About The Witherle Memorial Library

Our history begins with the forming of a social library (a private collection of books accessible only by paid subscription) in 1801. The town of Castine took over this organization in 1827, and in 1855, became the first community in Maine to establish a municipal library.

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The History of Castine

Though not officially established as a town until 1796, Castine’s history stretches back to the earliest North American exploration. Samuel de Champlain, the great French colonizer, first marked the peninsula on a geographic chart in 1612. A group of English colonists from Plymouth, Massachusetts established a trading post in the 1620’s, and about a decade later, the French built Fort Pentagöet on the Bagaduce River (the site is marked today with a cross near the Roman Catholic chapel). The Castine area – known as Majabigwaduce at that time - changed hands many times during the next 70 years as French, English, and Dutch colonial powers battled over territory.

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Library Policies

Witherle Memorial Library is proud to be a community resource for the inhabitants of Castine, Maine, and beyond. To get the most benefit and enjoyment from our services, and to help ensure that we can continue to offer these services, please take a minute to read our guidelines on borrowing and usage.

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