Carnegie Library-Dublin, Georgia
Posted by: Sprinterman
N 32° 32.321 W 082° 54.486
17S E 320817 N 3601752
Quick Description: Located at 311 Academy Avenue
Dublin, Georgia 31021
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 8:30:31 AM
Waymark Code: WM7V3G
Laurens County Historical Society and Museum are now located in this 1904 library building. The original grant for this building was $10,000.
ANDREW CARNEGIE'S GIFT TO LAURENS COUNTY
The educated people of Dublin began calling for the establishment of a library as early as 1885. No one stepped forward until Dr. J. B. Duggan, a former Confederate Surgeon, offered the first one hundred dollars for a public library on January 1, 1903. The City Board of Education appointed a committee to contact philanthropist Andrew Carnegie seeking his help in building the library. Carnegie agreed to give ten thousand dollars for the construction of the building. His gift was predicated on the condition that the city fund the library in the minimum amount of one thousand dollars per year. Hal M. Stanley, a member of the board of education, led the effort to convince the city to accept Carnegie's offer. Over the years Carnegie donated funds to build more than 2800 libraries throughout the world.
The city selected the firm of Bruce, Morgan, and Dillon to design the library. This same firm designed the courthouse built nine years earlier. The first order of business was to remove the old school and Masonic lodge from the triangular lot at the intersection of Bellevue and Academy avenues. The building was moved to the lot when the new school was constructed in 1902. Robinson's Well, the artesian well that satisfied many thirsts, was capped with layers of cement. The city hired John A. Kelley to construct the building. Kelley was a leading contractor of the period. Among his other projects were the Catholic Church, the Chautaugua Auditorium and the major renovations of the First Methodist Church. Kelley's bid, whether by accident or design, matched Carnegie's gift of $10,000.
Construction on the building began in the latter part of 1903. By May, the thirty two-hundred pound columns were hoisted into place. Annie Wallace, a professional librarian from Atlanta, advised the architect on the interior design of the building. The building was accepted in mid September of 1904. The opening was delayed several times until November 7, 1904. School and library board president Frank G. Corker, Annie Wallace, and three visiting Presbyterian ministers spoke to a capacity crowd. Mrs. E.J. Blackshear played the violin accompanied by Mrs. J.A. Peacock on the piano.
Strict regulations were placed on patrons of the new library. Anyone wishing to check out books had to make a written application attested to by two prominent citizens of Dublin. There were no fees to city residents but non residents were charged three dollars per year. The library began by opening six days per week from nine a.m. to nine p.m. with hour breaks for lunch and supper.
The initial collection of 300 books came from private donations. Judge Peyton Wade donated several hundred of his three thousand books. The contractor John Kelley joined Dr. Duggan in contributing two hundred dollars for new books. The city appointed Frank G. Corker (President), James S. Simons, Jr. (Vice President), J.E. Smith, Jr., H.M. Stanley (Secretary), A.R. Arnau (Treasurer), G.H. Williams, Peyton L. Wade, H.G. Stevens, and A.T. Summerlin to the Library Board of Directors. Emma Manning, the first librarian, resigned shortly after she was hired. Miss Lily Hightower was then elected and served for seventeen years.
One of the first fund raising events for the new Carnegie Library was held at the high school auditorium. Professor William Irving Fayssoux displayed his talents as a clairvoyant and physcic. The proceeds from the event went to the book fund of the new library. At three o'clock, Fayssoux blindfolded himself. He then drove madly and daringly over the main streets of Dublin. He promised the crowd that he could find a letter which had been hidden by a prominent Dublinite. Whether he actually found the letter remains a mystery, mainly due to the fact that half of the newspapers of the period are missing.
In March of 1905, the library set aside a section for the establishment of a war museum. The museum featured artifacts of the Civil and Revolutionary Wars along with some Indian relics. In 1912, a monument to the soldiers of the Confederacy was unveiled on the grounds. In the mid 1920's a holly tree was planted on the grounds. Today the tree, which has split into two trunks, serves as the community Christmas Tree which is lit annually to raise funds for the Pilot's Club Life Line project.
Everyone in Dublin was proud of their new library. One morning in June of 1912, Miss Lily Hightower was working in her office in the Carnegie Library when she decided to leave her chair for a few moments. All of a sudden a hundred-pound chunk of ceiling plaster fell directly on the chair recently vacated by Miss Hightower. The result was the pressed metal ceiling you see today in the library, now home of the Dublin- Laurens Museum.
The library continued to grow despite very few funding increases. In twenty years, the circulation had grown from three thousand books per quarter to eight thousand books per quarter. The first Laurens County Library was established in 1938. The ladies of the Parnassus Club sponsored a library for county residents. The library was located in the county office building on East Madison Street, which served formerly as the post office from 1912 until 1936. Virginia Graves served as the first and only librarian. After a few months of operation, the Laurens County Library merged with the Carnegie Library. County-wide service began with the help of the W.P.A. which funded a traveling librarian. The new service was made also made possible by funds from the Laurens County Commissioners and the County School Board.
Posted by Scott Thompson at 2:40 PM ("http://dublingeorgiaemeraldcity.blogspot.com/2009/08/carnagie-library.html" target="_blank">visit link)
Address of Library Building:
311 Academy Avenue
Dublin, GA USA
Current Use of Building: Laurens County Historical Society and Museum
Year Built (optional): March 27, 1903
Website about building: [Web Link]
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