Who is Lucy Robbins Welles?
We are glad you asked. She lived in the square, flat-roofed Victorian house across the street from the Lucy Robbins Welles Library. That house was built for her to come as the bride of Edwin Welles in 1853. In that fine house they raised their family of two daughters and a son and enjoyed a long, happy life together for more than half a century. Edwin had several business interests, including the manufacture of edged tools at the mill by the waterfall nearby.
Both Lucy and her husband came from families which had a large share in the history of this town. The Robbins family gave its name to Robbins Corner and Robbins Avenue. Lucy, daughter of Unni and Sarah Dunham Robbins, was born in 1829 and grew up in the white brick house at the northwest corner of Main Street and Robbins Avenue (1665 Main Street). Edwin, born in 1818, was the son of Roger and Electra Stanley Welles, and grandson of General Roger Welles. He grew up in the house which stood on the site of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library. It had been built by the General soon after the Revolutionary War.
Fanny A. Welles and Mary Welles Eddy, daughters of Edwin and Lucy, provided funds and land for a library for the Town of Newington "to be called the Lucy Robbins Welles Library." The site is appropriate, since, when the Welles Homestead burned in 1855, it contained the library of the time which was destroyed in the fire – a case of books called the Newington Social Library.
The Lucy Robbins Welles Library was dedicated in 1939. Since that time several members of the Welles and Robbins families have been members of the Library Board. All board members deserve recognition for the service they have given the Town. In particular, we should note E. Welles Eddy, grandson of Lucy. He served over twenty-five years as Chairman of the Board, was responsible for directing its finances and made it his special concern to have the building and its furnishings prepared and maintained. His portrait hangs in the Eddy Room on the second floor of the library.
You can see Lucy’s portrait above the east fireplace of the reference room on the main floor. On the south wall are smaller portraits of her daughters, Mary and Fanny.
Elizabeth S. Baxter (deceased)