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A Short History

The first annual report of the Chester Public Library appears in the 1895 town report. At that time there were about 500 books, almost all of them donated.


On January 1, 1923, the present library opened. It was built as part of the Chester High School building. Mr. Frank D. Hamilton, a business owner in town, donated $10,000 to the building fund. Hulda Burdick presented the library with a large mineral collection. This is a special piece of history still maintained at the library today.


In 1931, the Chester Public Library became the Hamilton Memorial Library. Mr. Hamilton left a  trust in his will to be used for the maintenance of the library, provided that the library shall be known as the Hamilton Memorial Library.


The library serves as the public library for the town of Chester and is part of the Western Massachusetts Regional Library System.