The Wheeler Memorial Library was a gift to the town from Almira Wheeler Thompson in honor of her late husband, John W. Wheeler, a life-long resident of Orange and president of the New Home Sewing Machine Company. Construction began in the fall of 1912, and the building was officially dedicated and opened to the public on April 17, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler's portraits still hang above the fireplaces of the library's two reading rooms.
Our library celebrated 100 years of service to the community in 2014, but the Wheeler Memorial was not the first library in Orange. According to state records, the town has maintained a free public library in various locations since 1859. Local records place the opening of Orange's first free public library in the year 1847, which would make it one of the oldest in the country!
Today the Wheeler remains at the heart of the community and continues its tradition of service to the town. The library staff, trustees, and friends group invite everyone to see what we have to offer, learn about what's in store for the libraries, and celebrate over a century of lifelong learning in Orange.
Donate now to the Wheeler Library renovation project, and help support the future of the Orange Public Libraries!