Historic legacy

To the Editor:

Meredith (Rich) Hutchins, who passed away last week, loved her family, her friends, the towns of Southwest Harbor and Tremont, Jane Austen, Henry Lathrop Rand (1862-1945), Rebecca (Whitmore) Lurvey Carroll (1844-1916), music and Portland’s Kotzschmar Memorial Organ. She adored good writing, good food, good movies, elegance, artisanal jewelry and the Southwest Harbor Public Library.

She was an author who wrote in her own distinctive voice, a librarian and historian.

Meredith gave uncounted volunteer hours to the library after she retired in 1986. She had served as librarian since 1979, but had started work there during the summer of 1951 at the age of 12, for four hours a week at 40 cents an hour. She always was ready to help later librarians who found her instinct for what should and should not be retained in the collection invaluable.

In 2006, Meredith co-founded the library’s digital archive of historic and contemporary photographs, helping to meticulously document and correct the history of every detail that could be seen in each image. She collected years of clippings and wrote down everything she heard about the history of the town. 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.

Generations of Southwest Harbor residents and historians forever will be in her debt. Her legacy is immense.

Meredith would not have approved of the casual way this tribute was written, but each of us has our own style, and this is the truth. Bravo, Meredith!

Charlotte Morrill

Southwest Harbor

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