History of the Sarah Partridge Community House and Library

Sarah Partridge History

In the early 1920’s, Frank Partridge, son of Sarah Rice Partridge and Charles Partridge of East Middlebury, wished to honor the memory of his mother who had been such an active and admired participant in the life of the East Middlebury community. He believed a community house named for her would fulfill this wish.

Sarah Partridge had been a prominent resident of East Middlebury for nearly 60 years. Although six children were born to her, all but her son, Frank Charles, died in early childhood. She wasn’t a member of either the East Middlebury Methodist or Episcopal Church, but when she could, she attended both services on Sunday, worked on church suppers, and volunteered for numerous other activities in the village. She had volunteered for the Red Cross and had knit over 50 pairs of socks during World War 1 . Her home was at 464 East Main Street, and her door was always open to those in the community. Her husband Charles died in 1905, and she continued to live in the their home until her death in 1919.

Emily Proctor, family friend of the Partridge’s from Proctor Vermont was also an admirer of Mrs Partridge, as evidenced in her letter dated October 19, 1922. She writes, “To you in East Middlebury, it may seem that Mrs Partridge could not have been as much to others as to those who lived beside her and who felt her kindness day by day, but she was in a very real sense a neighbor to everyone who knew her and certainly a help and inspiration to everyone who went to her home. I think it a great privilege to share in this memorial to her.”

On May 21, 1925 a reception was held to celebrate the opening of the Community House. A newspaper article had been written and it reported a large attendance. Mrs Leslie (Madeline) Day was named librarian. The library, which was housed across the hall from the parlor, was to be open two afternoons and one evening a week, with about 1100 books in all.

Excerpts from A History of Sarah Partridge Community House 1922-2004. East Middlebury Historical Society, 2004