The Friends of Port Elgin Branch Library are inviting everyone to explore the 110-year story of this grand historic Carnegie library at a birthday celebration, Saturday, December 1st from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Built in 1908, the original Andrew Carnegie Library has been designated an historic heritage building. Located on the site of what was once the ‘Royal Hotel’ on Goderich Street in Port Elgin, it cost $8,000 to construct and operated as a stand-alone library until 1967 when it became part of the Bruce County Library Co-operative.
Over its 110-year history, the building has been far more than a library. During war-time, it became a recruiting station where young men signed up for the 160th Bruce Battalion, early town councils utilized it for meetings, it was often a concert and lecture hall and, today, it offers a wide variety of activities for both adults and children, such as craft courses during school vacations.
Highlights of the birthday party will include displays depicting the Library building, staff, former board members, and businesses in the neighbourhood 110 years ago. The Friends will offer children an opportunity to take part in a guessing contest the same as a nearby jeweller held in 1908. It will be a time for library users to share memories and birthday cake too.
Did you know the first librarian in the Carnegie-funded building was Miss Flora MacKay from Bruce Township?
Did you know at one time the Library was where people of Port Elgin got their drivers’ licences?
There are many more interesting bits of the Library’s story to discover!