Rindge’s historic library

  • Ingalls Memorial Library, Rindge Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The Ingalls Memorial Library in Rindge is on the state registry of historic places. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Ingalls Memorial Library, Rindge Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, August 07, 2018 10:43AM

The Ingalls Memorial Library is one of three properties in town recognized by the state as a historic place.

The library – the first dedicated library in town – was added to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places by the New Hampshire State Historical Resources Council in Oct. 2016.

Books were collected in town for circulation as early as 1810. Books were stored in peoples homes and eventually leased facilities, all prior to the library.

“The facilities offered residents a place to socialize, learn, conduct business and educate their children. Recognizing that libraries are a social hub for people to gather, Rodney Wallace and his wife Sophia Ingalls Wallace, in June 1894 presented a proposal to build a library,” a historical piece prepared in 2016 by grant writer Barbara Miller states. 

Wallace said he would give the library to the town – capped at a $5,000 cost – on a condition that $500 be raised and expended within one year after the building’s completion and $1,000 be raised for a permanent fund. The income from the fund would be used annually to purchase books and do maintenance on the library building.

The proposal was accepted immediately by town officials.

The library was constructed in 1894-1895 by Henry Martyn Francis, a well-known architect from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The building was constructed in a Romanesque Revival style, based on medieval and early Christian cathedrals from the 11th and 12th centuries.

A dedication took place on June 13, 1895 and was dedicated in honor of Thomas Ingalls, the former land owner of the library land and Sophia’s father. More than 300 people attended.

“After its opening, the Library quickly became an essential asset and a focal point of community life in Rindge, serving as a multigenerational gathering place for worship, town meetings, social activities, and civic programs,” reads the application. “… Mr. Wallace’s dream of a library, supported by the community became a reality. Today the residents of Rindge are showing the same spirit by working together to revitalize this historic gem.”

The other two properties recognized on the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places list are Thomas Farm and the Hampshire Country School property.