In 1870, General Sylvanus Thayer made a proposition to the Town of Braintree for the construction of a fireproof building to be used as the public library. He asked the town to contribute $10,000, the remainder to be given by him. General Thayer died before plans could be worked out, but the executors of his will carried out the General’s wishes. $20,000 was used for the erection of the building, and $10,000 was also left by General Thayer to provide a permanent fund for the upkeep of the library.
The library was dedicated June 4, 1874, and was opened to the public in September of that year, serving as the town library for 79 years. The building is now the home of the Braintree Water Department.