This is a story of my oldest memory from when I was barely a few years old. Something probably questionable but those few days surrounding this time seemed so close to reach yet I know they were over twenty years ago. This is about a little place called Groten Connecticut that looks much like Westport, Connecticut which is the location of American Housewife.. Which of course I love that show!
Groten, Connecticut 1996 in the brisk warm days of 80 degrees while I was in my little red checkered dress going with my father to the local library. Walking hand in hand as we approach this brick house with double glass doors, large pillar next to it, and wonderful old English structure named Bill Memorial Library. Walking inside was a rush of sweet vanilla flowers and almonds among the scent of privet, cinnamon and mystery that has a dash of musk that touch the tip of your nose. Ah the smell of my favorite place which is old books and an old building.
This library was originally above school at a different location when Mr Frederic Bill proposed a memorial for his two sisters, Eliza and Harriet. He had selected a lot of books and provided the cases to be installed above the present school at this location. His aim according to his letter was that “in the volumes collected there may be found that which will tend to stimulate a high ambition, strengthen good resolve, cultivate the taste an afford pleasure to all who may read them.” The library was opened for the distribution of books on November 20, 1888, with 1750 volumes on hand. The library was opened nearly 100 years before my darling was born.
Next year Mr. Bill drew up plans for a new library on the summit of Groton Heights that overlooked the Thames River. Made of Stony Creek granite and trimmed with Maynard freestone with a red slate roof became dedicated June 1890.
This is the first and only library I love even till this day. How I want to go back just to sniff the air once more and touch the double glass doors on my way in. I remember walking into the area where the little museum like area was with a collection of birds, butterflies and paintings laid along with a mysteries mummified hand. Maybe this is why I have my own butterfly on display in my home.
Walking into the area where computers are with my father reading and playing games that was a resource here at Bill Memorial Library where dad even read to me books from the children section including a picture books that were popular during that time. I still have one of the Cat in The Hat books from there that my father had bought during a book sale for me. Which my cat obsession must of been fueled during this time and ever since my love for libraries were spiked.
Remembering sitting at one of the many nooks reading at the window with my father. Listening to every word he was reading like they were my source of life.
That was the last time he took me to the library….
All Pictures are of Bill Memorial Library