The Story of the New Woodstock Free Library Window
Learn about the history
behind our library’s stained-glass window.
The Library’s new logo reflects the real stained-glass window (created by William and Marilyn Fais) which was installed in the building’s belfry in 1996.
William Fais moved to New Woodstock in 1985 from Ohio, where he had taught 6th-grade for 25 years. In addition to teaching, he had a wide variety of interests, including making violins, canoe building, and stained glass.
In 1996, when the Library moved to its current location at 2106 Main Street, many people in New Woodstock were donating their talents and skills to make the new building beautiful. William Fais thought the belfry window on the front of the building was ugly, so he decided to design a stained-glass window to fill the space.
The new window has four sections, with each centered around a different theme. The first panel shows children and the wonder of reading. It features a little girl reading to the Cheshire Cat. The scientific world is represented in the second panel. Einstein’s famous equation, mathematical symbols, and two quark symbols are all incorporated there. The third window panel features the world, the constellation Hydra, and a red apple to refer to Newton’s Law of Gravity. Outer space – the world beyond – is shown in the fourth window. The Sun’s corona, the Horsehead Nebula, and assorted stars fill the space. (The stars were faceted zircons from an old bracelet that belonged to Mrs. Fais’s mother.)
William and his wife Marilyn worked together in their garage during the summer of 1996 to complete the window. They started with a hand-drawn cartoon (a blueprint of the design) and eventually cut and ground 500 glass pieces to fit the window panels. Marilyn and William spent a lot of time deciding which piece of glass would be perfect for each specific spot.
On October 26, 1996, the installation of the window began. Gary Foster and William had to scale the belfry ladder, which was no easy feat. Then they had to remove a large beam in order to install the window. The job was made even harder by the fact that both men were looking at the back side of the panels during the installation. The job was completed by the inclusion of back-lighting, which was put in place by Gary.
Now the stained-glass windows are illuminated for us all to enjoy. Please take a few minutes to stop and take a look at this beautiful work of art. You may have to crane your neck, but it will be worth it.