In 1870, Timothy McKune, an Irish immigrant, farmer, and businessman, bought the Congdon house and converted it to a fashionable inn called the McKune House. Just two blocks from the railroad station, it served train passengers as well as stagecoach travelers.

In 1956, former library trustee Mrs. Warren Daniels approached Mrs. Edward J. McKune about the idea of donating her large home, the McKune House hotel on South Main for use as a library. Mrs. McKune's family had owned the hotel since 1909. Edward's father Timothy McKune had bought the house from the Elisha Congdon family in 1870. Catherine McKune was impressed with the idea that many people would enjoy the house as a community library. Catherine died in June of 1958 and left her house to the Village of Chelsea for perpetual use as a library.