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  • Writer's pictureRochelle Gridley

Danvers Library

Updated: May 24, 2020

The Town of Danvers has had a library since 1857, when it was in rooms above the Brown grocery store in downtown Danvers. It was started by the Danvers Literary and Library Society as a private library in 1857 and over the years had accumulated over 3000 books in the tiny library. It was supported mainly by ice cream socials, oyster suppers, and bakery sales. Entertainments such as amateur nights and old fiddler contests also supported the library and the residents of the town were always happy to support the library by attending these events.


In 1893 a small building was erected to hold the library and it was occupied for 46 years before the hard times of the Great Depression caused it to close in September of 1939. But the people of Danvers counted this as a blessing, because once the library was closed, everyone seemed to realize how important the library was to them!




The first group to support the library, after the closure in 1939, was the Home Bureau, one of the most important and largest organizations in Danvers. The Home Bureau's mission was after all, education. The women of the Home Bureau took on the task of supporting the library for an entire year. The library had been run with subscriptions and a couple small endowments, but with the new interest in the library, 78 subscriptions were purchased at just one dollar a year, and this allowed the library to reopen in April of 1940. A volunteer librarian was in charge of the desk on Saturdays (the only day the library was open). With the new library subscriptions the library was able to buy magazine subscriptions and hoped to have even more books.


Donald Payne and Walter Pritchard


In November of 1941 a group of women in Danvers gave the library a facelift by painting the interior and repapering. A man was hired to put a new roof on the library and a carpenter built new shelves for the books.



Mrs. Louis Strehle



Mrs. Walter Yoder


The Danvers Township Library now is a full service library with extended hours and on line resources that are available even during the present shelter in place order (April, 2020). The library has 20,000 books and 3,700 DVDs in addition to the on line resources.

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