Prominent grocer and druggist in Coldwater, Edwin R. Clark, donated the money to build this grand library. Constructed in 1886 the library has been a part of the community ever since. It reminds me of a great white castle with its turret standing tall on the corner of the building. An addition was added to the original building in 1979. Out front stands a historical marker declaring the beginning of the state’s Library Association. It reads:
The first formal step toward the founding of a state library association was taken by Mary A. Eddy, of the Coldwater Free Public Library in a letter to Henry M. Utley of the Detroit Public Library on January 13, 1891. They had discussed this matter at the 1890 meeting of the American Library Association in New Hampshire, A state association, they believed would be helpful to Michigan Librarians unable to attend national library conferences. Working closely with Lucy Ball, Grand Rapids Public Library, they awakened statewide interest and arranged the first Michigan meeting in Detroit, September 1, 1891. Mr. Utley became the association’s first president.
I am thankful we have such a wonderful library system in Michigan. If my local library in Saginaw does not have a book I need, I can request it from another library in Michigan. Even today with the internet, I still need to find information in books, and having the ability to access so many books is a blessing.
P.S. I also found this postcard of the library shortly after it was built and long before the addition was added in 1979. It must have been painted a different color before it was painted white.
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