Special thanks to Babette Huber, Historian for the Town and Village of Victor. Her efforts made this detailed history possible.
Although the first library in Victor is usually attributed to beginning in 1938 by Elizabeth Osborne, a group of businessmen drew up subscriptions to establish a public library in 1872 in the Town of Victor (Otis Dryer, D. Henry Osborne, Aldin L. Covill, John L. Jones, Albert Simonds, William Gallup and Melancton Lewis). It is not known how long the library was in service, but in the late 1900s there was a small collection of old books kept as a village library in a back room on the second floor of the A. Simonds & Sons Store (2 East Main Street).
The Victor Community Library (as it was known initially and the forerunner of the Victor-Farmington Library) opened its doors in 1938 in the Higinbotham house on the corner of Maple Avenue and East Street from an idea of Elizabeth Osborne. Miss Osborne, at the time, was home from college for two months and thought it would be a great idea to start a reading room in the Higinbotham home which was empty at the time. Margaret VanVoorhis Smith became its first librarian. The library applied for a charter and admission to the Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1938. The name was changed to Victor Free Library at that time to satisfy state requirements. The first library Board of Trustees were Edward T. Malone, Jr., Charles H. Bowyer, Frances H. Smith, Florence M. Tischer and Harriet R. Whitney. The permanent director became Mrs. E. W. Bartholemew. Serving the 2,200 residents of the Victor Central School District, the library began with just 912 books and an annual budget of $700.
In 1941 an absolute library charter was granted to replace the provisional charter. At that time the library was occupying the west half of the old Bank Building (1 West Main Street) with the State Bank of Victor, currently occupied by NextStepU and Millsy’s Barbershop.
Five librarians served in the early years after Margaret VanVoorhis—Miss Doris Costello, Mrs. Helen Cochrane, Elsie Jacobs, Mrs. George H. Hill, Miss Elaine Kerskie and Mrs. Arlington Cahill. In 1945 the library hired Mrs. Margaret V. V. Smith who was a graduate of Victor High School, Geneseo Normal School and a teacher at Victor Central School for 35 years.
By the mid-1950s a planned expansion of the bank necessitated moving to another location. The trustees, with the approval of the Victor Town Board, purchased the property of Norris Crane on Maple Avenue (the former depot for the Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railway). Purchase price was $7,500 and opening day was March 11, 1958. In 1960 the library joined the Ontario County Library Association and it was the same year that Margaret V. V. Smith retired as librarian after 22 years of service. Another Margaret—Margaret Keating—took her place. The mortgage was paid off in October, 1965.
In 1971 the library expanded another 1,000 square feet. By 1974, Miss Keating was assisted by Mrs. Betty Mead and Mrs. Lois Hadden.
In 1974 the Board of Directors hired Patricia Kelly (later Evans) as the director of the Victor Free Library. Mrs. Evans would go on to serve in that capacity for 38 years.
In 1981 the Library Board of Directors is expanded to seven members.
On May 30, 1996, the Victor Free Library opened at its new location on West Main Street. With 8,900 square feet, the area almost quadrupled the space from its previous location on Maple Avenue.
In 2014, the Victor Free Library became the Victor Farmington Library, to better represent the ever-growing community it was serving.
In 2018, the library Board of Trustees began a search for a larger, more modern facility to meet the growing demands of the residents of Victor and Farmington. The current building has quickly outgrown the community’s needs for more space, books, and meeting rooms.