The Gilbertsville Free Library

The first Free Library Association to be formed in the county, the Gilbertsville Free Library stands as a symbol of architectural pride and beauty to both past and present day village residents.

A frame school house for Butternuts’ School District was moved to this location in 1814. Serving as both the district school and a private academy for more advanced education, it burned in 1817. The trustees decided to rebuild in stone and make it large enough to accommodate more academy students.  The design features and details, spelled out in a contract between the trustees and the builder, included everything from pegs to hang the children’s coats to the fireplace on the east wall. By 1868 the school population had outgrown the building and a new, larger school was built. For a few years a gravestone maker occupied the building. He was followed by blacksmith In 1887.  Mary Bridge Chapman purchased the building and hired the St. Louis architects Wm. Eames and Thomas Young to turn it into a library. The library opened on Oct 9, 1889, the first free association library in Otsego County.