Millicent Library, the Italian Renaissance-style library in Fairhaven‘s Town Center, was donated to the town by the Standard Oil Magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers. The noted architect Charles Brigham designed the library, which is ornamented with molded terracotta reliefs, a red slate roof, and a large stained glass window by Clayton and Bell of London, depicting Millicent as the Muse of Poetry. The library is named for Rogers’ daughter Millicent, who died in 1890 at the age of 17.
The American author Mark Twain was a close friend of Rogers, and spent a significant amount of time in Fairhaven. After visiting Millicent Library, he wrote the trustees saying, “I’m glad to have seen it—It is the ideal library, I think.” He sent the library an autographed set of his books with a sarcastic note saying, “They are not instructive, but I feel sure you will like the bindings.”
The Millicent Library also holds a collection of memorabilia relating to Captain William Whitfield’s 1841 rescue of Manjiro Nakahama. Emperor Akihito of Japan, who visited in 1987, even signed the library’s guest book.