Carnegie Libraries in Michigan
This Post Card to you dear friend
In place of a letter I send
What you may like better,
a fat newsy letter
To write before long I intend.
Much information came from a pleasant discovery, Terwilliger's Carnegie Libraries in Michigan, now offline. Other sources include various Waymarking.com pages and, of course, Bobinski's 1969 Carnegie Libraries.
Carnegie funded libraries are featured on this page, with the exception of Detroit's branch libraries, for which records are not entirely clear
(L) C.U. Williams postcard.
(R) Photo postcard with a newer fire station in the background, with a hose tower. There is also a US 223 route shield. The corner street sign shows E. Church.
The poetry card above also features the Adrian Carnegie Library.
1904 grant. Cornerstone laid in 1907. Opened in 1908. Closed in 1978.
Since 1980, in use as the Lenawee Historical Society Museum.
(How I adore the work of the members of Waymarking.com, whose site delivered this information.)
1903 grant, but finished in 1919. Therein lies a tale, about which I am ignorant. However, the resulting building, in what I call Midwestern School Style, didn't require an addition until 1975, and it's still in use.
I believe this to be an early Clear View card, but as its back is obscured by black album paper, I am uncertain.
(L) Early E.C. Kropp postcard.
(R) C.R. Childs postcard.
1913 Carnegie grant. 1986 expansion. Info courtesy of the Allegan District Library's web site (prior edition).
In 2009, we visited Allegan, and I insisted on stopping and photographing its library.
No one seemed to be able to find a good angle from which to picture the library. I have three somewhat identical views, I regret to inform.
1903 grant, replaced in 1957. Incorporated into the UM campus. Demolished in 2007, except for its columns.
Armada Public Free Library established 1901. Late 1913 grant. Opened April 3, 1915. Expanded, 1984-5.
The 52-6 notation on the card does not mean the photograph was taken in 1952, as the photo card was mailed in 1941.
Postcards of the old Benton Harbor Carnegie library have a rather posed, but whimsical, charm about them. The card to the right also features the No. 2 Reserves. However, the band looks the most menacing of the bunch, especially the baritone sax player to the upper left. Any man who can march with that monster could conquer a small country.
1902 grant, demolished since.
It may be just as well. If you read the history of the Library on its web site, you'll learn that its precursor went up in flames. This building was hit by a car twice, one ending up in its childrens' room.
(I don't think the car on the card (L) was it.)
Finally, as the new library was being built in the 1960s, the old building's wall collapsed.
Both these cards have a certain informality about them, although the ladies in pink do look as if they're wondering where the bride went.
(L) Photo postcard mailed in 1948.
(R) Auburn Post Card, never mailed.
1916 grant. Still in use as a library.
(L) Early Wayne Paper Printing & Box postcard.
(R) Photo postcard.
1910 grant. Still in use as a library: along with Quincy, part of the Branch District Library, which begs the question:
Is this a Branch branch library?
Please stand up if you are the real Cadillac Carnegie building. The 1903 building now serves as the Wexford Historical Museum. The library is now known as the Cadillac Wexford County Public Library, and even has 4 branches, small they may be.
(L) The card is a local production by O.L. Yerty, who was also believed to be a healer, recorded on several sites related to the Church of God.
(R) C.R. Childs photo postcard, mailed in 1920.
1908 grant. Replaced in 1977, but still serves as a local history branch of the Cass District Library.
1907 grant. The card has a slight green tint in reality.
Replaced in 1967. It was sold, and demolished. The 1968 library was replaced in 2006, and resides in a building which resembles a hospital.
Positively exuberant masonery, both real and imagined.
The building now serves as a law office. The replacement library is huge!
1914 photo card by J.R. Johnson, who seems to be a better photographer than many.
Normally, L.L. Cook photo postcards are very attractive, but this photograph seems to have been taken at the wrong time of day.
The linen finish card is one of E.C. Kropp's finest.
1908 grant. Replaced with an attractive brick building that looks like a Carnegie building for the new millennium.
Today the Carnegie building also serves as office space, and may become a cultural center.
As the Detroit library system history is so complex, the Detroit library buildings, Carnegie and not, now have a dedicated page.
(L) Early E.C. Kropp postcard, never mailed.
(R) 1962 chrome postcard by Curt Teich, distributed by 'The Treasure House.'
Early 1903 grant.
A city subscription library predated the public library. This Carnegie-funded library is still in use.
(L) The card was made for F. S. B., whoever that was. It was mailed in 1920.
(R) L.L. Cook photo postcard shows a State Fair advertisement on the bicycle, and a tiny 'No Parking' sign near the tree.
Built in 1903. (No, not every Michigan Carnegie library was built in this year.) Dedomed in 1958. Still in use.
Late 1902 grant. Demolished sometime since then, probably in practice for demolishing the auto industry.
Why yes, I did see 'Roger & Me.' What made you ask?
To be fair, Flint still has public library service.