The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., February 19, 1913, page 1

E.L. Smith Property Is Offered for $16,000, or a Tier of Lots for $4,000. - City Council Will Probably Submit It a Special Election - Step Is Heartily Favored By local Citizens

     A move has been started looking towards the purchase by the city of the E.L. Smith block between Oak and State streets to serve as a site for the new Carnegie library and also for a public park and playground.
     The movement in this direction was brought about by the announcement that the present site for the library is inadequate. This site includes the street which formerly passed through the Smith property and adjoining State and Oak streets. It is, however, only 40 feet in width and this has been declared insufficient.
     A committee was appointed by the city council last week to investigate the matter and to find out if some more of the Smith property adjoining the site could be purchased. This committee interviewed E.L. Smith, who represents himself and the heirs. He stated that they would probably be willing to sell either a tier of four lots adjoining the present site or else the entire block. The four lots would cost $4,000, while the entire block could be secured for $16,000, which is felt to be reasonable.
     The property is ideally located for a library and park site. In the center of the city and on two of the main streets, it would be most convenient. At the same time the property is ornamented by many stalwart oaks, almost the sole relics of the oak groves which formerly occupied the townsite.
     The proposition is meeting with the support on the part of those citizens who have been informed of this opportunity. The city has long felt the need of a public park and this site is declared to be the only one which would fully meets all requirements. The chance to purchase it upon favorable terms at this time is look upon as most opportune.
     That matter was submitted at a special meeting of the Commercial Club Monday afternoon. President W.L. Clarke of the club said that he esteemed it a splendid opportunity and one which the citizens of Hood River should not neglect. He said it had been suggested that the club make some expression upon the matter.
     Several present expressed themselves as heartily in favor of the proposition. Among these were C.A. Bell, J.H. Heilbronner, Charles Hall, J.M. Schmeltzer, C.D. Nickelsen and Newton Clark. The last named made it a motion that the city council be urged to call a special election and submit the proposition to the people.
     County Judge Castner explained briefly the county's attitude in the matter. Carnegie will give $17,500 for the library building upon the understanding that an annual appropriation be made of $1,750 a year for maintenance. Under the arrangement first contemplated the county was to provide two-thirds of this amount and the city the balance. This arrangement was not satisfactory to the Carnegie fund commission, however, and the county will assume the entire obligation. Under these circumstances it is deemed reasonable that the city should make the additional outlay for providing an adequate site. The latter can be secured, it is stated, upon easy terms so that the burden will fall very lightly upon the taxpayers.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., February 20, 1913, page 1

The Smith Block Is Favored
Reliance Company Begins Construction of Water System - Jail Improvements Asked For.

     While the committee appointed a week ago by Mayor Blanchar, composed of J.P. Lucas, Councilman J.M. Schmeltzer and Councilman A.C. Staten, recommended that the city purchase the Smith block, on which is located the home of E.L. Smith, it also asked that the council take up no action on the resolution for a week, in order that the trend of public sentiment can be more deeply sounded. The members of the committee met with Mr. Smith last week in an endeavor to get some expression from him as to a sale of the portion of the lot adjoining that already secured through the efforts of the Woman's club. Mr. Smith made an offer of the portion of the lot for the sum of $4,000 or the whole of it for $16,000. The committee favored the purchase of the entire block for the library site and for city park purposes. However, time is wanted that means of financing the purchase may be discussed. It has been suggested that the plan of making the purchase by a bond issue be placed before the citizens at a special election.
     Another offer of a suitable library site was placed before the council. Charles T. Early offers his property across State street from the Smith block, for the sum of $7,500.
     Marshal Robert T. Lewis reported Monday night that the city prison was very inadequate. He states that more room is needed. The police and printing committee was instructed to confer with the county court in an effort to secure their cooperation in building suitable city and county prison. Heretofore all county prisoners have been taken to The Dalles for safe keeping.
     By action taken by the council Monday night, bids will be advertised for on the head works and reservoir of the new municipal water system. The total cost of both works, according to estimates of Consulting Engineer Taylor, of Portland, should not exceed $15,000. The reservoir will be constructed on the Hansberry property on the Heights. This was purchased for this purpose several years ago.
     Hugh Smith has been appointed inspector of the pipeline construction. Mr. Smith is the superintendent of the water system and should be well acquainted with the needs of the city. The Reliance Construction Co., which has the contract for laying the pipe, began work Tuesday with a crew of 36 men. All the workmen are local residents.
     The city will soon be better lighted. The Hydro-Electric Co. yesterday began work on the installation of the lights to be furnished under the recently signed contract. Lights will be placed on Oak, State, Eugene, Hazel, May, June, Pine, Wilson, Union, Taylor and B streets and on Cascade, Sherman and Montello avenues.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., March 12, 1913, page 1


