FREE genealogy since 1999 - History belongs to all of us!
Get Started Sign In
Menu Menu
Search Search
Family Tree Family Tree
Daily News Daily News
Bookmarks Bookmarks
Not on this site Don't end up on this site as someone's ancestor!
Visit our Conway, Massachusetts, USA page!
Discover the people who lived there, the places they visited and the stories they shared.

1901 - July 14 - FIELD LIBRARY IS DEDICATED. Chicago Merchant Delivers Keys of Memorial at Conway, Mass.

Day Ends with Big Display of Pyrotechnics.
Gift Has Brought About a Boom in the Quiet New England Village - Cost Was $100,000.

Special Dispatch to the Inter Ocean.
CONWAY, Mass., July 13. - The Field Memorial Library, the gift of Marshall Field of Chicago to the citizens of this town, was formally dedicated today. The town presents a gala appearance, and the whole community has set aside the day for praising the wealthy merchant whose gift has been the means of rejuvenating the decadent old village.

Every house in the town had been decorated for the event. For weeks the committee in charge of the arrangements has been at work on the elaborate plans for the event, the greatest in the history of the community. The day closed with a display of fireworks such as the townspeople had never seen before.

The Rev. Charles B. Rice of Danvers, Mass., made an address, and Mr. Field stepped forward and turned over the keys of the building to the selectmen. The address of acceptance was made by the Rev. E. F. Hunt.

The building of the library has stimulated interest in this place, which is a quiet country town of 1,400 inhabitants. Since the work was projected, Conway, which was before practically shut off from the other towns in the vicinity, has been opened to the world by the building of two lines of electric railway. The building of the library has had the effect of a boom.

Mr. Field will endow the library so that there will always be a sufficient income for its maintenance.

The library building given by Marshall Field to the town of Conway, Mass., as a memorial to his father and mother, who lived and died there, was erected at a cost of more than $100,000. It stands at the head of Main street, near the town hall and park, on a site chosen by Marshall Field when he visited his native town in July, 1899.

The library presents a classic style of architecture in Greek detail, and was built from plans prepared by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge of Boston.

The corner-stone was laid July 4, 1900, and on the occasion Walter M. Howland of Chicago, a native of Conway, made the address. The front and sides of the building are of Bedford limestone, and the rear wall is of brick. The general plan is a rotunda, surmounted by a dome twenty-five feet in diameter, from which extend three wings. It is forty feet to the top of the dome.

Granite steps lead to a vestibule, which opens into the rotunda. Eight iconic columns of solid marble surround the rotunda, the floor of which is beautifully laid in marble mosaic. The northeast and southeast wings are twenty-three feet nine inches by twenty-one feet six inches. The floors are of quartered oak and the wainscoting is of the same wood. The delivery desk is in the rear of the rotunda, and directly back of it is the stack room, with accommodations for 10,000 volumes. In the basement are lavatories, workroom, unpacking room and heating apparatus. The building is as nearly fireproof as it is possible to make it.

The Inter Ocean

Chicago, Illinois

Go Back

The comments you read here belong only to the person who posted them. We reserve the right to remove off-topic and inappropriate comments.