Interested in Middletown borough history?
Purchase a copy of of the book titled Images of America: Middletown Borough by Dave Kagan & Edward Sunbery. Available at the circulation desk for $21.99 or two for $40.
We also sell Middletown Area Historical Society Publications at the library. Available for purchase are the following titles: Chronicles of Middletown for $20, Early Industries of Middletown for $8, and Ich Bin Frei for $4.
Middletown Public Library & Middletown Area Historical Society through the years…
1891 – The Liberty Fire House was constructed. Dedication took place on July 4th.
1902 – The bell tower was erected in the rear of the firehouse.
1911 – The bell tower was moved and placed on top of the hose tower which was located on the north side of the building.
1926 – The Woman’s Club formed the Middletown Public Library in the lower hall of the old Middletown High School Building, where the present School District Administration Building parking lot is located. The library became a “Red Bird” bookmobile stop for the Dauphin County Library.
1929 – Through the initiative of Woman’s Club the library moved to Mrs. Stickell’s house on the northwest corner of Pine and Emaus Streets.
Early 1940’s – The library moved to the Community Building. The library was located on the second floor of the building across from the “parlor.”
1960 – The library moved to the old council chambers and police station on North Catherine Street. The library was located on the second floor of the building and the Mother’s Congress met on the first floor (where present library lawn is).
1964 – We moved back to school property! This time the library was relocated to the former music room of the old high school gymnasium. The Library Board was formed by Borough ordinance.
1969 – The Historical Commission was created by Borough Council. The Commission was charged with the responsibility to maintain public landmarks and properties and encourage people to keep properties accurate to historic detail. First meetings of the commission took place in private homes and in the Community Building.
Early 1970’s – The Middletown Area Historical Society was chartered. The monthly meetings were first held in the Borough Community Building.
1970 – The library moved to 7 South Union Street which was a rented storefront. The storefront previously housed Baxtresser’s show store and Wolfe’s Confectionery.
1975 – The Friends of the Library organization was formed. The main goal of the group was to aid the library in securing funds to move to a larger facility. This goal developed into the first library book sale, held in the alleyway of Klahr’s Jewelry Store.
1976 – The Historical Society held the 1st annual Colonial Arts & Crafts Fair in honor of the Bicentennial. The fair has been held every year since.
1977 – Groundbreaking ceremony for the Liberty House renovation was held and the renovation project began.
1978 – The building, owned and maintained by the Borough was dedicated on January 8th. The white doors from Emaus Orphan Home (where Fry Village is now) were used.
1981 – The Historical Society purchased the Band Hall and Old Ferry House from the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority. The Society restored both buildings after sever flooding was incurred to both. The Old Ferry House has been added to the National Register of Historic Landmarks.
1991 – The first automation system for the library was installed. The Galaxy computer system replaced the card catalog system of book location and circulation.
2000 – The library extended hours of operation to include additional hours on Saturdays.
2002 – The library upgraded the automation system to a new product called Polaris. This product now allows patrons to access the catalog from home and allows patrons to renew their books, place holds, and check the account information.