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Local History Links:

History of Ivoryton

Ivoryton Library

Ivory Trade

Ivory and its Uses

Ivory Museum

Pratt, Read at the Smithsonian

Essex Historical Society

Deep River Historical Society


 

 

The Ivoryton Library and the naming of Ivoryton

library photo 1995The Ivoryton Library, organized in 1871, is one of the few libraries in the state housed in its original structure, built in l889, 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 9,000 books and other items on the shelves of the library, including archives on the library history, the ivory trade, and local history.

library photo 1905


The Naming of Ivoryton

In the late 1800’s before the name of Ivoryton was settled upon to designate the town’s 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.