The library had its beginning, in 1912, as a reading room in a home on Main Street. It proved to be so popular, it soon became a circulating library; thus the Scottsville Free Library came into being. By 1916, the collection consisted of 500 volumes. Needing more space the library moved into a room in Windom Hall and at that time was granted a provisional charter. Again, outgrowing the area, in 1919, the library moved to the second floor. In 1935, Windom Hall was given to the library and in 1939, the permanent charter was granted. In 1952, the Scottsville Free Library become the fourth library to join the Monroe County Library System. Today, the library has a total collection of over 35,000 to meet the needs of the very young to senior citizens.
In 1965, the Cox Room was established to house all local history material. The purpose of the room is to collect and preserve information pertaining to local history and to record current information and activities for future historians.
In 1986, the Friends of the Library was organized to help support and promote the library. It continues to play an important role in the operation of the library.
Though the Scottsville Free Library has a rich historical past, it is committed to the present as well as the future for the continued enrichment of our community and our patrons. Internet computers and free Wi-Fi service are available for our patrons.
In the late 1880’s, the activity and enthusiasm of the Scottsville Dramatic Club indicated a need for a theater in the community. Other groups in the village were in favor of a larger meeting hall.
By 1891, James H. Kelly purchased the home of early settler, William H. Hanford, at 28 Main Street, Scottsville. The house was razed and with the cooperation of local investors, Mr. Kelly made plans to construct a large community hall. The architect for the building was Charles Ellis of Rochester. Myron Pope was engaged as builder and Isaac Leake was the mason. The building had a seating capacity of 468: 368 on the ground floor and 100 seats in the gallery where folding opera chairs were used. The 20′ x 40′ stage had both inside and outside exits, a drawbridge and drop curtains. Kitchen facilities were located in the basement. The building was dedicated on February 17, 1892 with a grand opening celebration.
Windom Hall became the meeting center for many groups in the community. High school commencements, church groups, lodge meetings, a library reading room, suppers and dances, in addition to the Dramatic Club productions kept the building in use.
Over the years ownership of the Windom Hall building changed from private investors to the Village Improvement Society to the established Scottsville Free Library Association in 1935.
In 1994, the building was listed in the New York Historic Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
From a historical standpoint, with the exception of local churches, probably no other building in the Village has had a greater impact on the lives of those residing in the Scottsville area. In its early history it was the setting for almost every noteworthy social and cultural community event.
The building has undergone many restoration projects in recent years. The most extensive occurred in 2000 when the Honor Wall was disassembled and moved to the back of the stage it had concealed. The opened area provides comfortable seating and an ideal location for programming.
Cox Local History Room
The Eugene Cox Local History Room holds a reserve collection of books, clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks on Wheatland, Scottsville and the surrounding area. It is staffed by volunteers interested in interpreting our history and preserving community news and events for tomorrow’s citizens.
Garbutt Family Dulcimer
Indian arrowhead collection
Photographs of early Scottsville
History of the Town of Wheatland – Schmidt, 1953
Wheatland, Monroe County, New York – Slocum, 1908
History of the Pioneer Settlement, Phelps & Gorham Purchase, 1851
History of Monroe County, New York – McIntosh, 1877
Pictorial Wheatland – McGinnis, 1971-1984
Historic Preservation Report: Wheatland/Scottsville/Mumford – completed by Landmark Society of Western New York, 2003
Wheatland – Gilbert & Chapman, 2008
Index to cemeteries of Wheatland
Card file of information on families of Wheatland
Genealogy file of local families
The Past – Seen and Heard:
Slide collection, Wheatland, Old and New
Oral tape interviews and reminiscences by citizens
Franklin Hanford papers
1841 Stevens survey of Scottsville
1858 Gillette map of Scottsville, Wheatland
1872 Beer atlas of Monroe County
1902 Plat book of Monroe County
1924 Town of Wheatland, Village of Scottsville, Hamlet of Mumford
1938 Wagner’s wall map of Monroe County
1952 Wheatland historical map
1966 Town of Wheatland, Monroe County Dept. of Maps & Assessments
Local History Room Hours:
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 p.m. and most Tuesday evenings 6:30-8 p.m. (Please call ahead: 585-889-2023)