Minnesota Public Libraries

Most of Minnesota's early twentieth-century library needs were filled by Carnegie grants. Still, some notable libraries have local roots and leanings. 
As postcards of these buildings are somewhat scarce (excepting Rochester), a further division is not imminent. Minneapolis and East Minneapolis have their own page.

Blue Earth

(L) Monochrome card; unknown maker. I believe the manufacturer is the same as the firm--possibly Massure--that produced the gaudily randomly tinted cards found for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
(R) 1905 card by E. Floe.

Part of the Traverse des Sioux Library System: the featured building may or may not be standing today.


Buhl claims to have "The Finest Water in America." Their library page doesn't show this magnificent ca. 1915 building, but does show the ornament, which is an eagle. Google Street View shows the entire building, which is an unusual orange brick.


L.L. Cook postcard, mailed in 1957. Its sender had beautiful handwriting, and casually mentions that Flo, their cook, was accompaning them.


Beautiful building in that corner lot/fan stack style. Still in use.

Unattributed photo postcard. Written on its reverse is:

This is the Publlic Library. Children's Room is now at the left of the picture. It is soon to be removed to the basement see left of picture.

The children's entrance will be under the main front steps on each side. There seems to be little light for the basement but there are also some at the back and other side so I believe it will be as pleasant as upstairs.

Cloquet (Shaw Memorial Library)

(L) Curt Teich 'C.T. American Art' postcard, mailed 1938.
(R) Monochrome card distributed by Olson's Photo Shop.

Replaced the prior building, burned in a 1918 fire. This building is now used as a museum.


 It's unclear from the card caption whether the building in the foreground housed both functions, or if the library was housed in the building in the background of this German imported card.

After 1897, it was both functions.

Thomas Scott Buckham Memorial Library

Buckham Library is still in use. This E.C. Kropp card has a goofy, somewhat obvious caption:

This is a Public Library, built by Mrs Buckham. and donated to the City, but called the Buckham Library.

No Kropp, Sherlock.


The ca. 1929 building, said to be either Deco or Greek-themed, is still in use and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Still in use.

This photographic multiview card was never mailed. It seems to have lost its corners to a postcard album.

International Falls

Still in use.


This 1948 Curt Teich linen finish card is a close cousin to the large letter postcards of the era. Some Teich motel postcards are also stylistically similar. The library is in the right inset, and is vaguely Deco in design.
The rest of the card features a view down a railroad bridge.

Le Roy

It took some time to figure out that this was a Minnesota card, not New York or Illinois. It was built in 1916 through the efforts of LeRoy's Ladies Book Club. The Georgian Revival building is still in use with a small addition.


Unattributed card.

Le Sueur

Annotated 1939 by the original collector.


The Carpenter Gothic wood building has a sign designating it as the Mayo Home. Mercifully, the library has moved on to more appropriate quarters, and the Mayo Home has gone back to being a monument.


I hope they treat for termites.

Montevideo (Chippewa County Library)

This 1968 building replaced the Carnegie library. The Library website describes it as having a "Spanish flair." And yes, Mediterranean decor was briefly in vogue about that time. It is a handsome building.


Usually, L.L. Cook postcards are marked as such. This is not, but looks like one of the product line.


From images online, I can't tell if this Mid-Century Modern building is still in use. It also replaced a Carnegie building, which was demolished.


The Plastichrome card was made for the Independent News Agency of Moorhead.

North St. Paul

Currently, this area is served by the Ramsey County Library System. I do not believe this building is still in use.

The postcard was mailed in 1947.

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