South Windham History

Guilford Smith Memorial Library, May 8, 1931.


Charles Smith bought this land from Elisha Holmes (who lived in the red brick house across the street) when he was 30 years old and built this home in 1836. In 1838, Charles Smith and Harvey Winchester, a blacksmith who lived next door, were employees of Spafford, Phelps and Co. The two men bought the company, the buildings and the patents. They changed the shop to Smith, Winchester & Co. which was the first successful producer of paper making machinery in the country. 100 people were employed at Smith and Winchester. The company eventually made parts for paper cutters and paper bags.

Guilford Smith was born in 1839 in this home built by his father. He was the  only son of Mary Abbe and Charles. He had a sister, Mary. He was first married at age 24 in 1863 to Mary Ramsdall and then Anna Paton. He had no children. He managed and owned the company until his death in 1923. He donated money for a library to be established in South Windham in the family homestead. The library opened in May 1931.