A Brief History: Located at 159 Main Street in East Hampton New York, the East Hampton Free Library was founded in 1897 in one room of a building known as the Clinton Academy on Main Street in East Hampton. The library moved to its present location in 1912 when the current building was constructed. The current building has always been home to the East Hampton Library. But as years went by the original structure was updated and new rooms were built, and some additions have been made. Also prior to creation of Guild Hall, the library served as the epicenter for all art and culture in East Hampton with many lectures, concerts, club meeting and book groups all making use of the space.
Today it still operates as a library. It is a great source for historical research and community programs. Their mission is as follows, “The East Hampton Library, a free community resource center, provides a welcoming space to all who enter its doors, in which to read, learn, communicate, create, play and participate. Through its collections, services, innovative programs, historic preservation, virtual access and technology, the library advances literacy, knowledge, cultural engagement and entertainment for all ages, elevating our understanding of the world.”
The land the building is built on was donated by Mary and Lorenzo Woodhouse and the architect who built it was Aymar Embury. The first librarian hired was Ettie Hedges who worked in the library from 1898 until 1954 (56 years). She married Morton Pennypacker who donated a substantial collection of Long Island memorabilia to the library. Another piece of the property was donated by the nieces of nephew of Charles W. Osborne in memory of him.
Haunted History: In 2018 there was a reported incident of some books falling off a shelf on their own. According to library staff, the books had been set up on that shelf for a few hours and then suddenly one fell, causing a domino effect to knock them all to the ground. At the time, there was only the one custodian in the building, and he was not in the room when it happened. Upon checking security footage, he was able to see the books falling on their own. This took place in the children’s section of the library. LIPI then investigated the location and were able to capture some EVPs and a handful of personal experiences. While there is no confirmation as to who may be haunting the library. There have been many who spent large portions of their lives working there or who lived on the land prior to the establishment of the library. There are also a number of historical items that have been donated to the museum that could be the source of the paranormal phenomena.