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Norwood - Local Town Pages

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Morrill Memorial Library

33 Walpole St,
Norwood, MA 02062

In 1790, when the area was known as South Dedham, Reverend Jabez Chickering began loaning his collection of 95 books to his parishioners. This was Norwood’s first library. For 100 years a growing collection of books was housed in various town buildings but never had a home of its own. In 1872 Norwood became a town and the book collection became its public library.

Francis Tinker, a member of the original Board of Trustees, was Norwood’s first librarian. In 1898 Mr. and Mrs. George H. Morrill presented the Morrill Memorial Library building to the town in memory of their daughter, Sarah Bond Morrill, who had recently died of typhoid fever. Joseph H. Neal of Pittsburgh was the architect of the Romanesque-style granite building which featured stained glass, elegant mahogany woodwork and furnishings. A rear wing was added in 1928, thanks to a gift from Alice Morrill Plimpton, Sarah’s sister.

In 1965, following years of discussion, a modern front addition designed by Korslund, LeNormand and Quann allowed the library’s collection and services to expand greatly. Boston architects CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares completed a renovation in 2001. Their work unified the building’s three existing spaces, keeping the beauty of the 1898 design while creating a beautiful and accessible interior with modernized systems, upgraded wiring and more usable space.