The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Millicent Library in Fairhaven, Mass., Will Please Fans of Historical Libraries

While walking down historic Center St. in coastal Fairhaven, Mass., the sight of the Millicent Library immediately melted my heart. As a big fan of grand, big old libraries, I enthusiastically filed the Millicent under “Great libraries of New England.”

Picture of Millicent Library, Fairhaven MA

Millicent Library, Fairhaven, Mass. (photo by Eric)

This spectacular, brownish-orange stone Victorian architectural gem also features stunning features inside, too, including a 16 ft. high stained glass window. Here you’ll see elements of gem-like colors in parts of the stained glass and the face of young local resident Millicent Rogers who died young; she was the daughter of Standard Oil tycoon and Fairhaven native Henry Huttleston Rogers. The library was dedicated in 1891 in her memory.

It’s simply a beautiful, old library, one that you just have to see! The National Register of Historic Places added the Millicent Library in 1986, thus validating its historic presence.


The Millicent also features a collection of memorabilia from Manjiro Nakahama, the first Japanese person to live in the United States. The story is a fascinating one: in 1841, a Fairhaven captain rescued five Japanese fisherman, four that settled in Honolulu, Hawaii, while 14-year-old Manjiro decided to stay with the Captain. Manjiro attended school here and “learned and traveled on whaling ships, studying navigation and engineering,” according to a Travel Writers Magazine article written by Karen Rubin. There’s a whole lot more on Manjiro and, in general, the amazing history of Fairhaven, so I recommend you read the article.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, the library has a very impressive collection of books! Why not park yourself here for a few hours, soak in the history, and enjoy this fabulous literary destination and free New England travel attraction!

Millicent Library
45 Center St.
Fairhaven MA
Tel. (508) 992-5342

Editor’s note: the library will be closed Saturday, December 31; Sunday, January 1; and Monday, January, 2.

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