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Wheeler Library celebrates its 100th anniversary Thursday

ORANGE — The Wheeler Memorial Library is celebrating 100 years of service to the community on Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m.

Friends of the Orange Public Libraries will be holding an open house with a commemorative cake and small mementos for patrons. The event will be the beginning of what will be a year-long tribute to the library and its place in the community.

The Wheeler was not the first library created in Orange, however. Local tradition places the opening of a free public library in the year 1847, making it one of the first established in the United States.

The library building at 49 East Main St. was a gift to the town from Almira Wheeler Thompson, and named in honor of her late husband, John W. Wheeler, a life long resident of Orange and president of the New Home Sewing Machine Co. Construction began in the fall of 1912 and was dedicated on April 17, 1914.

Mrs. Wheeler donated $50,000 for the construction and furnishing of the building, which is equivalent to $1,165,245 today.

The library is located at 49 East Main St. For more information, call 978-544-2495.

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