Oxford had a library of sorts as far back as 1873. Freeland Holmes left Oxford in 1849 to go to San Francisco as an "argonaut" and businessman. In 1870 he passed away in Oxford and bequeathed a fund of $500 to be matched by the town to purchase books and establish a library. It was located in an area of the George H. Jones Drug Store on Pleasant Street. It was there, in the back of the store, that the books were kept for circulation. The library existed there for 40 years.
During the summer of 1910, Mrs. M. F. Hitchings, manager of a local hotel called the Oxford Spring House, worked with a local women`s club, the Hersey Guild, on an idea of opening a reading room in the village. She suggested a concert as a fund raiser. The concert was such a success that even Governor Bert M. Fernald sent a donation. The Christian Endeavor Society donated use of the chapel for the reading room, which was open one afternoon and two evenings a week. It continued for two years, when interest in an actual building took off.
Kate Starbird served as librarian of the Freeland Holmes Library from the opening in 1914 until 1952. It is in her memory that her daughter, Marguerite Starbird Lunt, and her husband, Everett Lunt, left the money in her will to the library. It is a gift which became the seed money for the addition to the library. The trustees of the library allowed the gift to collect interest for a number of years, and then decided to go ahead and double the size of the library for this generation and generations to come. It is in the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Lunt that the new addition, the Everett and Marguerite Starbird Lunt Wing, was dedicated on October 24, 1998. At this time, the Reference Area of the library was also dedicated to the Robinson Family. John B. Robinson was one of the library`s original benefactors. Through the years, Robinson Manufacturing Company has provided major support to the library. The capital campaign was led by trustee, George Robinson, with additional financial support from all members of the Robinson family. This project also would not have been possible without the support of so many local contributions.
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