During George Peabody's historic visit to South Danvers, October 15, 1866, Eliza Sutton presented a letter to the Peabody Institute Library's trustees offering $20,000 to create the Eben Dale Sutton Reference Library. Her donation built more than a memorial for her deceased son, Eben Dale. It allowed for the expansion of the Peabody Institute and for the creation of a reference library which went on to house books of "enduring value."
The tower addition was designed by Boston architect Gridley James Fox Bryant. The addition extended the library by 46 feet and also added on the front portico which is still in existence. The three story tower had a separate entrance and was built of brick and brownstone to meld with the original library. The top floor gave a panoramic view of the town. In 1953, the third floor of the tower was removed.
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