Porter Memorial Library was originally established as a Library Society in the early 1800’s. Membership and borrowing privileges were given only to individuals able to purchase a share in the library and pay an annual assessment.
Rufus King Porter, a local lawyer and prominent member of Machias society, housed the book collection in his law office on Cooper Street for many years. The first book catalog printed in 1843 listed 600 titles.
The Machias Library Association was established in 1874. Henry Homes Porter, a Chicago businessman and son of Rufus King Porter, donated $10,000 to the Association in 1891 for a library to be built and named in honor of his father.
Boston architect George Clough, a native of Blue Hill, Maine, designed not only Porter Library but also Buck Memorial Library in Bucksport, Maine, our elder architectural twin.
Porter is constructed of Marshfield granite. The mantle of the fireplace in the Reading Room is made from a slab of rare black granite, quarried in Addison, Maine. The first naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought nearby, and ballast stones from the captured British warship Margaretta are thought to be incorporated in the base of this fireplace.
Porter Memorial Library opened to the public on September 15, 1893.
Ursula Penniman served for 17 years as President of the Machias Library Association in the late 1800’s. The Children’s Room added in 1976 was named in remembrance of Luella A. Pendergast, a former President of the Ursula Penniman Federated Woman’s Club, with help from the Machias Rotary Club, which helped with its construction.
Collection & Services
- Over 14,000 fiction & nonfiction books for all ages
- Audiobooks & Movies
- Large Print books
- Magazines & Newspapers
- Genealogy & Maine History
- Public Access Computers & Wifi
- Curbside Service
- Books on Wheels delivery
- Computer Printouts & Copies
- The Last Page Honesty Bookstore used book outlet
- Consortium of Apollo Maine Libraries member
- Statewide Interlibrary Loan
|Sunday & Monday||Closed|
|Tuesday||10:00 – 5:00|
|Wednesday||10:00 – 5:00|
|Thursday||10:00 – 5:00|
|Friday||10:00 – 5:00|
|Saturday||10:00 – 1:00|
Due to the pandemic, public visiting hours are limited right now to:
Tuesday & Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The following public health measures are in place at this time. Visitors must wear masks (age two and up) and maintain social distancing. We expect visitors to sign in, and sanitize their hands when they enter the building. Visits are limited to 15 minutes. Five visitors may enter the building at one time. If more time is needed to complete a task at the computer, please let staff know.
- Lee Downing, Library Director
Board of Trustees
- Sarah Craighead Dedmon, President
- Randall Kindleberger, Vice President
- Michelle Rosenberg, Treasurer
- Douglas Goodman, Secretary
- David Brown
- Lyman Holmes, Esq.
- Allison Paprocki
- Julia Woody