The Cabot Institute was an organization that had a large influence in the intellectual life of Cabotville (a historic area of Chicopee). A member list of one hundred and fifty names has been preserved, but this list is most likely incomplete.
The Cabot Institute was “ organized for mutual improvement ” and meetings were held weekly with a monthly paper or lecture given. The Cabot Institute reading room was “ open everyday except Sunday from nine o'clock in the forenoon until half past nine o'clock in the evening. ”
“ The institute owned a library of about nine hundred volumes. Books could be drawn every Wednesday and Saturday evening. Probably the privileges of the library and reading room were free to members of the institute who paid annual dues, but persons who were not members could use the reading room on payment of fifty cents per quarter. ”
John Wells was president of the Cabot Institute and his name at the head of any institution was a “ guarantee of its worth and efficiency. ” Shortly after his death, the library committee had an excellent portrait of Judge Wells painted.
Some other notable Cabot Institute members include: