About Simsbury Free Library
Established in 1874, the Simsbury Free Library (SFL) served as the public library for the Town of Simsbury. The designation “Free” was used to distinguish it from the subscription libraries that were common at that time. The building was designed by the well-known Hartford architect Melvin H. Hapgood, and donated by Amos R. Eno, a notable Simsbury resident. Mr. Eno’s daughter, Antoinette Eno Wood later donated the rear addition in 1924. Under the terms of the Eno trust, the library was operated by an independent, unpaid board of ten trustees. In 1970 the Town of Simsbury assumed financial responsibility for the public library and began to lease the building from the trustees. During its years as a public library, thousands of children and adults passed through the building in search of entertainment, knowledge and enlightenment.
In 1986 the town responded to a rapidly growing population and the resulting increased library use by opening the new, municipally-owned and operated Simsbury Public Library one block away. Today, the SFL enjoys a collegial relationship with the Simsbury Public Library, but operates as an unaffiliated private, non-profit institution. Still run by an unpaid board of ten trustees, the SFL is sustained by its endowment, grants, donations, and membership and user fees. The SFL continues to be a vital cultural resource for Simsbury and the surrounding communities, and houses the:
- Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library
- William Phelps Eno Memorial Center
- Ensign Bickford Corporate Archives
The SFL is also home to the:
- The Farmington River Watershed Association, which occupies the second floor and maintains an Audubon library.
- And coming soon, the MLKinCT Memorial, which memorializes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, and his time in Simsbury.