Millicent Library (1893)

45 Center Street

Fairhaven’s Italian Renaissance-style library is named for Rogers’ daughter Millicent, who died in 1890 at the age of 17. Designed by noted architect Charles Brigham, the library is ornamented with molded terracotta reliefs, red slate roof and a large stained glass window by Clayton and Bell of London, depicting Millicent as the Muse of Poetry.

After giving a speech dedicating the Town Hall across the street, Rogers’ friend Mark Twain visited the library. “I’m glad to have seen it,” Twain wrote to the trustees. “It is the ideal library, I think.” Twain sent the library an autographed set of his books with a note commenting, “They are not instructive, but I feel sure you will like the bindings.”

The library was operated with revenue from the private Fairhaven Water Company until 1968 when the water company was taken over by the town. Now funded primarily by the town, operations are overseen by a board of trustees.

The Millicent Library, open Monday through Saturday, houses a collection of memorabilia relating to Captain William Whitfield’s 1841 rescue of Manjiro Nakahama. The guest book has been signed by Emperor Akihito of Japan, who visited in 1987.

Hours of operation are: Monday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.