Colcord House owner and Maine architect Joseph W. Thompson (1822-1891), who also built the Fort Point Hotel, probably built the house, as well as several others in Stockton, in the mid to late 19th century. Thompson held many public offices in Maine. He lived in the house until his death in 1891. His widow sold the house to Capt. Melvin E. Colcord. Colcord spent forty years at sea. He sailed as master of the schooner David Babcock and the bark Isaac Hall. Colcord also ran a ferry service in Stockton Harbor. The last Colcord resident to live in the house was Elaine Colcord Ward. The Stockton Springs Historical Society acquired the building in 1999 and volunteers have been restoring the house since then. The Historical Society shares the building with the Stockton Springs Community Library.
Basil Staples, a life-long Stockton Springs resident, always hoped that some day his hometown would have a free, public library. In his retirement, he decided to bring his dream to fruition. Not one to let the lack of financial backing prevent his dream from becoming a reality, Basil came up with the idea of starting a “Bottles for Books” campaign to fund the library’s purchase of books and videos. Since its inception in 2001, Bottles to Books has generated over $6,000 per year thanks to the generosity of many local friends of the library who donate their refundable bottles and cans to ensure new items are continually being added to the Library holdings.
Along with Basil and his late-wife Mary, a retired local school teacher who was also the first Library Director, a great many dedicated and hard working volunteers have joined together over the years to create and maintain the little gem that is home to both the Stockton Springs Community Library and the Stockton Springs Historic Society.
“Mary’s Room” is named in honor of Mary Staples. Steps leading to the room read one word at a time vertically up the risers, “Climb the stairs to Mary’s room.”
For people needing assistance with access to the second floor there is a motorized lift chair on the front staircase of the building.
In more recent years the library has created an Endowment Fund through the Maine Community Foundation to ensure that in years to come the community of Stockton Springs and surrounds will continue to benefit from Basil and Mary’s dream.