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Wallingford Historic Society purchases library constructing


WALLINGFORD — The Wallingford Historic Society has bought the Yalesville Library constructing and Bob Beaumont, first vice chairman of the society, is hopeful it should assist the historic society “hold the Yalesville title alive.”

“Yalesville has had its personal id for many years upon a long time and it truly is a neighborhood inside a neighborhood,” Beaumont mentioned.

The historic society purchased the constructing on Sept. 16, for $235,000.

“We had the funds so we paid for it,” Beaumont mentioned.

The Yalesville Library, a 1,862 sq. foot constructing, initially opened in 1936 on the constructing’s present location, 400 Church St.

The library was an extension of the Wallingford Public Library and closed initially of the pandemic.

Jane Fisher, government director of the Wallingford Public Library, mentioned earlier than it closed, the Yalesville constructing had restricted hours.

It functioned as a spot “for individuals to go in and borrow books from a small, actually fairly tiny, assortment of books” she mentioned. “It did have two public entry computer systems. It was used most frequently for individuals to choose up their reserved books that they’d placed on maintain. Folks in that a part of Wallingford and within the South Meriden neighborhood used it to choose up their holds.”

Fisher mentioned the constructing was renovated a number of years in the past, however nonetheless did not draw the variety of individuals library officers anticipated.

“We felt that it actually wasn’t one of the best use of taxpayer assets to proceed to function the constructing,” Fisher mentioned.

The constructing was put in the marketplace in June, Fisher mentioned, however there have been restrictions as to what this web site may very well be used for, which she mentioned made discovering a difficult purchaser.

“It was used for library functions, however the constructing couldn’t be offered for business use,” Fisher mentioned. “We knew it is likely to be a problem to discover a purchaser and we had been simply delighted when the Wallingford Historic Society determined to make a proposal on the property in order that they may proceed to make use of the property to serve the Yalesville neighborhood.”


In March, the Report-Journal reported that the Yalesville library constructing was not compliant with the People with Disabilities Act and doesn’t have a public restroom. These are points, amongst different issues, the historic society might want to look into.

“There’s quite a lot of issues to look into,” Beaumont mentioned. “…The constructing itself is in respectable form. The library took care of it.”

Beaumont mentioned the group will type a committee to find out the official use of the property and he expects that the committee will likely be appointed inside the subsequent few weeks.

“We are going to use (the constructing) definitely to show Yalesville materials that we’ve,” Beaumont mentioned.

Shirley Lagerstrom, Wallingford Historic Society board member, mentioned the group is open to individuals from Yalesville donating materials that has to do with the historical past of that facet of city.

“I simply suppose that in all probability these individuals over there would love slightly delight of their part of city,” Lagerstrom mentioned.

One of many strategies {that a} board member made to Beaumont was to additionally use the Yalesville constructing as a analysis middle.

Proper now, Beaumont is engaged on fixing up the constructing, together with lining the chimney.

“There’s some very minor issues that general should be carried out to go forward and deal with the constructing,” Beaumont mentioned. “Proper now, being a former library it is stuffed with all kinds of bookshelves a few of which is able to stay in place, others, I do know some will definitely be eliminated. That is going to be as much as the committee.”

Whereas Fisher mentioned it was a tough resolution on the library’s half to promote the Yalesville constructing, the principle department of the Wallingford Public Library continues to achieve success.

“It is at all times a tough resolution for a library to lose an outlet, to lose a web site,” Fisher mentioned. “However on this case, I feel that as a result of we’ve such a spectacular fundamental library that provides all the trendy conveniences of public libraries, individuals had been simply not utilizing the Yalesville Library usually as we thought they could.”

Historical past of Yalesville

Yalesville was based in 1677 and formally named in 1808.

“Yalesville is a vibrant neighborhood and has been a vibrant neighborhood for a very long time and at one level, you return for the reason that 1700s, Yalesville was actually just about the economic middle as a result of they’d like 4 various kinds of mills,” Beaumont mentioned.

Charles Yale purchased the mills that had been situated within the space that now homes Westbrook Lobster, which sparked the title of Yalesville.

Again within the day, Beaumont mentioned Yalesville “was fairly the busy little space.”

“It turned extra in order a number of the companies that had been in cities, some that had manufacturing companies right here on the town, moved to the place they may have water energy,” Beaumont mentioned. “Living proof was Charles Yale who moved from South Essential Road the place Webster Financial institution is right this moment.”

Nonetheless, Beaumont mentioned these days you don’t see many buildings named after Yalesville. In 2017, Yalesville Elementary College, for instance, was renamed to honor the late, longtime state Rep. Mary G. Fritz.

“It has been often called Yalesville for 200 years,” Beaumont mentioned. “How a lot is left that claims Yalesville? Not a lot.”

Main William Dickinson Jr. mentioned Yalesville has been a distinguished a part of Wallingford’s historical past.

“It is a important geographical portion of the city so using the constructing for show and as a useful resource for historic pursuits and investigations and the analysis, I feel that ought to work out nicely,” Dickinson mentioned.

Beaumont mentioned you will need to level out how Yalesville is part of the Wallingford neighborhood, refererencing the latest Wallingford 350+2 Jubilee celebration of the city’s founding and different neighborhood occasions.

“All it’s a must to do is check out the best way issues got here collectively for Wallingford 350+2, the way it comes collectively yearly for Rejoice Wallingford and simply all of the issues that occur,” Beaumont mentioned. “… Yalesville is a close-knit neighborhood inside that city.”

Lagerstrom mentioned the society is in search of extra members, particularly youthful individuals and other people from the Yalesville space. Conferences occur 4 instances per 12 months and it’s $5 to be a member.

“We’re in search of new members from the Yalesville space, particularly, however throughout city, anyone who has an curiosity within the historical past of not solely Wallingford, however the space,” Lagerstrom mentioned.

jsimms@record-journal.com203-317-2279 Twitter: @jessica_simms99

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