Sussex County acquires the Dennis Library

| 12 May 2022 | 10:19

The Sussex County Board of County Commissioners today announced that it has taken ownership of the historic Dennis Library in Newton. The acquisition was made possible through use of the $3,080,875 Library Construction Bond Act grant awarded by the state in 2021. The county plans to use the funds to renovate and expand the library.

At the Sussex County Board of County Commissioners’ public meeting on May 11, the commissioners approved the donation agreement, which transferred ownership of the building and grounds from the Newton Library Association to Sussex County. According to a county press release, the agreement includes the facility, along with a monetary donation up to $350,000 from the Newton Library Association to be used for its “care, maintenance and improvement, on the condition that the county continue to use it as a library.”

“This generous donation [...] will allow the Sussex County Library System to grow and improve its services in and around the County Seat using the grant funds.”

This project was supported by funds from the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act, administered by the New Jersey State Library.

Last year Sussex County Commissioners approved spending more than $6.5 million to construct a new community room and a new children’s room, and improve the restrooms. The planned renovations also included upgrades to the sidewalk, curbs, and elevators to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as improvements to lighting, the HVAC system, and other utilities.

According to the late historian Kevin R. Wright, the Dennis Library was originally made possible by a donation of $163,832 from the estate of Dr. Frederick S. Dennis in October 1935 to the Newton Library System. The president of the Newton Library Association, Frank I. Farrell, reportedly laid the cornerstone of the Dennis Library building on September 30, 1939, per Wright’s historic research. The building was considered an example of Georgian Revival architecture, built by contractor William I. Houghton.

The Dennis Library is located at 101 Main Street, Newton. For questions, call the library at 973-383-4810, or contact branch librarian Sara Branagan at For more information visit the following website: