Friday, November 25, 2011
The Akin Hall Library (c.1907)
This Rotograph postcard of what is now known as the Akin Free Library, located in Pawling, New York, was probably taken during the final stages of its construction, which was completed in 1908. The "undivided back" format of the reverse became obsolete after March 1, 1907, when new postal regulations permitted a message to be included on the same side as the address.
The Library was founded by a local Quaker businessman, Albert J. Akin. At the time, the Quaker Hill neighborhood in which it was located was dominated by a large resort, the Mizzentop Hotel, which Akin had also founded. During the Depression the hotel was shuttered, and apart from the library, a nearby church, and an old Quaker meeting house the hill is now strictly residential. The business district of Pawling is several miles away at the base of the hill, strung along the rail line.
The library, which is run by a private association, remains in operation during limited hours. In addition to its modest book holdings, which circulate to members, it houses a small natural history museum in the basement as well as historical exhibits in the upper storey. The relatively open terrain seen around the building in this view is now more heavily wooded.