The Library’s beginnings were quite humble, beginning in 1929 when seasonal resident Rhea Kimberley Johnson, responding to the community’s needs, started a library in the kitchen of her summer home.
The Library has had a number of homes within the community. In 1931, it was housed briefly in the former one-room schoolhouse at Adams Corners that is now the location of the Putnam Valley Historical Society.
In the mid-30s, the Library took up residence in a room of the new Putnam Valley Central School.
The Library’s official beginnings took place in 1937 when it was granted its charter by New York State. But it would be years before the Putnam Valley Library would find its eventual home, migrating from a used bookmobile, to the back room of a real estate office, and even to an abandoned bus shelter.
The Library’s first free-standing building was dedicated in 1963 in a Lake Peekskill location, at Central Drive and Lee Place, as the Jack Dinerstein Memorial Building.
Under the guidance of Lora Porter, who served as Director for 30 years, the Library finally moved into its present and permanent home at 30 Oscawana Lake Road in 1968, when the Putnam Valley Lodge was acquired. The Lodge had originally been built to house a toothpick factory; prior to that the site had been a tissue paper mill.
We’ve come a long way from a Putnam Valley kitchen!