The Stockton Room of the Nutley Public Library is named in honor of Frank R. Stockton (1834-1902), a writer who lived in Nutley during much of his adult life.

Stockton wrote realism and fantasy, science fiction and detective stories, children’s literature, and adult romances.  He was one of the most popular writers in nineteenth century America, and his books were respected by critics, librarians and reviewers.  His principal works include:  Rudder Grange; The Late Mrs. Null; The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine; The Dusantes; The Hundredth Man; Personally Conducted; The Merry Chanter; The Squirrel Inn; The Watchman’s Wife; and Pomona’s Travels.

One of his best known works is the short story “The Lady, or the Tiger?”.  Click on the link to read the story and experience the conundrum of whether the lady or the tiger came out of the chosen door.

The Stockton Room opened in 1942, part of the first expansion of the Carnegie building.      Originally designated as an intermediate department for students in seventh and eighth grade, it became the library’s meeting room upon completion of the 1989 library expansion.  A mural, painted by Ivan Stoppe of New York City, portrays the rolling countryside and winding river of Stockton’s story Rudder Grange with the two principal characters of the story in the foreground.

Sources consulted:

Garraty, J. A., & Carnes, M. C. (Eds.). (1999). Stockton, Frank Richard.  American national                   biography.  (Vol. 20, pp. 810-812).  New York, NY:  Oxford University Press.
Nutley Public Library, Nutley, New Jersey.  (1943, October).  The Pioneer, 7 (6).
Troy, A. (1961).  Nutley yesterday, today.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press.