Willistead Library

Who remembers the library in Willistead Manor? The first time I remember visiting the library was with my mother. Once I was a little older, she would let me walk from our home on Devonshire alone. This was when it was normal for a 6 or 7 year old to walk a few blocks on their own and no one worried about them. Mother didn’t allow us to check out books because she firmly believed that one should never be a borrower, even with books, because you never knew what could happen to them at home so I spent hours reading the Bobbsey Twins or Nancy Drew. Sometimes the librarian would allow me to sit outside and read and, to this day, nothing pleases me more than a book and cold drink in the shade of the yard. Mother worried that I didn’t spend time outside playing with other girls but Nan, Bert, Flossie and Freddie* were the children that I most loved spending time with. I was not the type to play sports in the street or push dolls in strollers.

The beauty of Walkerville and it’s buildings has always intrigued me and I am incredibly lucky to have grown up there.

Catherine – 72 – Windsor

* Bobbsey Twin Characters

Picture from the Windsor Public Library. Click here to see original source.


4 thoughts on “Willistead Library”

  1. Colette Beliveau

    Are there any interior photos available for purchase of the Willestead Library from the 60’s? My sister & I have such fond childhood memories from spending so much time there as children!

    1. we certainly have heard from a lot of folks with fond memories of the Willistead Library. I found the picture that is attached to this post in the Windsor Public Library archives. I’m sure the Local History Branch of the WPL has more pictures. They are currently located in Sandwich in the Brock Public School and can be contacted electronically at localhistory@windsorpubliclibrary.com and are always happy to do a search.

  2. Maureen McConnell

    Willistead library was the first I ever visited, at the age of five. The stone building surrounded by trees was so beautiful, and the wood paneling was warm and elegant. My mother showed me to a table in the children’s section and told me I could look at any book I liked. Then she moved on to look for books herself. When she checked back, she said we’d be leaving soon and to meet her at the librarian’s desk. I hurriedly put the books back and ran to join her. When she asked “where’s your books?” she had to explain to me how a library worked. I ran back to retrieve a book or two from the shelves, then stood up to scan the whole library of books that surrounded me.

    The heavens opened! I could COME BACK! I could read EVERY book! Life changing.

    I grew up to be an exhibit developer in science museums, dreaming up immersive experiences for children and their families. It all started back there at Willistead in 1955.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

en_USEnglish (United States)