Oliver Ames (1831 - 1895) was a hometown benefactor who was, in a sense, the Carnegie before Carnegie. His bequest of $50,000 to establish and maintain a library in a town of farmers and shovel makers was groundbreaking. In the 132 years since its inception, the village library evolved so that by 2011 when Money magazine selected the top towns to live in the US, the Ames Free Library was specifically singled out as a factor in their selection of Easton.

The Ames Free Library campus has expanded over the years, to include not only the original H.H. Richardson-designed Library building, but also the adjacent, English Gothic-style cottage Queset House. This 1853 mansion has been reimagined as the Learning Commons @ Queset House, an entire building devoted to facilitating community connections and promoting learning for patrons of all ages. Queset's beautiful Italianate garden is the setting for countless community events.

The Library Board of Directors and staff are proud to be custodians of these beautiful Library campus properties and to offer a rich range of cultural learning opportunities to visitors. Below, you can see a timeline of our continual efforts to preserve and improve what is arguably Easton's most valuable historical and cultural asset.