Branchport’s first library was organized by Emma F. Burtch and son, Verdi. It was incorporated on Feb. 20, 1913. Originally housed over the Branchport Post Office, Rutherford N. Otis purchased the Main Street building in memory of his wife, Elizabeth, who had come to Branchport in 1907 as a bride. A painting of Mrs. Otis (Elizabeth) hangs in the library.
An addition to the original library was built in 1968 given by Hugo Wilder, president of the Library Association. The basement was used for meetings. Many of the original shelves in the library were given in memory of relatives and friends by the local Branchport residents.
March 24, 2006
On Saturday, an open house marked the official opening of the Modeste Bedient Memorial Library, which replaced the Branchport Free Library.
The brick, one-floor library adjoins the Sugar Creek boat launch and overlooks a bird sanctuary and marshland at the northwest corner of Keuka Lake. Three leather easy chairs in the reading area take particular advantage of the view. beneath freshly-painted vaulted ceilings, the library’s layout includes several rows of oak bookcases.
Construction on the nearly $500,000 new library began last summer and was completed in February. Besides the land, construction costs were donated by the Bedient family. The community helped out as well, with residents, friends and library officials spending three days hauling contents from the old library to the new one.
“We had 100 grape boxes and a couple of pickup trucks,” said Bedient, adding that community members also donated equipment and materials for the new library.
Emma F. Burch