Milton Free Public Library Board of Trustees
Milton Free Public Library Mission Statement
The Mission of the Milton Free Public Library is to provide quality library services to all members of the community, to enrich and inform our lives through the power of books, the resources of technology, and special programs-for life-long learning, for entertainment and enjoyment, for knowledge of our world and democratic heritage.
The Milton Free Public Library ("Little Red School House") is located on half an acre in the center of Milton Mills. The architecture is French Second Empire style with a mansard style roof and dormer windows upstairs. The foundation is brick. The style is unique to Milton Mills - no other buildings in town have the same style - however it was popularly used in public buildings at the time of its construction. There have been no significant exterior renovations other than maintenance (i.e., painting and replacing rotten boards). It contains two rooms downstairs which currently operate as the library. As one enters the building, the first thing seen is a beautiful staircase that branches off in two directions. The upstairs consists of one very large room, and a bell tower with a functioning bell. The floors are hardwood and the walls are plaster.
The Little Red School House remains a unique feature of Milton Mills; with its unique architecture of the "Second Empire" style, its bell tower and its central location. Below is a timeline of important events in the history of this building.
- The school was built for grade and high school students in Milton Mills.
1902 - The school became the local grade school. The high school students went to Nute High School in Milton.
1958 - After Christmas vacation, grade school students and furniture was moved to the Milton Grade School. As a
result there was a special town meeting. The parents of the grade school students did not want the school closed and
their children bused to Milton. As a result, the Milton Mills grade school remained open.
1975 - Centennial celebrations were held for the school. The school got a face lift, and was painted red for the first
time. At this point in time the grade school housed grades 1-3 only.
1988 - The Town of Milton again tried to close the grade school. Again there was a special town meeting and the grade
school remained open.
1991 - The grade school closed.
1992 - The schoolhouse was opened as The Milton Free Public Library.
2001 - The NH Division of Historical Resources recommended the library building be eligible for the state and national
Historic Registers. The foundation was stabilized and the building received a coat of paint and a new furnace.
2005 - Repairs were made for water damage from a burst pipe (winter 2003). The second story support was strengthened and the first floor got a new tin ceiling.
2006 - Renovations were completed to make the downstairs bathroom handicap accessible.
Have you been to the Library this week?
The Milton Free Public Library, located at 13 Main Street in Milton Mills, NH is waiting for you!
Built in 1875 as a schoolhouse, in 1992 the Library took possession of this magnificent building. The Milton Free Public Library is an exemplary representative of the historical and architectural development of Milton Mills. There are no other buildings left in Milton Mills that illustrate the Second Empire architecture so prevalent in the 19th Century.
If a library is defined as "a building or rooms containing collections of books, periodicals and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow or refer to" then perhaps Milton Free Public Library should be renamed Milton Free Public Library and Community Center. The building is a resource that supports community activities and whose loss would diminish the community's ability to define its architectural history and heritage. The Milton Free Public Library is appreciated by a large cross section of the community.
With a dramatic increase in patronage, as well as increase in use as a meeting place for various groups and organizations, a center for youth as well as adults, it is a vital part of the Milton Mills/Milton NH infrastructure.
Preservation is so much more than saving old buildings! Historic preservation champions and protects places that tell the stories of our past. It enhances our sense of community and brings us closer together: saving the places where we take our children to school, buy our groceries, and stop for coffee - preserving the stories of ancient cultures found in landmarks and landscapes we visit - protecting the memories of people, places and events honored in our national monuments. Contact the Library for a list of events/programs or suggest a new one.
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