     A special election is to be called by the city council to vote on the library proposition. At the meeting Monday Councilman Staten made the motion that the judiciary committee be directed to take the necessary steps towards calling such an election to give the council authority to purchase a library site. At the present time the charter places strict limitations upon the council's power and it has no authority to purchase such as site.
     No conclusion has been reached as to the exact amount of additional land which would be purchased, but 40 to 50 feet will probably be necessary in order to provide a suitable site for the library and this would also give room for a small city park.
     A petition was circulated Monday asking that the site for the library be secured on the county court house grounds. This petition has been held up, however, following the action of the council Monday and will be withheld to await withheld the action of the citizens at a special election.
     The ordinance calling for pavement of the business streets was passed and bids were let on March 24.
     The contract for construction of balance of the water system was let. Five bids were received. The contract for Division 2, which includes the headworks, was awarded to Gibish and Joplin of Portland. Their bid was $2,946. The contract for Division 5, which includes the reservoir, was awarded to E.O. Hall, whose bid was $11,220.
     Citizens in Clark's Addition petitioned to have a water main laid on Union Avenue to connect with the one on Wilson street. Residents in Stranahan's Third Addition past for a water main on Fifteenth street.
     A petition was received asking for opening of C Street from Thirteenth street westward.
     Residents in Winans' Addition asked for the creation of a sewer district there.
     A street light at the corner of Prospect and Eighth streets was asked by the residents in that section of the city.
     Architect R.R. Bartlett recommended that the city, instead of erecting a 30-foot fire bell tower on the Odd Fellows Building, erect a 60-foot tower on the city's property adjoining, reporting that the latter could be done at less expense.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., March 13, 1913, page 9


     Miss Lottie Kinnaird has been appointed by the board of trustees of the library to the position of assistant librarian. Miss Kinnaird has served an apprenticeship in the local library for the past six months and is well versed with the work of a librarian and the needs of the local institution.
     Transients, who may be residing in this city, may make use of the library, if they deposit with the librarian a dollar, to be returned when they leave, if they do not violate the rules of the institution. These visitors may also make use of the library through the introduction and guaranty of friends.
     Non residents may enjoy the library privileges by the payment of a yearly fee of $1.50. This rule was made that the Underwood and people of other neighboring towns might use books from here.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., March 19, 1913, page 1


     Notwithstanding the fact that two important events occurred the night before, a large number assembled at the opening of the Parkdale branch library on Saturday morning. Miss Northey, the county librarian, instructed the ladies who have volunteered to act as librarians for the ensuing year in library management and advised them not to receive any literature that would lower the tone of the community.
     A great many books were received as a nucleus for a permanent library and a number loaned with promises of many more from people who could not attend the opening meeting.
     The community is indebted to Miss Mary Allen, M.O. M.O. Boe and C.E. Craven for their untiring efforts in securing this needed institution and also to the ladies who have kindly consented to act as librarians during the year.
     During the day the library was well patronized and a great many took advantage of the writing desks, with which the room is numerously provided, to write letters while they sipped their tea.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., March 26, 1913, page 3


