On Wednesday, March 8, the Library's restoration team oversaw the return of the belfry and its bell to its perch. Click here to watch a replay of the belfry taking flight and gently settling into its position atop the Library. Retired Chairwoman of the Historical Commission, Susan Bachelder, in a message to Egremont residents, shared a brief history of the Library.
The Egremont Free Library's "real" name is the Mt. Everett Academy Building. Built in 1833 as a private boys' school, its dormitory was the house across the street. The bell, which will be hung again, was cast for us in Troy at the same time. After the civil war and the expansion of public education throughout America (our one-room school down the block being one of 200,000 built at this time and is another architecturally significant building in the South Village), the Academy was sold to the town. It became the Town Hall, Library, and public meeting room upstairs, where a kitchen was added on the back, and all town voting, scout meetings, graduations, and neighborhood plays were put on - yes, Egremont had a theatre troupe of players! As the town grew, the present town hall was acquired. The Academy presently houses the Library and the town's Historical Commission.