Town librarian, historian passes away

Meredith Hutchins FILE PHOTO

Meredith Hutchins

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Long-time librarian and local historian Meredith Hutchins passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 23. She was 76 years old.

Hutchins, who began working at the Southwest Harbor Public Library in 1951, eventually became the institution’s director. She retired in 1985.

During her tenure as director she oversaw the fourth expansion of the downtown building.

Even after retirement, she continued to volunteer at the library including service on the board of directors and helping to organize the annual book sale. She also partnered with Charlotte Morrill to create an expansive digital library of historic photographs. Morrill credited Hutchins with being a tireless champion of preserving the town’s history.

“She collected years of clippings and wrote down everything she heard about the history of the town,” Morrill said. “She was the first to understand the historic and artistic value of the photographs the library had been collecting since 1900. She cared for the collection and defended it with the ferocity of a mother tiger.”

Hutchins and her husband, Ken, built and operated Hutchins Cottages in Southwest Harbor. Ken was town meeting moderator for years. One of the couple’s daughters, Kristen, has served in various town government roles including as a selectman.

A memorial service for Meredith will be held later this summer. Donations in Meredith’s name may be made to the Southwest Harbor Public Library, PO Box 157, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.

Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.
Earl Brechlin

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