The Thousand Island Park Library is located on the green close to the river front. It was built in 1903 and completely funded by Mrs. E.R. Holden. It is still in its original construction site, and is now operated by the Thousand Island Park Corporation for the enjoyment of its residents and guests.
The Library is located on St. Lawrence Avenue and is Greek Revival in style. It is a rectangular building with a temple-front entrance on the east facade. The pediment is supported by four Doric columns with fluted shafts. The front stairs span the length of the entry way. A plaster medallion is situated in the middle of the pediment and the name of the building is located within the frieze. An architrave, transom, and corner lights surround the front doors. The front facade has two windows that are reminiscent of the Palladian motif. They are pedimented with lattice work across the windows. Matching Doric pilasters are placed on the corners of the building opposite of the front entrance. A stone fireplace and chimney can be seen on the west facade. The interior features original oak wainscoting. A basement was added to the building in 1979.
Before the construction of the Library in 1903, Thousand Island Park had a few iterations of book stores. Hanford and Waterman, from Watertown, for example, owned a book store within the Park as early as July 1875. Similar establishments operated in the Park until it was decided that the Park needed a proper library. The construction cost of $8,000 was paid for by Mrs. E.R. Holden. The Holden family also funded the operating costs of the Library until the death of Mrs. E.R. Holden in 1912. After the Great Fire of 1912, pieces of furniture and silver that were salvaged from the ruins of the Columbian Hotel were kept inside the Library. The Library was legally the property of the Holden family heirs since it had never been deeded to the TI Park Association. Historic records suggest that the Library was closed for a number of years before fundraising efforts to collect $150 for the operation of the Library during the summer and winter months began. It is not entirely certain who was running the day to day operations of the Library, but the Women’s Club was in charge of the building and its operation by July 1917. The Women’s Club continued to operate the Library, and in 1923, a faction split off to form the Library Club whose sole responsibility was to fundraise and operate the Library. Today, the Library is funded by residents of the Park and the TI Park Corporation is in charge of its operation and management.
The Thousand Island Park Library is an integral part of the Park’s community, and has been for over a century. Families, visitors, and friends all enjoy the benefits of having a Library within the grounds of Thousand Island Park. Children can enjoy story hours at various times throughout the summer months. The second weekend in July, the Library hosts its annual fundraising event where residents donate pies. This popular event sells out quickly and is one of the many highlights of summer in the Park. Please see their website for current information.