Welcome to our Digital Heritage collection!
The Melrose Pubic Library's Digital Heritage collection presents historical photographs relating to the history of our community, along with a collection of Melrose High School yearbooks.
Melrose is a small suburban community located approximately seven miles north of Boston with a geographic area of 4.76 square miles and a population of 28,150 people. Settled in the 18th century, the area was known as Pond Feilde after its central body of water, now called Ell Pond. Initially part of colonial Charlestown and then Malden,
Melrose was incorporated as a town in 1850 and adopted a city charter in 1900. Melrose has a city government of a mayor and board of aldermen.
With the advent of the railroad in the early 19th century, Melrose became an attractive place to live for those who worked in Boston, and it retains that residential character to this day. Many of the city’s residences and Main Street buildings date from the Victorian era of the late 19th century.
The Melrose Public Library was born officially at a Town Meeting on March 27, 1871. The library inhabited several temporary homes over the next several years. Aware of the need for a permanent library facility, Melrosians petitioned Andrew Carnegie to make a substantial contribution for the construction of a library building. A building was erected on the West Emerson Street site of the old High School, which had been destroyed by fire in 1897. The new building opened on April 15, 1904. The library was enlarged with an addition in 1963, and remains on this site today.
The Melrose Public Library recently received a call from a long-time patron in desperate need of a recipe for her Thanksgiving table. She had misplaced her favorite lemon bread recipe, the one she’d been using since 1977 when Melrose Public Library staff created a festive holiday recipe pamphlet entitled “A Palatable Potpourri” for library patrons to enjoy.
No one had seen the pamphlets in years and we told the caller we would search the local history collection to see if any copies survived. The caller declared the recipes “gems” and said it would be a shame if they were lost.
We hunted through the archives and dusted off 7 issues from the 1970’s and 80’s with names like “Gourmet Goodies” and “Gastronomic Greetings.” Our caller has her recipe and we have digitized the collection to share with new generations of library visitors.