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Unattributed postcard of Mitchell, SD's Carnegie library building

Carnegie Libraries
South Dakota

Statistics come from George S. Bobinski's Carnegie Libraries. Evelyn H. Schlenker's A History of the Two Carnegie Libraries in Vermillion, South Dakota has also been of great help. South Dakota had 25 Carnegie buildings.
Another good reference is the 1990 The Building of Carnegie Libraries in South Dakota by Susan Richards.

Aberdeen (Alexander Mitchell Library)

Built 1902, condemned in 1950. A floor collapse will do that to you. I would not have wanted to be on that salvage team!


The card (C.T. Photochrom) survived in much better shape.

How not to build a Carnegie library in Aberdeen, SD.
Britton, SD Carnegie library in end view on RPPC

Postcard is annotated, Library, Britton, S.D. S. Dak is legible on the postmark.

Britton received a 1914 grant. It opened in 1921, which piques my interest, and was torn down to accommodate school expansion. The new, early 21st Century, library is very utilitarian, but much larger.

Brookings, SD Carnegie library

1907 Carnegie grant. Now houses the Brookings Arts Council.


Card mailed in 1916. There have to be better cards of this building.


Late 1904 grant. Replaced; appears from photos online to be a day care center.

Canton, SD Carnegie Library

On this remarkably clear photo postcard, the tiny words 'Carnegie' and 'Library' flank the large PUBLIC LIBRARY over the entrance. So much for Brazil, Indiana's claim that they have the only Carnegie library with carved letters celebrating such.

It was mailed in 1945.

Deadwood, SD Carnegie library

Yes, it's that Deadwood.


1902 grant. Still in use.


Sometimes, with postcards, you take what you can get.
This was published for John 
Baggaley & Son of Deadwood, who seemed to dabble in several occupations.


1907 Carnegie grant. The Type A Classical Revival brick building was demolished in 1965.

Photo postcard of the Huron, South Dakota Carnegie building.

(L) Olin photo postcard.
(R) E.C. Kropp card.


Huron, SD Carnegie library

1906 Carnegie grant. The Type A Classical Revival building is still in use.

Madison, SD Carnegie library

(L) Postmarked 1911.

(R) Another 'Lithochrome' card, by the same folks (Chicago Collotype Co.) that brought you 'Sexichrome,' 'Octochrome,' and 'Commercialchrome' postcards.

Madison, SD Carnegie library

1905 grant. The building has an unusual L-shaped plan, which may be the only one in the state.

Replaced (1979) and the library was incorporated into the Grant County Public Library. 

Milbank, SD Carnegie library

(L) E.C. Kropp postcard for Clark's Variety Store of Milbank.
(R) Photo postcard, stamped but never mailed. Shows window details plus what looks like a livery barn in the background.

Milbank, SD Carnegie library

1902 Carnegie grant: replaced. Somehow this building seems just right in the hometown of the Corn Palace. Now, it is known as the Carnegie Resource Center, and is said to hold Corn Palace memorabilia. The building also houses a genealogical collection.

Mitchell, SD Carnegie library

(L) Rotograph card, mailed in 1905.
(R) Photo postcard, trademarked Co-Mo. This was the precursor to L.L. Cook.



Mitchell, SD Carnegie library

1903 grant; no longer in library use, since 1972. Richards stated (1990) that it serves as a juvenile detention center, which I find to be an ironic fate. Per Wikipedia, it burned in 1994, and its remains demolished in 1995.

1909 Johnson & Bordsco (or possibly Bordsea) photo postcard.

Pierre, SD Carnegie library
Rapid City
Rapid City, SD Carnegie library

1914 grant. Also replaced in 1972. Richards states that a design firm occupies the building today.


Bloom Bros. postcard, never mailed.

Redfield, SD Carnegie library

F.H. Packard postcard.


Dating from 1902, Redfield Carnegie Library is the oldest example in South Dakota that has been in continuous use. At one point, the City Auditor served as its librarian. Times are more properly professional now. 


Of course, it has had an addition or two.

Sioux Falls

S.H. Knox postcard, probably printed in the US.


1901 grant. Building replaced ca. 1973. 

In 2001, the red sandstone Carnegie building was renovated into the Carnegie Town Hall. Nifty reuse!

Sioux Falls' red sandstone Carnegie library building.
Sisseton, SD Carnegie library

1914 Carnegie grant. Building superseded, but barely extant. It had ochre-color bricks atop an attractive pink granite foundation. The current public library looks to date from the 1970s.

Bloom Bros. postcards are generally more attractive than this one, mailed in 1920 by Sophia Lobben, who was on a bad road trip.

Tyndall, SD Carnegie library in Prairie style

Late 1915 grant. This Prairie style building is still in use.


Card dated October 12, 1931. In case you're wondering what the notice says on the door, it's 'Rest Rooms.'


Vermillion, like many college towns, obtained a Carnegie grant for the city (1903), and for the university, which had lost its main hall and much of its library collection in an 1893 fire. The public library's architect was Joseph Schwarz, as was the university library architect, a nifty couple of jobs.

Today, the domed, granite public library building, with its addition, houses a law firm, but is still standing.

6 views of Vermillion, SD buildings. Library bottom center.

I'm uncertain how to attribute this slapdash multiview postcard. Its plate numbers suggest L.L. Cook.

(L) Multiview postcard of Vermillion's civic buildings.

(R) Enlargement of the bottom center Carnegie building.

Enlargement of photo card of the Vermillion Carnegie public library
Wagner, SD Carnegie library

1915 grant. Replaced. According to Richards (1990), this became a headquarters for the Scouts. The one photograph I've seen which postdates the article shows deterioration of the building.

The postcard, mailed in 1939, shows a downspout which fell off the gutter.


The entity is now known as the Watertown Regional Library. Since 1974, the 1906 Carnegie building houses the Codington County Historical Society.

Watertown, SD Carnegie library

(L) One of Curt Teich's 'American Art' postcard series.
(R) Sepia St. Paul Souvenir card.


Superseded in 1967.

Watertown, SD Carnegie library
Yankton, SD Carnegie library

1902 Carnegie grant. Standing, but superseded. It has had a humiliating remodel, which I believe involved decapitation. 


Sepia-toned card. The Library resembled that of Stevens Point, WI.

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