About Us

Julia L. Butterfield

The Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Library was established by the will of the late Julia L. Butterfield. Mrs. Butterfield died on August 6, 1913 at the age of 90.

Mrs. Butterfield was born on December 19, 1824, in St. Marks' Place, New York City, NY. She moved to Cold Spring in 1852, with her first husband Fredrick James. Up until the time of her death, she spent a large portion of her time at her beautiful Cold Spring residence known as Cragside.

Cragside was located on the site of the new Haldane Central School District's high school building. The gatehouse to Cragside still stands today on the corner of Route 9D (Morris Ave) and Craigside Drive.

Mrs. Butterfield loved to entertain, and her frequent guests included, the Grand Duke of Russia, the Count of Paris, Presidents of the United States, several governors, famous generals and bishops.

Many of the paintings that hang in the Library today once hung in Cragside. The most famous of which is "A Pic-Nic on the Hudson" painted in 1863 by Hudson River School artist Thomas Rossiter. Rossiter also lived Cold Spring and was a friend of Mrs Butterfield.

History Tour Information

The Board of Trustees

Judy Meyer, President
Dennis Gagnon, Vice President
Michael LaRocco, Treasurer
Marjorie Gage, Secretary
Catherine Platt, Trustee

Trustees are community volunteers and are not compensated for their time. The board meeting at 6:30 pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

The Library operates under New York State Education Law and must meet NYS Library Standards and Guidelines. All meetings are open to the public. The Library is part of the Mid Hudson Library System.

Contact Gillian Thorpe for a copy of the agenda or past minutes not listed below.

January 2020
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Visit Calendar

(c) 1863 by Hudson River School artist Thomas Rossiter
oil on canvas on display at the Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Library

"A Pic-Nic on the Hudson"

The painting is of friends enjoying a picnic along the Hudson River, near the Village of Cold Spring on Constitution Island. Included in the painting are Gouverneur Kemble and his brother William Kemble, co-founders of the West Point Foundry, artist Thomas Rossiter and his wife, U.S. Military Academy professor and painter Robert W. Weir, poet George Pope Morris, inventor of the Parrott rifled cannon, Robert Parrott, General Gouverneur Kemble Warren, “Hero of the Little Big Top", Battle of Gettysburg, and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick P. James and their two sons, Frederick J. James and Julian James.

Mrs. Julia James (Butterfield), pictured in the white dress with periwinkle sash. Seated next to her is her eldest son Mr. Frederick J. James. Behind Frederick J. is his father Mr. Frederick P. James.

Wait that's not all

More about the Library

The Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Library was established in 1913, through the Will of Mrs. Julia L. Butterfield. The Library building was built on the foundation of the Dutch Reform Church in 1922, with the Library doors opening in May of 1925.

During the next 80 years, the library happily served our community. In the early 2000s, as the library struggled to provide adequate services to the community, it became obvious that we needed secure funding.

In November of 2006, the library secured funding from Philipstown through a public vote ($276,000/annually).  In May of 2015, the Library passed a successful referendum within the Haldane Central School District ($73,150/annually). 

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