The Chase Emerson Memorial Library grew out of the Jennings Library established in 1906 and the Library Sewing Circle, a women’s group in Deer Isle in the early 1900’s. Most of our early history has been lost, but in 1929 the Chase Emerson Memorial Library was established.
Although the library was named after a famous Boston artist, Chase Emerson did not contribute financially to the library during his life and never lived here permanently on Deer Isle, although, we do have a couple of his landscapes on our walls and a photo of the artist donated by his nephew in the early 1950’s. The town of Deer Isle became involved in supporting the library in 1928 and has paid the librarian’s salary every year since 1928 up to the current day.
The Library has benefited from two large donations during its history. In 1975, we received $25,000 from the
Belledeu Family legacy which has helped to sustain the library’s needs, from heating to purchasing books. In 1998 we benefited from a donation from the Sussman family and were able to build the back room and install a bathroom and have central heat. This extension also allowed for more space for books and a reading area for patrons. The room has one of the most beautiful views of the island.
More recently with grant money from the Davis Foundation, the Rudman Foundation and donations from our supporters, we were able to weatherize our historic windows, install a handicap accessible entrance, update our computers and digitize our collection. In 2014 we received a grant from the King Foundation to renovate our meeting room, install a new furnace and update our children’s section.
Stuart Kestenbaum, President
Mindy Small, Vice-President
Jenni Steele, Treasurer
Mickie Flores, Secretary
Deborah De Witt
Nina Woodward, Library Director
Librarians (1926 - 2019)
Irene (Minott) Whitmore
Marjorie B Hill
Lois B Clayton