Bennington Free Library

The Bennington Free Library building was built in 1865. The first floor of the building was rented as commercial space, which provided income for the library, located on the second floor and operated by the YMCA. The library entrance was through a small door on Silver Street, which was removed when the library was expanded in 1935. The second floor also included a large hall with a stage in the front of the building, which functioned as a multi-purpose community meeting place.

When the United States entered World War I in April 1917 the Bennington Branch of the Red Cross was established and every woman in Bennington was invited to join. The Red Cross was given the use of the Bennington Free Library Hall as a headquarters for the summer and their signs and banners can be seen prominently in this image.

Bennington Free Library, 1917

Glass plate negative, Wills T. White (1874-1956)

Bennington Museum Collection, Weichert-Isselhardt Collection, Gift of Tordis llg Isselhardt and Museum Purchase