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Boonton Holmes Public Library

621 Main Street

About the Library:

Boonton's first library, financed by subscription, opened in 1890 and in short time, needed larger quarters. Knowing the value of a town library, a leading citizen named James Holmes, willed his house and a sum of money to the people of Boonton upon his death in 1893 for the establishment of this facility. The property was originally purchased from the Iron Company in 1849 by Eliza Scott, and the two story structure built was used for stores. Mr. Holmes had purchased the building in 1856, and converted to a private home in 1870.

On July 1, 1894, the Holmes Library opened in a single eastern room on the ground floor. Rentals of the rest of the building were planned as a financing source for the library needs. Library services expanded when the other half of the main floor, which was used by the local paper, was reallocated for a new children's department in 1926. However, despite the rentals, as an association library, funds remained scarce. The library survived over the years through membership fees, fund drives, donations, and contributions from the Town of Boonton. The rear of the first floor was enlarged in 1990 to accommodate library needs, and a ramped entrance added to this area on the Church Street side.

A successful municipalization campaign in 1993 wrought the greatest change in the library history, structure, and operations since 1894. Ownership of the building was retained by the Holmes Association after municipalization in 1993, and the main and basement floor rented to the Boonton Holmes Public Library. The most recent renovations to the building were the repainting of the building to a Shaker Beige color, with cream trim and burgundy accent, enhancing the neo-classic element. Memorial gardens were constructed in front of and behind the library and dedicated to former Board Members, Ann Charlton and Lucy Peterson.


The mission of the Boonton Holmes Public Library is to make the library an inviting focal point for the community, encourage a love of reading and life-long learning, preserve Boonton’s local history and offer patrons technology that extends access to ideas and information.