One hundred and ten years ago, forty three Fort Edward ladies met at the home of Mrs. A. P. Hill for the purpose of organizing a Civic League. One of the committees formed at that meeting was a library committee. Six months later, in September of 1914, the library committee revealed its plan to establish a free library in the village. The Board of Regents for and on behalf of the Education Department of the State of New York, granted an absolute charter to the Fort Edward Free Library, Fort Edward, Washington county, which was incorporated by the Board of Regents under a provisional charter granted on March 4, 1915, and extended by action of the Regents on December 20, 1940, and June 21, 1946, and has continued the said corporation with all its powers privileges and duties. The library subsequently opened at the corner of Broadway and Washington Streets.
In 1919 it was then moved to 190 Broadway and in 1932 the library moved to its present location at 23 East Street, the Former Crane House. The library building has seen many changes throughout the years.
In 1996, the library expanded and the the children’s room was added. Other renovations at that time consisted of new library shelving, carpeting, circulation desk, siding, pane windows and landscaping. Mr. John Weber of Weber Cabinets provided the shelving and the circulation desk.
In 2006 the Library front reading room was renovated with new shelving and named after a former Fort Edward High School Math Teacher, Marietta Hanna. The Marietta Hanna reading room holds non-fiction titles, large print titles, audios, serials, and our historical cabinet.
In 2010 new flooring was installed in the Children’s room and new carpeting was installed in the main area, young adult section, and stairway.
The Library is fully automated. There are two computers available for public use and internet access. The library has WIFI connection which will accommodate local patrons as well as visitors. The library provides availability of electrical outlets for allowing patrons to access their electronic devices. It is recommended that patrons bring their own connections to enable them to charge their electronic devices.
In 2015 a grant from the Community for Irving Tissue in the amount of $10,000. was received to purchase a Smart Board and a laptop. This enabled the library patrons to view programs that were educational, informative, and enjoyable on a large screen visible to a large audience. We are very grateful for this grant as it allows us to keep moving in the 21st century with current technology.
In 2018 a Grant of $5,000 was awarded from the Washington County Home for Aged Woman, Inc. toward partial funding of our driveway expansion. This expansion now accommodates up to 9 parking spaces and 3 disability parking spaces.
In 2019 the library was awarded a $5,000 Construction Challenge Grant from SALS. This grant allowed the library to purchase and install outdoor lighting over the new parking lot, update the inside of the library’s electrical capacity by installing new electrical outlets in the young adult section, update electrical circuits to allow more effective usage, convert interior lights to LED, and seal and paint lines on the new parking lot.
In late Sept. of 2020 a Grant of $2079 was awarded from the Washington County Home for Aged Woman, Inc. for our new Drive-Up Return Material Drop Box. Due to inclement weather, the new Drop Box will be installed in the early Spring of 2021. Also from the Washington County Home for Aged Woman grant that same year, the library received $1800 to purchase Large Print Materials.
In 2021 the library was a recipient of a grant from CDLC to purchase Archival Boxes (52) to protect our binded newspapers dating back to the late 1800’s. Also in this grant was the purchasing of heavy duty metal shelving to store archival materials upon.
In September of 2022 the Library was a recipient of the Washington County Home for Aged Woman Grant in the amount of $4500 to go toward Large Print Titles. In doing so, the library purchased over one hundred and twenty new titles.
In 2023 Post Covid, the library installed a new HVAC System. Funding of $6000. from the Village and $6000. from the Town of Fort Edward helped the library in defraying the total cost of $19,000. Jack Hall Plumbing and Heating was awarded the contract after the review of three other contractors.
2023 and previosly from 2015, the Library has been a recipient of the Stewart’s Holiday Match Grant. Funding amount ranged from $1200 – $1500 for children’s programs throughout the year. The library is very appreciative of the support we receive from not only this grant but from all that Stewart’s does in helping our community.