One hundred and six 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 2018 a Grant of $5,000 was awarded from the Washington County Home for Aged Woman, Inc. for 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.