A little background on Whelden Library

Martha Lee Whelden, a West Barnstable school teacher inthe 1880's, was renowned for encouraging good reading by her students. Her friend, Mrs. George Linder, was so impressed that she donated two red bookcases and books to the grammar school. A village library had begun.

In 1897, the "Library" was transferred to a small room in the new "Otis Hall" nearby. Linder Library Association was formed in 1899 andthe collection grew until 1905, when a separate building was constructed on Town-owned land, the Lombard property. Volunteer stone masons and laborers constructed the building of stone to the window sills.

In 1923, the Trustees renamed the library "Whelden Memorial Library" after a receipt of a large bequest upon the deaths of Miss Martha Whelden and her sisters. In 1968 and 1989 additions were put on in each side of the original one room building to create a "c" shape.

There have been eight library directors since the 1890's: Mrs. George Fish, Miss Carrie Bursley, Mrs. Harold (Gladys) Weekes (who served for 33 years), Mrs. Norman (Helen) Cahoon, Natalie Lowell, Jane Merritt, Lexa Crane, Kathleen Swetish, and currently Victoria Allard.

Whelden Memorial Library is incorporated as a non-profit institution. It is governed by fifteen Trustees and four Officers.

Three former Directors of Whelden Library, standing with our newest one.
L-R: Jane Merritt, Lexa Crane, Victoria Allard, Kathy Swetish.