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Colonel Kimball's Gift

Gary Miller

(Click images to advance through slideshow) I read last night at Randolph, Vermont's Kimball Public Library, one of the most beautiful little libraries I have ever visited. The library was built in 1903 with funds donated by Randolph native Robert Kimball, known locally as "Colonel Kimball," despite his lack of military affiliation. According to Patricia W. Belding's Where the Books Are, Kimball had started out at the age of 13 as a telegrapher and newsboy for the Vermont Central Railroad and went on to become a New York financier.

Entering the building is like walking into a jewelry box; the scale is small, but there is so much grace. The doors and trim are of solid oak, as are the fluted columns. A mural dedicated to literary giants rises above the main room, which opens onto a fireplace and chairs overseen by The Colonel himself, rendered in portrait.

Librarian Lynne Gately arrived at 6:45 to open up for the reading, and have me and my friend Ken a tour, and a nice group of folks showed up to listen, ask questions, and talk about writing. All in all, it was a perfectly cozy evening. Thanks to Lynne and the Kimball for having me as a guest!

You can read more about the building of the Kimball Library here.