The West Buxton Public Library traces its beginnings back to 1925 when it was organized in the West Buxton Baptist Church on the hill on River Road by the dam. The Masonic Building, also on River Road in West Buxton, was its second home until 1953 when service to the community went dormant. The library emerged from its five-year dormancy in 1958 under the leadership of Edward M. Elwell. Its third and current home is the former District #12 Schoolhouse (circa 1853) keeping its location in the West Buxton Village area and still on the Saco River at #34. The resurrection of the library resulted from the perception that such a facility was needed by the residents of the village area on both sides of the Saco River: Buxton and Hollis. It is now even used by Standish, Limington, and Gorham residents.
The library has benefited for most of its history from the financial support of Buxton and Hollis taxpayers. The annual appropriations have been supplemented by book and bake sales, memorial gifts, miscellaneous gifts, and many monetary donations and collections. The operating budget has increased from approximately $100 in the 1950’s to the current level of $12,500 by the Town of Buxton only.
The Saco River Flood of 1936 caused extensive water damage to the building. It took until 1991 for the sills and entire flooring of the library to be replaced. Later that same year, the Maine Army National Guard replaced damaged walls and made other needed repairs including a short handicap ramp. There is a doorbell at the back door for access from the new, longer handicap ramp. A new roof was also installed. A bathroom was installed in 1999 after a well was drilled and septic system constructed. This was a very worthy project and has been greatly appreciated by all.
In June 1997 high-speed internet access was established. The library has had a number of different computers and upgrades over the years. December 2006 brought WiFi to the public. The library currently has three computers for patron and staff use.
The carpeting was replaced and new tile was placed in the restroom and the foyer. Storm doors with screen inserts were placed on the front doors of the building and a screen door was placed at the rear entrance. Carrie Redlon’s Childrens’ Reading Room was donated a family heirloom rocking chair. There are many new books and DVD movies for the all.
The library is staffed by dedicated volunteers who are knowledgeable and will aid the patrons with their needs. The library also has the Portland Public Library’s Interlibrary Loan System to utilize for books not in the collection. All visitors are welcome to the library. Monthly events are held throughout the year and the public is always invited and welcomed. Come visit your local one-room schoolhouse library, borrow a book and read!