Library Visit: Seal Harbor, Maine

We had a wonderful vacation this August on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. I visited some area libraries, four in all, and a few bookstores as well. I’ll start with the library in Seal Harbor, which is in the neighborhood where we stayed. The Seal Harbor Library serves both year-round residents, summer people, and vacationers such as myself (and I did check out a few books).

Seal Harbor Library Association
5 Main Street
Seal Harbor, ME

Build in 1890. Going strong for 126 years!

A most picturesque library. Looks like it could be Jessica Fletcher’s library, doesn’t it, mystery fans?

Kids heading toward the library is such a wonderful sight. (Technically, these kids veered to the left and into the woods, not through the library doors.)

I’ve noticed in my travels that many small community libraries are built on small slips of triangular land between two roads. Can you make out the library at the end of this walkway, through the trees?

Custom built book return and bench.

The view from the bench.

Inside and to the left is this handsome stove and chimney. The sign above reads, “Seal Harbor Library Founded 1890.”

The small plaque to the right reads, “This stove is given in loving memory of George Ledyard Stebbins, 1862-1952, Co-Founder & Library President, this gentle, quit man strove for the good of the Village of Seal Harbor.” According to the Wikipedia page on Stebbins’s son, who became a renowned scientist, George Ledyard Stebbins was “a wealthy real estate financier who developed Seal Harbor, Maine and helped to establish Acadia National Park.”

The librarian’s desk is to the right when you walk in. Through that door is the reading room.

The view from the reading room.

The right side of the reading room. If my memory serves me correctly, this is also a local history reference room.
The left side of the reading room.

This certificate, which you can see in the photo above hanging on the back left wall, commemorates the Seal Harbor Library Association’s 100th year (from 1998).

Looking back into the main room from the reading room.
This local interest book display faces the front door.

The back wall of the library.
Cather on the shelf!

Old staircase leading down to the road.

I love tiny old staircases. There is a newer one a few steps away.

Looking up at the library from the road.

A view of the harbor from the curb. Ah, Maine.

While I love grand academic and large urban libraries, there’s a special place in my heart for small, community libraries such as this one. Visit The Seal Harbor Library Image Collection here.

A note if you’re interested in visiting this library. The address above must be the library’s mailing address.  The Google Earth image below shows the location of the address that comes up in a map at the top of the image (see the red place marker for 5 Main Street?). The yellow circle at the bottom of the image is the library’s physical location. From RT 3 turn right/go straight onto Steamboat Warf Road and you’ll come across the library.

Author: Chris Wolak

I'm cohost of the podcast Book Cougars: Two Middle-Aged Women on the Hunt for a Good Read and write about books and libraries on my blog, WildmooBooks.

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