The mission of the D. R. Evarts Library is to provide access to a variety of materials and services, which help to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of the members of the community.
Hours and Directions
Board of Trustees
President: Kathy Jackson
Vice President: Sandra Miller
Secretary: Barbara Iraci
Finance Officer: Michael Pirrone
Voting Members: Katherine Montague, Paul Kim, Chris Sharpe
Board-approved policies that govern library operations are available to the public by making a request at the Circulation Desk or via email.
Annual Reports to the Community
Volunteers are welcome!
Call or email to find out how your talents can help our library and community.
1800. It was a time when men worked for a dollar a day in zero or below temperatures to cut ice blocks to fill the eleven large ice houses in Athens. They rode horses or took a stagecoach. It was a time when children had one pair of shoes and were lucky to attend school. Still, it is an age looked back on with nostalgia as a simpler time. It was during this golden age that a studious young boy named Daniel Redfield Evarts was being brought up in modest circumstances. He came from a large family and had no free access to books. The local Dutch Reformed minister gave him some books and a small room with light in which he could study.
Evarts went on to overcome the limitations of poverty and to acquire the knowledge he so ardently sought. Working after school in his uncle’s grocery and bakery, he then landed a position with the New York and Philadelphia Transportation Company. To fill this position, he left Athens. Even with his successes, he never forgot the humble beginnings in his hometown, and the kindnesses shown to him. It was because of this, on his death in 1899, he bequeathed Athens the money to build its first library.
Laying the cornerstone kicked-off a three-day celebration called “Old Home Week” with speeches, parades, concerts, ball games, a motor boat race and carnival with a church service closing the festivities. The cornerstone was laid with Masonic rites by General G. S. Nichols. In a box within the cornerstone were placed copies of the wills of Mr. Evarts and his wife, American flags, old coins, an ice tool catalogue, business cards and assessment rolls. The silver trowel used to lay the cornerstone is still displayed on the wall of the Library.
Since it’s opening in 1907, many dedicated people have continued Mr. Evarts’ work, carefully watching over the endowment he left to maintain the D.R. Evarts Library. The Library’s Board of Trustees is very much aware of its responsibility to protect Mr. Evarts’ legacy by constantly caring for the Library’s stately building and serving the Athens community.