     Twice the past week every chair in the library has been occupied and boys have set in the windows.
     The books on street paving have not been on the shelf since they were brought to the notice of the City Council and others interested.
     Material on road building is popular just now. Anticipating this demand, your librarian sent available material, much of which could be had for the asking.
     Gardening, poultry and bee books are much in demand since the harbingers of spring are here.
    The first month of opening the per centage of fiction read was 89 percent. The last month it was only 51 percent.
     Bulletins in the window each week advertise certain books of interest. Watch these from time to time for popular non-fiction books.
     Many who come to the library would be surprised at the number of men who are at the reading tables during the day and evening. Here they may find the excellent magazines, the local papers and the Oregonian.
     It is really surprising how popular the library is with the school children when we have no facilities for carrying on children's work. A room where the children can go and not feel that they are in the way for lack of room is sadly needed in our library.
     If you are interested along certain lines let your librarian now. We may have just what you want. If not we may be we may be able to get it.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., March 27, 1913, page 8


     At a recent meeting of the library board at which Miss Cornelia Marvin, secretary of the Oregon Library Commission was present, it was decided to carry on a question box in one of the local papers. Everyone is requested to bring questions about the library and the library building to the librarian or any member of the library board. If any question cannot be answered locally it will be referred to headquarters.
     The following questions have already been asked:
     Q. -- Who constitute the library board?
     A. -- There are nine members. Six, one of which is a member of the city council, are appointed by the mayor of the city. The county court, consisting of the county judge and two commissioners are members ex-officio and have the same responsibilities and voting powers as the other members.
     Q. -- Is it a city or county library?
     A. -- It is a county library. It began as such and has continued as such. It has the official name, Hood River County Library.
     Q. -- Must the land upon which the building may be built be deeded to the Carnegie Corporation?
     A. -- No. The deed of the land must be in the name of the party that accepts the gift.
     Q. -- What does Mr. Carnegie require when he gives a gift of money for a library building?
     A. -- He requires from the party that except the gift an agreement to provide at least one-tenth the amount of the gift each year for the maintenance of the library.
     Q. -- Are there any other strings besides this?
     A. -- There are no other strings of whatever.
     Q. --If for any reason the county may at some time be absolutely unable to meet the requirements, would the building and the site revert to the Carnegie Corporation?
     A. -- It would not. There is no penalty attached to the agreement. It is simply a moral obligation, not a legal one.
     Q. -- Do the plans for the proposed building have to be accepted by the Carnegie Corporation?
     A. -- Yes, the sketch plans do. If they are not accepted they are returned with suggestions for their improvement. This is done simply to insure a wise use of the gift money.
     Q. -- Does Mr. Carnegie appoint the architect?
     A. -- No. He does not even suggest a certain architect.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 2, 1913, page 1


     In order that all may vote intelligently upon the library proposition to be submitted at a special election Thursday, April 10, a mass meeting will be held next Tuesday evening, April 8, at the Commercial Club. Mayor E.O. Blanchar will preside. All legal voters, women as well as men, are invited to the meeting. There will be a number of speakers and complete information will be given concerning the purpose of the election and the intentions of the library committee.
     The election will be held with a view to amending the city charter so as to authorize the council to incur an indebtedness not to exceed $7000 for library and park purposes. Figures have been compiled which show that the burden to the individual taxpayer would be small. The assessed valuation of Hood River City it is 2,050,550. The additional tier of lots would cost $4,000. The cost per $1,000 of assessed valuation, if paid for in cash, would be 19½ cents. If bonded for it would cost less than one and one-fifth cents a year.
     The Woman's Club, which has been active in working for the library and park, is planning an active campaign and it is believed that public sentiment will prove overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 2, 1913, page 7


