Pelham Free Public Library History

At the town meeting of 1842, “It was voted $105 for the common school libraries, it being the sum required of said town for the purpose of establishing District School Libraries to enable the town to receive the same sum from the state, agreeable to a law passed by the legislature of 1841.” This is the only reference to libraries in Pelham in Parmenter (p.196).

The Town Report of 1878 lists Justin W. Keith, librarian for three years, at a salary of $7.50. Willard Keith, as librarian, was listed under Contingent Expenses with a salary of $1.50 in the 1879 Town Report. The available reports of the 1880s do not mention any expenses for a library or librarian.

The Minutes of the Trustees of the Free Public Library of Pelham, MA, state, “At the Annual Town Meeting, held March 9, 1891, the town accepted the provisions of Chapter 347 of the Acts of the Legislature of 1890 and under the provisions of Chapter 304 of the Acts of 1888 elected a Board of Trustees. Said Board consisted of the following members: Mary A. Keith, term of service – 3 years; M. Louise Brewer, term of service – 2 years; Eliza L. Haskins, term of service – one year.”

Prepared by Patricia Rotman, Librarian. September, 1978

The Board of the Pelham Free Public Library is looking for volunteers to help complete this page. Please contact if you are able to help or know someone who might.