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History

1897    North Gorham Public Library was founded
1918    North Gorham Library Association Incorporated
1973    North Gorham Library burns.  Lost most of books.
1976    New fire station at North Gorham constructed with a library annex.


Excerpt from the more complete Centennial History by Warren B Gilman 1996

Exactly when the hall was first used as a library is not known, but it was
within a few years after its construction, and continued until 1918, about a
quarter century. The construction of a higher dam in 1900, required the
removal of several buildings along the Middle Jam Road in the area which
would be inundated and is now under North Gorham pond. Two of these were
Forest Hall, and Caleb and Ruel Smith's store, which had been built next
door to the hall, in 1893. The "Smith Bros." store is mentioned here since
it was later to be the library building for many years. In 1899, the hall
and store were both relocated on opposite sides of North Gorham Road at the
intersection of the Shaw Road, now known as Whipple Road. Tradition says
that moving the buildings required lots of bananas to lubricate the skids!
How quiet the library was when in the hall is an interesting question, for
at times the large, adjoining room served as a movie theater, and until
1910, the home basketball court for Windham High School. The library room
was small and not a reading room, so it probably mattered little. As an
Association, the North Gorham Public Library really got its start in 1896,
when the Library received a gift of $600 from Trustees of the Estate of
Joseph Walker of Portland, who was also the chief benefactor in establishing
the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook. It is from this date that we mark
our 100th Anniversary at this time.

Just why Joseph Walker would choose to remember the little library at North
Gorham is only indirectly documented, but an intelligent guess would suggest
it was his business connection with Peter Trickey, Sr., son of the Zebulon
Trickey mentioned above. At one time, Walker owned all of Frye's Island and
he and Trickey both were active in harvesting timber in the area around
Sebago Lake. Their partnership dates from 1830 until the financial crisis of
1837, when the business failed. In the Local History Room of the Walker
Memorial Library today stands a beautiful Grand-father's Clock, made by
William Cummens and given to the Library by the Edward Trickey family. On
the face of the clock are inscribed the words "Made for Zebulon Trickey." A
news-clipping about Mr. Walker and his bequest dates the clock as 1800,
although no date apparently is thereon. Another connection is suggested to
those who knew Miss Elizabeth Johnson of Windham Hill, a trustee of the
library at its incorporation, and a relative of Ann Johnson Walker, Joseph
Walker's wife of 57 years. Tradition says that Peter Trickey, Jr. was the
first librarian, but the first librarian to make extant records in October
of 1904, was 15-year-old Marion Lucretia Moses, later Mrs. Guy Wilson. In
1908, Mildred Francesca Thomas, later Mrs. Walter N. Harlow, began her first
period of service as librarian, serving for twelve years, until 1920. It was
at this time that the Library Association after becoming incorporated on
November 21,1918 with Edward M. Moses, President, and Asa Douglass,
Treasurer.

Trustees at its inception: James E. Aikins Forest J. Marsh George G. Dyer
Daniel W. Fogg Bertrand W. Gilman Harry W. Smith George H. Cummings Carlyle
W. Shaw Edward M. Moses Mary Lord Elizabeth Whipple Jane Whipple Elizabeth
Johnson Asa Douglass Mildred F. Thomas (Harlow)

The Association acquired Caleb Smith's store on November 6, 1918, possibly
due to the instigation and some extent through the generosity of Professor
Charles F. Maberry, who held the mortgage. Exactly what role he played in
the acquisition of the building is not known, but his picture always had a
prominent place in the old library building. The son of a North Gorham
blacksmith, he spent ten years as a student and teacher at Harvard
University, and later became the head of the Chemistry Department at the
Case School of Applied Science, in Cleveland, Ohio. Returning, he left his
mark in many ways upon the cultural aspects of this community, and on the
Quinn house, remodeling his family dwelling extensively.