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Pound Ridge Daily Voice serves Pound Ridge, NY

Pound Ridge Almanac: Hiram Halle Memorial Library

What Pound Ridge's Hiram Halle Memorial Library lacks in age it makes up for in maturity.Unlike many other towns in the region, Pound Ridge didn't have a library until 1952, after the estate of town benefactor Hiram Halle donated the former schoolhouse to help create one.The main reason it took so long for a library to be formed was that the town had been foundering for many years due in large part to the destruction wrought on it by the British during the Revolutionary War. The town never fully recovered. Then, in the 20th century, the Depression put many area farmers out of business, and the town's population dwindled even further.Hiram Halle, a businessman, inventor and philanthropist, saw promise for Pound Ridge when he arrived here in the late 1920s, however. He spent the next decade buying up and renovating historic but derelict houses, and by the time of his death in 1944, his efforts had helped Pound Ridge to become a thriving community with a growing population that soon needed a library.The little old schoolhouse at what is now 271 Westchester Ave. was just one of the many buildings that Halle had acquired. When a library association formed in the early 1950s and plans for a library were set in motion, Halle's estate donated the schoolhouse to serve as its home.The library opened in 1952, and three years later it was named in honor Halle, after Ruth M. Knight, who funded the library for the first three years, suggested that the library be a memorial to him. It quickly became the community center that it is today.Two additions have been built onto the original library building since then, both of which keep to the white clapboard style of the original schoolhouse. The now library owns a collection of more than 60,000 books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, e-books and other items. The programming offered by the library includes films, concerts, art exhibits, book discussion groups and an adult learning center.The library is located at 271 Westchester Ave., and is open Tuesday through Saturday. See the library website for specific hours.

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