Mary Willis Library – Washington, Georgia - Atlas Obscura

Mary Willis Library

Washington, Georgia

The first free library in Georgia features an original Tiffany stained glass window of Mary Willis. 

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Constructed around 1888 out of red brick in the popular Victorian Queen Anne style, the Mary Willis Library was a gift given to the city of Washington, Georgia in memory of Dr. Francis T. Willis’s daughter Mary.

The library features ornate brickwork and a stately dome-capped tower. However, it’s the breathtaking Tiffany stained glass windows inside the library that set this otherwise humble building apart from others. 

The Tiffany windows were designed to commemorate Mary Willis and were crafted at the Tiffany Factory in New Haven, Connecticut. Also available to view inside is the personal collection of Dr. Willis, which includes rare books covering local history, lost authors, genealogy, and archives of various Washington city newspapers.

Among the array of historical artifacts and information, there is also a chest that is said to have held the famed “Confederate Gold.”

Know Before You Go

This is still an active library, and library manners should be utilized.