The Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library is located in the Town of New Hartford, Connecticut. The town is located in Litchfield County, approximately 20 miles northwest of Hartford, and has a population of over 6,300. The town has a rich and diverse history and boasts a number of recreational attractions. It has experienced significant growth over the past 20 years.
The Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library was founded in 1906 as the New Hartford Free Library and moved into its location in an old brick building in the center of the downtown district in the 1920's. In the 1800's, the building formerly housed a tavern along the Old Albany Turnpike, the main route between Hartford and Albany. The Library grew to occupy 2,000 square feet of space over the years, along with the New Hartford Historical Society. However, the antiquated nature of the building rendered it inaccessible, crowded, inefficient and inadequate in size for the growing community. In 1992, spurred by the donation of a parcel of land at the corner of Central Avenue and Town Hill Road, the New Hartford Memorial Library undertook a capital campaign to construct a new building. Over a period of 3 years, the Steering Committee of the Capital Campaign (chaired by David Sessions and Mason Beekley) raised in excess of $3.3 million. Construction commenced in September, 1995, on the downtown site. On October 20, 1996, the Grand Opening of the new 9,200 square foot Library was held.