     Since the library was opened at Parkdale recently a number of generous gifts have been received and word has just been received that Mrs. Dr. Welty of Portland has given 100 volumes. Miss Simmons of Brooklyn, who is interested in the Upper Valley, has given a box of the books and these are now on the way. Eugene Euwer has loaned ten volumes of Washington Irving for the use of the library and also files of the National Geographic Magazine covering the past two years. Other contributors have included Miss Mary Allen, J.W. Simmons and Frank L. Keating. A number of others have kindly promised additions to the library and there are already something over 200 volumes. Twenty-four ladies have offered to take their turn as librarian. Mrs. Puddy and Mrs. Hann have been in charge during the past two weeks.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., April 3, 1913, page 10


     Do you know that the library is free to all residents of the county?
     Do you know that the library has books on the vegetable gardening, flower gardening, road building, street paving, building of country homes, landscape gardening, birds, flowers and bees, photography and nature study?
     Do you know that the library has a telephone and that the number is 2022?
     Do you know that books may be reserved and renewed by telephone?
     Do you know that all kinds of information may be asked by phone and that the answers will be given in the briefest time possible?
     Do you know that the library receives forty current periodicals each month?
     Do you know that any except the current number of these magazines may be borrowed from the library for a period of seven days?
     Do you know that the librarian wishes to know your special interests and fads so that books of interest to you may be provided?
     Do you know that Hood River county library belongs to you and that your interests are the interests of your librarian?

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., April 3, 1913, page 10


     In view of the fact that the citizens of this city will soon vote on the proposition of an amendment to the city charter whereby bonds to the extent of a sum not to exceed $7000 maybe issued for the purpose of obtaining a site for the Carnegie library building, the sum of $17,500 having been appropriated by the Carnegie commission for the purpose of erecting a building, a budget of the expenses of the library at the present time that will be received with interest. All items of expense of the institution are given below:

County budget
Appropriation two-tents of a mill, approximately $2000.

Traveling expenses and transportation......75
Printing and supplies.....................150

City Budget
Appropriation $850


The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 9, 1913, page 4


     Hood River is to vote tomorrow on the library proposition. Citizens may vote in favor of the library by casting their ballots in favor of the charter amendment. As has been stated frequently, this amendment would give the council power to contract an indebtedness not to exceed $7,000 for library purposes. A subsequent election would then have to be held to vote bonds or otherwise provide for raising the money.
     Those who have been working in behalf of the library have this week carried on a campaign, not for votes, but a campaign of education. They are convinced that if the people fully understand the proposition they will vote in favor of it and the News believes that they will. No community which claims to be progressive can afford to be without a well equipped public library and park.
     Every indication is that the proposition will carry almost unanimously. It was to have been expected that a few would oppose it and such has been the case. Their only argument against it, however, is on the score of expense. It must be admitted by all, however, that this is small in comparison to the benefits to be expected. When distributed pro rata it is almost negligible. Certainly it is it is not sufficient to create any material opposition and Hood River would not be true to their reputation as a progressive, intellectual and up-to-date community if her citizens failed to pass favorably upon the proposition to be submitted at tomorrow's election.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., April 10, 1913, page 1

Mass Meeting Is Well Attended
Citizens Urged to Vote for Charter Amendment - Qualifications of Electors Explained

