Skene Library Is Open

Skene Memorial Library
Is Open to the Public.
BUT we are following
the safety rules:

  • PUBLIC COMPUTERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR USE (Patrons are asked to use hand sanitizer before using Skene’s computers.)

Remembering Dorothy Minion

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Dorothy Minion who worked for many years as a daily Skene Memorial Library volunteer and also as a librarian substitute. Library visitors will remember Dorothy for her kind and mild demeanor and for her hard work.

Just short of her 91st birthday Dorothy died suddenly on August 31, 2019. Born in Manchester, UK on November 13, 1928 she attended school in England and, before coming to the US, worked as a bookkeeper at a cigarette factory.

With her husband Norman Dorothy emigrated to the US in August of 1964 and was employed as a secretary at Lebanon Hospital in New York City. In 1980 she moved to Fleischmanns where she has lived ever since.

In memory of our late colleague and friend, The Board of Directors of Skene Memorial Library has decided to rename the reference room The Dorothy Minion Memorial Reading Room. Donations in memory of Dorothy Minion may be made to the Skene Memorial Library, Fleischmanns, NY.

Skene Memorial Library – A Proud History

Sometime around 1894, summer resident Mrs. Alexander Skene  first proposed the idea of the creation of a Library for Griffin Corners.  (As known physician Dr. Alexander Skene had a summer home east of Griffin Corners, and enjoyed their time in the Catskills immensely.   It took several years, but plans progressed, and a Board for a Library Association (one type of Library then quite popular in New York State–not municipally -President.  Other prominent citizens such as DeWitt Griffin, Mrs. T. C. Banker, and Mrs. George H. Lasher were on the board.    Plans progressed slowly.

In July 1900, Dr. Skene died,  but Mrs. Skene continued to pursue the goal of creating a library, now to be named in his memory.   Funds were raised, including a $5,000 donation from famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie.   (Carnegie endowed many libraries all over the country, but this was special to him–he and Alexander Skene had been boyhood friends.)

The cornerstone for the building was laid in November 1901, and Griffin Corners finally had its library.   Skene Memorial Library is unusual for it is one of the few area libraries built AS a library.   As people and conditions changed, the Association Library structure no longer was working here, and in 1930 the building was turned over to the Village of Fleischmanns, and Skene became a Municipal Library.

In 2001, in honor of its centennial,  Skene Library was placed on both the New York State and the National Register of Historic Places. A special Postal Cancellation was held to observe the centennial.Skene Library in Pictures

Skene Library History in Pictures

images courtesy of the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories