Lincoln Public Library

In the last years of the 18th century, the Reverend Charles Stearns became “Lincoln’s first author of note,” when he published several books of poetry and moralistic dramas. Stearns and some of his neighbors joined to form the private subscription “Social Library of the Town of Lincoln.” This small beginning led in 1884 to Lincoln resident George Grosvenor Tarbell donating $27,000 for a Victorian red brick Library designed by Boston architect William G. Preston.

The land on which the Library stands today was part of a 750-acre Concord farm owned by Thomas Flint. He arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 from Matlock, England, to take possession of land furnished through a king’s grant. Generations have enjoyed the Library’s fireplaced reading rooms, stained glass windows and mature trees.

In the 19th century, the Library bought a large collection of stuffed birds, placed in the Reading Room. The stuffed peacock must have become a favorite — for years it sat in the Library vestibule, welcoming patrons. No one seems to know what happened to it. But another bird took its place in the hearts of Lincolnites. A bronze eagle with outstretched wings now sits atop a granite boulder in front of the Library — the War Memorial dedicated to our residents fallen in wars, from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War.

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