Shedd Free Library

Shedd Free LibraryThe Shedd Free Library building is architecturally unusual in Washington, being the town’s only example of the high Victorian style. It is a handsome foursquare brick building, with hipped roof of slate, topped by a square cupola and pinnacle. It was designed by the Boston architect S. S. Woodcock, and built in 1881. The building was a gift to the town of Luman T. Jefts, a wealthy shoe manufacturer in Massachusetts, who had grown up in Washington.

The library was named for Sarah Shedd, a Washington teacher and poet who went to work in the cotton mills of Lowell, Massachusetts to support her family and educate her siblings. When she died in 1867 she bequeathed $2,500 to the town to establish a free public library.

In 1976 a small addition, in compatible architectural style, and with full basement dedicated to archival storage, was added to the rear of the Library building.