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Stamford Library Branch Celebrates 60th Birthday, Supervisor's Retirement

Susan Baldwin, who retired as supervisor of the Weed Memorial & Hollander Branch of the Ferguson Library, was honored at the Hope Street library branch's 60th birthday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The Weed Memorial & Hollander Branch of the Ferguson Library celebrated its 60th anniversary Thursday. The branch is at 1143 Hope St. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Longtime Springdale advocate Marilyn Trefry looks at the citation given to her. Looking on from left are her children: Paul, Lynda Gutierrez and Jim. She was honored at Ferguson Library's Weed Memorial & Hollander Branch Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Weed Memorial & Hollander Branch of Stamford's Ferguson Library celebrated its 60th birthday, and Alice Knapp foresees a lot of cake cutting in birthdays to come.

"Why not 500?" said Knapp, the Ferguson Library president during the birthday party.

At the event, longtime Springdale School -- and library -- advocate Marilyn Trefry was honored for her role in keeping the library open when it faced closure twice in the last 20 years as the library system grappled with its budget.

She was presented with a Connecticut General Assembly Official citation for her community work.

Knapp also praised Trefry for her contributions.

"She was instrumental in saving the branch in the '90's and in the early '00's," Knapp said.

Besides the citation, Trefry also had a small garden at the library created in her honor.

Also on hand to be honored was Susan Baldwin, who has just retired from her role as supervisor of the branch and also of the Harry Bennett Branch.

"I gave the best years of my life to the library," she said with a smile about her 27 years with the Ferguson Library. She said she enjoyed it but admitted that retirement was bittersweet.

"It is hard to leave my co-workers," she said.

Her love of reading was inspired by a cousin, Connie, who was a voracious reader, and by her mother Marcella Baldwin, who would gather Susan and her five siblings and read to them.

She and her husband, Gary Gepner, have two daughters. The eldest, Abigail, graduated from Ithaca College and younger daughter, Dorothy, is in her first year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

The branch, at 1143 Hope St., was originally built as a farmhouse around 1810 and at one time housed a small school, according to library information.

In 1890, Emmett L. Weed bought the property for $2,200. When he died in 1952, his wife, Jennie, gave the house, property and $20,000 to the city with the proviso that it become a branch of the Ferguson Library.

Situated beside Springdale School, it has become a community gem, said speakers at the event Thursday.

It has also become a place where community people who lack vehicles to go to the main branch can visit, Baldwin and Knapp said.

"This is Springdale's library," Knapp said.

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