THROW BACK THURSDAY: Before the Culver library, circa 1910

By: 
Jeff Kenney
Citizen editor

In honor of the ongoing observation of the Culver Public Library's centennial celebration, here's a rare look at the site of the Carnegie library building of 1915...before 1915.

Specifically, the site of the original library is visible in this photo in the circled area, with a pine tree protruding. It may be hard to make out, but there is a small structure there, apparently the log cabin that early reports of what sat on the site mention (for our more in-depth look at the evolution of the property itself, see http://www.thepilotnews.com/content/if-these-walls-could-talk-107-n-main-st).

Two very visible landmarks here include, further back, the original frame structure under the facade of today's First Farmers Bank, at Main and Jefferson Streets. The church in the foreground was the Methodist Episcopal Church at Main and Washington, site of today's northern expansion of the library itself (more on that church, which was first built at the site in 1868 and replaced in 1898, and demolished in 1955, can be read here: http://www.thepilotnews.com/content/if-these-walls-could-talk-109-n-main-st).

It's unclear how long the cabin structure in the photo stood on the site and when it was removed, but in 1914, the land was sold to the library, which was securing a grant from the Carnegie corporation for its new building to open the following year. There was something of a battle in the late 1990s over whether to keep the old Carnegie building, but the decision to do so has resulted in Culver's to be one of the few still-functioning Carnegie library buildings left in Indiana, something the library plans to celebrate in style on June 6, with a parade, speakers, and more.

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