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East Hampton Library


Founded in 1897, the East Hampton Free Library was granted a charter by New York State and opened in one room of Clinton Hall on Main Street. It was financially supported by individual gifts and a small revenue from non-resident fees. It was staffed by volunteers and managed by a Board of Managers comprised of twelve women. Ettie Hedges was hired in 1898 as the librarian, and she continued in that position for 56 years, during which time she married Morton Pennypacker. Mr. Pennypacker gave to the Library his substantial collection of Long Island memorabilia, and it was that gift which formed the nucleus of the Long Island Collection. The Library moved to its present location at the corner of Main Street and Buell Lane in 1912, on land donated by Mary Lorenzo Woodhouse. The architect Aymar Embury designed the building, which was also donated by the Woodlouse’s. The Library was designed in a neo-Elizabethan style since many residents of that time wanted East Hampton architecture to conform to that of a pre-seventeenth century Kentish village, similar in looks to the one the original settlers had left behind.