Branches of the County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives
Picton Branch (1846) 208 Main St. Picton ON
On March 12, 1846, a charter was obtained for a Mechanic’s Institute in the Town of Picton, which functioned intermittently until 1890 when a meeting was called to establish a full-fledged library. The Committee appointed was authorized to spend $100 on books. After some years of preparation, in 1902, a bylaw was passed changing the Mechanic’s Institute into a Free Public Library. On December 12, 1907, the present building was opened as a new Carnegie Library. One of a limited number of Carnegie designed libraries in Ontario; the building retains much of its original structure and appearance, including oak pillars, elegant archways and a handsome fireplace. Andrew Carnegie’s name is perhaps most associated with Carnegie Hall, but this Scottish immigrant turned American industrialist and philanthropist felt that the most significant contribution that could be given to a community was a free library, and he devoted much of his funding and energy to the cause.
Bloomfield Branch (1896) 300 Main St. Bloomfield, ON
Mr. William Bowerman, who opened the library from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week, founded the Bloomfield Branch Library in 1896! Although such lavish hours are no longer practical, the branch remains a hub of activity in Bloomfield’s downtown. The Stark Family funded children’s space is a bustling centre for reading, learning, and playing.
Wellington Branch (1926) 261 Main St. Wellington, ON
Prior to 1926, there were no library facilities in the village of Wellington, until the Women’s Institute took advantage of the facilities of a government travelling library service and established a small library. Dr. Parry D. Saylor, a former Wellington resident, decided to erect a memorial to his mother, Annie Dorland Saylor, and donated the cost of a small, well equipped library to serve the village. The library has since undergone many improvements and is today a building combining historical architecture with a modern, complimentary addition. In 2008, the County of Prince Edward Archives moved to share an accessible, climate-controlled space with the Wellington Branch.
Ann Farwell Branch – Milford (1951) 3053 County Rd. 10, Milford, ON
Nestled in the heart of Milford, the Ann Farwell Public Library was started through the efforts of Jeanne Minhinnick and Ann Farwell in 1951. The two women began by arranging 2,000 donated books on the town hall stage and opened the door to library service in Milford. By 1993, the library had grown so much that the community, led by dedicated volunteers, built a fully accessible library to serve their needs. Recent updates include a community meeting space and comfortable reading area.
Al Purdy Branch – Ameliasburgh (1975) 809 Whitney Rd. Ameliasburgh
The by-law creating a library in Ameliasburgh Township was signed in 1975. The library’s first location was the back of Harry Bisdee’s store in the hamlet of Ameliasburgh. Later, the library was moved into the township hall, and finally found its present home in the circa 1848 stone schoolhouse on Whitney Road. In 2001, the Ameliasburgh Branch was renamed the “Al Purdy Library” in honour of the local poet, whose works include: Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy, Reaching for the Beaufort Sea: An Autobiography, Starting from Ameliasburgh: The Collected Prose of Al Purdy. Though the Branch has received many updates over the years, including a new floor in 2009, the building’s schoolhouse charm remains, including a large chalkboard in the children’s area.
Consecon Branch (1979) 211 County Rd. 29, Consecon, ON
The Consecon Branch is located in the former Holy Trinity Anglican Church, across from the Post Office in Consecon. The over 150 year old stone building, saw its last church service in 1978. A year later, the township opened a portion of it for use as a library. The bell, which rang four times a day from the belfry of the old Consecon school (1843-1967), is housed outside the library. Inside remains an original stained glass window and much of the original character of the church.