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.”
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!
45 Center St.
Tel. (508) 992-5342
Editor’s note: the library will be closed Saturday, December 31; Sunday, January 1; and Monday, January, 2.Follow us on social media