Moffat Library

The Moffat Library, officially Moffat Library of Washingtonville, serves a population of 25,000 people in the village of that name in Orange County, New York as well as the surrounding towns of Blooming Grove, Hamptonburgh and New Windsor. It is located in the center of town, at the intersection of NY 208 and NY 94. It boasts two Louis Comfort Tiffany-designed stained glass windows, although they were not part of the library's original design. It was named after David Moffat, a native of Washingtonville who later made a fortune in railroads, mining and finance in Colorado and settled in Denver. In 1885, nearing the age of 50, he decided he wanted to do something for his hometown, and so commissioned the library for the site of his boyhood home, the trading post his father Samuel had established at the crossroads in 1811. The library would be named for his mother Catherine as well as his father. He declared its purpose to be "the diffusion of useful knowledge". New York architect George Edward Harney designed a building in the then-popular Queen Anne style, to be built of brick made in nearby Goshen. The finished building included a Howard clock on the top, Greek columns and an auditorium with seating for 375. The formal dedication took place on April 25, 1887. However, there was a library, but no books. The Moffat Library Association was formed to establish a library and reading room, and the following year after it had acquired bookcases, some books were shelved. By 1899, when the stained glass windows were installed, the library's holdings consisted of 2,000 volumes, most donated by Moffat. In 1994, the library was added to the National Register of Historic Places as well as its state equivalent. The next year, the Moffat Library Association changed its status from private to public. Today, the library holds more than 29,000 items with a circulation of 170,000.

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