And the Winner is…

Photo congratulating our Lion Naming Contest winner.

The staff and Board of Trustees at Flower Library are proud to announce the names of the marble lions who guard the building’s grand entrance: Hart and Henry. These names were chosen with a nod to their historic connection, tying the library from 2024 forward to two of Watertown’s founding fathers.

Hart Massey was born in 1771 in Salem, New Hampshire and moved his family to Watertown in 1800. As one of the Watertown’s first settlers, Massey played a large role in the development of the area in many vital sectors of life: the area’s first religious meetings were held in his home, he helped create the local Agriculture Society, he became county judge and held numerous other offices, and he held the office of collector in Sacket’s Harbor during the War of 1812. He passed in 1853 at the age of 81.

Henry Coffeen arrived in Watertown in March of 1800 at the same time that the town of Watertown was created. Coffeen played a pivotal role in the decision-making, most of which we see present in today’s society. For example: along with Hart Massey, Henry Coffeen was a part of a group of settlers who gifted to the public a portion of land to ensure a public mall forevermore, creating today’s public square. We also see Coffeen’s presence in the creation of a bridge in 1803 that allowed for ease of access by state roads, and an eventual saw and grist mill in the Watertown village as well. He passed in 1820 near 56 years of age.

Flower Library joined the Watertown scene on January 4th, 1905. The library’s two marble lion statues were added roughly a short 6 months later in June, courtesy of the library’s generous benefactor Emma Flower Taylor. These white stone figures were placed at the front door to guard the entrance and came from Italy. Over the years, the lions have needed repairs, including correcting broken teeth, repairing injuries caused by fallen maple trees in 1925, and reattaching a lost tail in 1982.

We were hoping to add the year 2024 to the list of milestone years for our library lions, and with the inspired help of library patron and contest winner Thom Peterson, we have been successful! Mr. Peterson will enter the library history books and receive a library-themed prize. The library staff and Board of Trustees would like to thank all contest participants for their enthusiastic involvement and fantastic suggestions for lion names.