Washington is arural town located in the Mid-Coast area of Knox County, Maine with a population of about 1,400 people. It has vintage working farms, beautiful forested areas and two pristine lakes.
The town is the 2009 winner of the Spirit of America Award for its high level of volunteerism. Some of the town organizations include: Gibbs Library, Mt. Olivet Lodge Masons, Evening Star Grange, the Village Church, Washington Historical Society, Washington Lakes Association, Hill & Gully Snowmobile Club, Washington Fire Department & Auxiliary, the Downtown Art Gallery, the Ladies’ Guild, VFW, Washington Food Bank, Union Area Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Manor Home, Prescott Memorial School.
The Gibbs Free Library was originally established in 1915 as the result of a gift of books and later a bequest by a Town of Washington native, Locero Jackson Gibbs, who left home for the Civil War and later became a prominent physician in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Like many libraries, it migrated from front parlors to the backs of stores or to any other place willing to house it. When a new school was built in the 1950s, the old village schoolhouse became its permanent home. This building burned in 1961 and the Gibbs Free Library died.
From this smoldering ash — Dr. Gibbs’ bequest, a small insurance payment, and a bequest from John and Marcia Bryant — came a total of just over $4,000. This money was invested in 1971 “for future library use” and by the early 1990s had grown to more than $40,000. This was used as seed money to bring in a $360,000 Community Development Block Grant to build the beautiful new Gibbs Library which opened in 1993.