Community Spotlight

Caddy Stacks Mini Golf at the Westerly Library & Wilcox Park

Most people in Westerly know that the historic Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is one of the greatest assets in our town and many turned out to support the Library during its first Caddy Stacks fundraising event.

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The staff at the Westerly Library came up with the idea to try and get more people back to the library. After a bit of research they found a company that specialized in turning libraries into miniature golf courses with literary themed holes. This idea should be given the Nobel Prize for funraising, that’s right, it’s fun fundraising. Enough with the play on words, this event at the Westerly Library was an absolutely funtastic event.

Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is a private non-profit owned and operated by the Memorial and Library Association of Westerly. The Association was established in 1892 to commemorate the volunteer soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War. Designed by Longstaff & Hurd, architects from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Westerly Library opened its doors in 1894 through the initiative of local industrialist-inventor, Stephen Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox donated the land on which the library is situated as well as $25,000 to be matched by citizens of the community.

Originally the library included a bowling alley, gymnasium, art gallery, museum, and meeting space for the Grand Army of the Republic. On opening day, August 15, 1894, Westerly Library had a collection of 5,000 volumes and the building was open 24 hours each week. Additions were constructed in 1902, 1928, and 1992. The final addition, which won the 1994 Historic Preservation Award from the Rhode Island Preservation Commission, nearly doubled the size of the building.

Today the library is open 60 hours each week and the collection includes books, audiobooks, magazines, CDs and DVDs, and more, totaling over 287,000 items. There are computers for public use throughout the building. The library, a participant in a statewide-automated network, offers access to online databases, e-books, and over four million items from library collections across the state of Rhode Island. All of these important community services cost money, hence Caddy Stacks. Check out the video to see how much fun everyone had.

The Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is a vital part of our community. I would encourage everyone to check out all the programs on the Westerly Library website at

For more local Westerly info check out the new Westerly+

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  1. Oh my gosh first of all, the original library had a bowling alley, a gymnasium, and an art gallery all rolled into one? Amazing! That definitely, in it of itself would have enticed me into the library back in my days.. (Which by the way were in the 80’s which also by the way were AMAZING!!) The thing about the library in the 80’s is that we had what you would call a card catalog. This meant that you had to physically go to the library, now let’s hope you had a car available to drive to the library or someone to take you, if not that was a problem. When you finally get to the library, you go to the card catalog which are these tall standing wood like filing cabinets that are alphabetized like example A-B . Then you look up the subject that you were doing a report on. For example let’s say your subject is on cats so you look for the letter C it’s a little more detailed than that but basically it will guide you to the aisle to where those books on “said subject” are located, to which you pray to the Lords above that the books are actually there.. However, this was sadly not the case many many times to which then you had to go see the librarian and then she would have to help you figure out the mystery caper as to where the books were etc. which took a lot more time..Now with technology today all you have to do is ask Google, you don’t have to have a car, you don’t have to leave your room, no time is lost other than the surfing time..
    So with all of the above said, the fundraiser looked amazingly fun.. And what enticed me this time around was the mini golfing, the wine, and cookies, so you can count me in next year.

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