Riverton Free Library Association
The Riverton Free Library Association was founded on 12 January 1899 by a group of community volunteers. The “Free” in the title refers to the library’s status as a “library association.” The Association continues as a volunteer organization, independent of any government body. For a detailed history of the library see Riverton Free Library History, Part I, 1899-1970, and Riverton Free Library History, Part II, 1970-1999.
Our Building’s Beginning
On 4 February 1908, Mrs. Sarah Morris Ogden, who had purchased the house from the George L. Senat family, deeded the building to the Association in memory of her late husband, Edward H. Ogden, Riverton’s first Mayor. The library moved to its current location on Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets after being housed for nine years in the Reading Room in the Parish House of Riverton’s Christ Episcopal Church.
Seated in his reading room, George L. Senat in 1887. His house would become the permanent site for the new library in 1908.
Built around 1852, the house has a gabled roof with a board and batten siding. Designated as Carpenter Gothic, a form of Victorian architecture, it features more “gingerbread” and is regarded as more of a country-style than plan Gothic.
Significant additions to the original building are the Children’s Room, added in 1958, and a large adult fiction/meeting room, added entirely through donations, in 1992. The walnut circulation desk, built in 1992 by a Riverton resident, was a gift to the library.
Branch Status: Burlington County Library System
In 2004, the Riverton Free Library became a full branch of the Burlington County Library System (BCLS), thus making available to our patrons all the resources of the larger system as well as making our employees now under the auspices of BCLS. The grounds and the building, and all local financial resources including the management of donations and endowments, continue to be the responsibility of the library’s Association.
Image: The Edward H. Ogden Memorial Building, Riverton Library Association, c1908.