Today (January 22) is the birthday of Mary Irick Drexel was born on January 22nd, 1864. Mary was the only child of Sally Stretch (Irick) Keen and William Hudson Irick. She grew up at Locust Grove Farm on Retreat Road. The spirited Mary was educated to be a lady and became a skilled equestrian. She attended Miss Fannie Morrow’s private school in Beverly NJ and completed her education at Patapsco Institute in Ellicott Mills, Maryland. Ladies there were taught courses in botany, chemistry, mathematics, foreign languages and other subjects. Through a classmate, Mary was introduced at a party to George W. Childs Drexel, the youngest son of millionaire A.J. Drexel. She would become a great lady of Philadelphia society, a practical philanthropist and the creator of our library.

2023 marks our 100th anniversary!!!!

100 years of being your community library and we are looking forward to the next 100. Join us on any of our social media pages as we share and celebrate our rich history.

Celebrating in this photograph are 3 people you will get to know much better this year. Far left is Sally Stretch Keen, our namesake. The gentleman next to her is George W. Childs Drexel, her son-in-law. The lady next to him is his wife, Mary Irick Drexel, our benefactor. This photo was taken in Germany in 1900, celebrating the new century.

It’s Official!

IT’S OFFICIAL! We are very pleased to announce that the Sally Stretch Keen Memorial Library is a recipient of a 2022 Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Grant Award through the New Jersey Historic Trust. This matching grant will allow us to do much needed work to “seal the envelope” and preserve the library building for future generations. We cannot do our work without a sound building and are fortunate to have a beautiful, historic building in our wonderful town.

We thank the New Jersey Historic Trust for recognizing the significance of our building, our history, and our important role in the community. We are grateful for their support.

It is going to be a busy 100th year! There is fundraising, event planning, tons of paperwork… and the actual preservation work being done Fall 2023! We will keep you updated and share our history as we go along.

If you wish to support our preservation, donations can be made at:

Sally Stretch Keen Memorial Library 100th Anniversary Fund: Donate

or when we see you at the library!

100 Years Later

As 2022 is drawing to a close, we had to point out a neat architectural detail on our building— the downspout with the year 1922 in an Art Nouveau font. Why 1922? The building was designed in 1921 by Stewardson and Page under the direction of Mary Irick Drexel herself. The exterior construction was done in 1922 and the interior finished in 1923, with our dedication in memory of Sally Stretch Keen on June 18th, 1923.

We look forward to celebrating our 100th year in 2023!

Saturday Morning Cafe

Not sure what to read next? Eager to talk about that fabulous novel you just read?

Stop by the library Saturday morning to visit our “Saturday Morning Cafe”. We’ll have hot coffee, cider, light snacks (fresh baked goods!?) and a lively discussion about all the great books we’ve been reading.

We look forward to seeing you!

A Beautiful Day for Plein Air Painting!

Today was such a glorious day to get outdoors…and we did just that! We took our paints, brushes and canvas boards behind the library to paint. That “bit” of summer breeze hardly discouraged our artists!

Thanks to all for coming out for summer programs.

I hope some of our art work will be returned on loan for display in our

Annual Art Exhibit & Sale, September 30th – October 1st