A Brief History

The Gilbert Hart Library was given to the Town of Wallingford on July 25, 1894, by Gilbert Hart~whose grandfather, Amasa Hart, was one of the early settlers who moved to Vermont from Wallingford, Connecticut.  Mr. Hart had moved to the midwest and invented the Hart Emery Wheel, and amassed a fortune.  The Library that bears his name is a memorial to his love and concern for the people, especially the children, of his hometown.  The library was built in the Neo-Classical style.  In 1910 Mr. Hart added a Children’s Room on the south side (now the Vermont Room) which he dedicated to his grandson, Frederick.  In 1940, Mr. Birney Batcheller, also an inventor and long-time president of the Library Association, almost doubled the library’s size with an addition at the back for a stack room over a basement meeting room and storage area.  In 2004 a major renovation made the library handicapped-accessible, upgraded heating and electrical systems, and provided more space with the addition of both a mezzanine and an expanded community room on the lower level.

The Gilbert Hart Library Association, a non-profit corporation first chartered by the state in February 1894, continues to operate the library through a Board of Trustees.  Budget funding approved by the Wallingford Selectboard and voters assures that the library will continue.  Individual donations, bequests and memorial trust funds used for books or other designated purposes, and an active Friends of the Library group provide additional income.