Ivoryton Library, built in l889, is one of the few libraries in the state
housed in its original structure
that has continued to function as a library for over
l00 years. The library has great significance for the village
of Ivoryton because much of the present landscape and environment in the community is due
to the unique ivory-cutting industry that flourished here during the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries. The library, perfectly placed in the center of this once factory
village, was built in part with funds from the ivory factory, Comstock, Cheney & Co.
It is difficult to imagine that Ivoryton was at one time the center of the ivory cutting
trade in the United States. A photographic exhibit of the Comstock Cheney ivory trade
resides in the library as part of a permanent collection. Currently there are 7,850 books
on the shelves of the library, including archives on the library history, the ivory trade,
and local history.
The Naming of Ivoryton
In the late 1800s before the name of Ivoryton
was settled upon to designate the towns western village two other possible names
were considered. A document authorizing construction of the Ivoryton Post Office in 1880
shows that the village was first called West Essex. That name was crossed out, however, in
favor of Comstock. The second name was crossed out and in its place was written the name
Ivoryton. The postal document is probably among the first official acts which established
the name of Ivoryton.