Researching your family history, want to know more about the house you live in, see an old year book, or delve into the history of Greenwich? These are a few of the things you might find in our Gill Local History Room. Knowledgeable volunteers can help you find out what you want to know!
The I.V.H. Gill Historical Room
Islay Van Horn Gill (1875-1964) was a community leader for many years and an early supporter of the Greenwich Free Library. He began working for the local electric company in 1898, and in the 1920s and 1930s was instrumental in bringing electricity to rural Washington County. He had a life-long interest in local history, authoring several books, including “The Greenwich Community of 1850.” After his death in 1964, his voluminous collection of history books, documents and handwritten notes were donated to the Greenwich Free Library. This donation comprises the core of the Greenwich Free Library’s historic holdings, known collectively as “The Gill Room.” Although initially it was a single room, the collection is currently housed in two rooms in the library basement. The Gill Room Collection has continued to grow since Mr. Gill’s initial donation and includes old and rare local historic items of Greenwich and other Washington County communities, as well as of those of surrounding New York State and Vermont communities. It houses a large collection of microfilms of Federal and New York State Census records, local newspapers from the mid-1800s and the Asa Fitch manuscripts. Many local genealogies have been donated and are available for research. The Gill Room is open during regular library hours.