replaced by Mrs. Grace Woodman as Head Librarian.


Library Report 1979-1980


Books on hand January 1979                                16,986

Books Added                                                                 370

Books Discarded                                                            59

Total Books on hand January 1980                    17,297

Circulation Books                                                     3,959

Magazines Circulated                                                 342

Magazines Available                                                     23

Respectfully submitted, Grace D. Woodman – Librarian




Balance on hand Dec. 31, 1978                   2,154.59

Received from Town                                     3,500.00

Dividends                                                           207.08

Petty Cash                                                            87.00

Outlook Club                                                       59.08

Morrison Fund                                               1,400.00

Sale of Book                                                         10.00

State Stipend                                                     281.00

Total                                                              $7,698.75



Edith Weitzki                                                      92.80

Beulah Stromback                                            60.00

Librarian Salary                                            2,320.00

Books                                                             1,000.32

Magazines                                                        212.99

Hartland & St. Albans Telephone Co.            86.94

Hartland Post Office; Stamps                         13.20

Randlett & Son; Cleaning Materials               18.40

Edgar Woodman; Bulbs                                     9.46

Gaylord Bros.; Labels, Guide                            7.65

Beulah Stromback; Envelopes                         1.00

Leslie R. Goodridge; Insulation                1,400.00

Charge for printed checks                             12.42

Grace Woodman; Postage, Travel                51.72

Shari Vigue; Children’s Party                           6.45

Hartland Water Company                             46.83

McNichol Oil Company                                837.50

Central Maine Power Company                 117.58

Total Expenditures                                    6,295.27

Balance on hand Dec. 31, 1979              1,403.48

Total                                                          $7,698.75



Balance Forward 1979                            21,543.27

Interest                                                        1,216.92

Morrison Fund                                           3,740.46


Paid Hartland Library                               1,400.00

Balance 1980                                         $25,100.60

(Treasurer not noted in report)


Following its closure, Donald Shorey’s former building at 16 Mill Street was purchased by the Town of Hartland in 1990 and converted into the new home of the Hartland Public Library moving in 1991 from its former location at the original Linn Woolen Mill Office on Commercial Street.

Hartland Public Library Sign – Mill Street – 2017


Funds raised through numerous private and local business donations along with a large donation from the Irving Tanning Company enabled a 2,880 square foot addition to be built in 1995 providing additional space for a new Children’s Activity Room and Community Meeting Room.

Hartland Public Library with Addition – Mill Street – 2017


A tribute to long time Hartland Consolidated School Teacher Ernestine A. Carson in the new Children’s Activity Room.

Mrs. Ernestine A. Carson Tribute Plaque


At present (2019), the Hartland Public Library has approximately 35,000 items and 7 public computers. The library continues its stated ongoing mission as an important learning and research venue for its citizens as well as serving as the temporary “home” of the Hartland Historical Society.


Click below to access their website sponsored by The Friends of Hartland Public Library:

Hartland Public Library


Hartland Public Library – Mill Street – 2019

(Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)