The Davies Memorial Library is the last public “Honor System” library in the state.  Established in 1896, the library has a rich and truly “Vermont-like” history.  Once known as the “Waterford Free Library,” books were kept at several locations for the convenience of town residents, including several houses, schools, and at one point even the town tavern.  In 1912 – 1914, with a total of 789 books, the library supplied four district schools and two other branches.  Twelve years later, in 1926, Mrs. J.W. Davies was appointed librarian.  It was then that the library began to take the shape with which we are most familiar now.  The Davies Family played a prominent role in reshaping Lower Waterford as we see it today.  Having bought the majority of the residences in the village, the Davies revitalized and painted the houses white with green shutters and, in 1938, moved the community’s books from the Beye-Way (now part of the Rabbit Hill Inn) to a building that was once the town’s general store and found immediately across the street.

Upon the death of Mrs. Davies in 1952, her daughters, Mrs. Stephen Paine and Mrs. Hamilton Allport, decided to remodel the store which held the library and present it to the town in memory of their parents. At town meeting in March 1953 it was voted to accept the gift.  On August 1, 1954 the building was opened to the public and presented to the town by the daughters.  The front of the building has its original appearance including the bell which Mr. Davies had installed when he came to Waterford and which he rang daily for many years as a signal for the workmen of the town.  Today, nearly a century later, the houses in town remain white with green shutters and our library continues to focus on what is most convenient for our community.

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