Funded by a generous bequest from Olive Dyer in the name of her husband, Oliver, the first home of the Dyer Library was created in the basement of Saco City Hall.
A dirt floor was covered over in hard pine, a furnace was added, black walnut bookcases and tables were constructed, books, (many from other non-public library collections,) were moved in and Sarah W. Tucker was hired as the first librarian at a salary of $400 a year. The library opened for business in the spring of 1881.
Located on Saco's historic Main Street, the Saco Museum is a regional museum of fine and decorative arts and historic artifacts. It is the third oldest museum in Maine. The Saco Museum was founded in March of 1866 as the York Institute by a group of men from widely different backgrounds, who shared an interest in the pursuit of knowledge.
Their pledge was that none of them should die in possession of an uncommunicated historical fact. The stated purpose of the organization was "to promote the study of Natural History; encourage Science and Art; also to collect and preserve whatever relates to the Natural and Civic history of York County."
In addition to its regular collection the Dyer Library also houses the Roy P. Fairfield Maine History Room, which is where the library's archives and special collections are held. These collections contain 10,000 manuscripts, historical papers, photographs and maps of York County and Saco surrounding areas.
The Saco Museum is host to rotating and visiting exhibits as well as an extensive array of regular collections.
The Dyer Library's first home was the basement of city hall. It wasn't until 1893 that a building was constructed specifically to house the library's collection.
This new building was designed by Horace G. Wadlin. The Dyer Library moved again in 1955, this time to the former house of Frank Cutter Deering.
In 1974 a new wing was added to the building allowing for new offices, the Deering Room, Board Room, and the Reed Children's Room.
The museum's current location is a structure that was built in 1926 and designed by John Calvin Stevens. The structure was built specifically to house the organization's collection, and the building was meant to be fireproof.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: noon - 4 p.m.
Friday: noon - 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday: noon - 4 p.m. (June - December only)