Town of Olive


Total Votes: 8  
Interest: 160

(845) 657-8118
(845) 657-2320
PO Box 180
West Shokan, New York 12494

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Display Number: 73219
Olive Free Library

The plan for establishing a library in the Town of Olive grew out of an idea in the minds of Claire and Joseph Friedberg. In early 1951 the Friedbergs felt that the Town of Olive needed a library, just as it needed a governing body, school, and church. After months of working through informal discussion, in 1952 a large group of residents met at the Friedberg’s home for an organizational meeting. They contacted the State Education Department to become accredited, formed a Library Association, and elected officers and trustees. District No. 8 West Shokan Schoolhouse was turned over to the Library Association and in 1959 the Olive Free Library became a member of the Mid-Hudson Libraries System (http://midhudson.org).

In 1963 the Onteora Central School District voted tax aid to the libraries in the district (Olive being one of several) and in 1965 the first tax aid was received from the Town of Olive. In August of 1967, the family of the Helen Kelsey Chase made a substantial memorial contribution to the Library’s Expansion Fund. This led to a complete re-evaluation of the expansion program and suggested the possibility of obtaining more meaningful funds from the community. Donald and Edna Bishop of West Shokan are acknowledged for envisioning and helping to achieve a modern, functional home for the library and a cultural and social center for the community by establishing a Trust Fund. Substantial contributions were received from Mr. and Mrs. Donald F. Bishop, Mrs. Olive B. O’Connor, Mrs. Olive Bishop Price, Mr. Bishop’s aunt, and sister respectively. They also enlisted very generous financial support from the O’Connor Foundation of Hobart, NY. Thus what had originally been a plan to add another room to the old schoolhouse, became a program for building the current Olive Free Library which was dedicated on June 3, 1972.

Starting with a few hundred donated books, today the Olive Free Library offers thousands of volumes of books, still-in-demand publications, leading weekly and monthly magazines plus audio and visual entertainment, and free computer internet access for Olive citizens. As a member of the Mid-Hudson Library System, they can obtain books and items on loan from other libraries throughout the mid-Hudson area. The Olive Library is also a community center for with the Onteora Senior Citizen group meeting at 1:30 pm on the first and third Thursday of each month. One of the favorites for pre-school children is the Story Hour at 10:00 am every Tuesday which includes Crafts and Music Activities. During the summer months, there is a Summer Reading Program for children ages 3-12.

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Town of Olive
Sylvia Rozzelli,
PO Box 180
West Shokan, New York 12494
(845) 657-8118

Nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York State is 40,000 acres named the Town of Olive.