     If but an atom of enthusiasm that prevailed at the mass meeting of men and women at the Commercial club Tuesday night prevades the atmosphere today, the special election will result in an amendment to the city charter, and the city council will be enabled to proceed to secure a suitable site for the county library. The assembly room of the Commercial club was well filled Tuesday evening when Mayor Blanchar called the meeting to order. A limit of ten minutes was placed on the time to be consumed by speakers and Secretary Scott, of the Commercial club, was made referee.
     Prof. J.O. McLaughlin, a principal of the city schools, and secretary of the library board, was the first speaker. Prof. McLaughlin told in a general way the way moneys for libraries were expended. "The success with which the local institution has already met is impressive," he said. "They have found that we need books. The library was opened six and one-half months ago. During the two weeks of September 395 books were distributed. Now, with the branches established in the valley, we are distributing each month 2200 books. There are 977 borrowers in this city now. The money appropriated by the Carnegie corporation was based on the population of the county.
     J.E. Robertson, the councilman who is a member of the library board, next took the floor. "I believe in a library for the community," said Mr. Robertson. "The time is ripe for the establishing of such an institution. And it appeals to our pride that we should have a commodious site for the building. The problem as to the financing by the council caused us to devote a great deal of thought as to the best way to work out a means of securing the money. Some of us thought that the more provisions our charter contained for the issuing of bonds, these bonds would be just that much less desirable to purchasers. However, we have included a provision in the proposed amendment to the charter, that the council can only spend a sum not to exceed $7,000 for the purchase of the library or park property. When this is exceeded, the matter will again have to be put up to a vote of the people. Some have been heard to say that the taxes are high and times are hard, but the tax, if $4000 cash were paid for the lot that is thought best to buy, would be only 19½ cents on each $1000 of assessed valuation in the city. The price of the lot offered the city is considered very reasonable."
     Mrs. R.D. Gould, chairman of the Woman's club committee, told of how the women have always desired to secure a library for the city and how they had worked to secure the vacated street property. "We had two things in view," she said. "We wanted the library and we wanted to save the handsome oak trees there. The women spent $90 last year in improving the property. We think the time is opportune to secure the additional property and to make it a beautiful site for our library. If we do not do this a change may take place in the ownership of the property. We may have a Japanese laundry there, and the oaks may be cut up into stove wood."
     Mrs. W.W. Remington stated that she spoke as a newcomer. "Hood River is noted for its beautiful scenery. There is no more beautiful place in the world for a library," she said, "and the institution is a gem that has been offered us. All we have to do is rear the prongs of a setting and secure it for ourselves." Mrs. W.H. Lawrence called attention to the fact that we did not need the library for the fiction that we might obtain there. "We want it for reference books. And furthermore we want a safe place. When we send our children for books we want to know that they will be safe. The site that is proposed is in a centrally located in a quiet community. If the library were located on the county property how do we know but that our children might in their journeys to and from the place come in contact with the men and women called to the courthouse to trial or as witnesses? We need to establish the library here among our oaks and make it another rich asset for Hood River county."
     Rev. J.R. Hargreaves told the people that they would not miss the $4,000 asked for the site. "We pay the teachers of our schools, for we want good instructors. Well, our librarian is a professor of reading. Her work is more important than that of any other teacher or preacher in the city," he said, "don't let us have to regret in after years that we have failed to secure a suitable place and adequate room for our library."
     Rev. B.A. Warren, rector of the Episcopal church of The Dalles and president of the library board there, and who during his preparation for the ministry had 10 years of experience as a librarian, said: "Give your public institutions room to grow. Because we are a small community does not keep us from needing books any more so than if we were a large center." Mr. Warren told that the Carnegie corporation had no strings on the site secured for the building. "I had always thought he required that the name 'The Carnegie Library,' be placed across the front of the building but I was down at Salem recently and I find that over the door there appears the name, 'The Salem Public Library.'"
     Mrs. J.E. Ferguson, of Odell, who has taken an active part in securing the branch library at Odell, told of the work of the women in that district. "We have 112 people making use of our library now," said Mrs. Ferguson. She told her listeners that the plans to secure the oak covered lot were worthy. "We want to make Hood River valley the garden spot of America. We want to get more tourists. I wonder what the people of southern California would give to have such natural assets as we are possessed of here?"
     Truman Butler next took the floor and made the motion that the city take proper steps to secure a libraries site. The opportune motion was carried without a dissenting vote.
     Following this a number of short speeches were made and questions asked relative to the coming election. Prof. McLaughlin told of how the library would benefit the pupils of the high school and grammar grades of the city and county. "A class at the Park street school has done more and better work than any other in this city this year -- and not by the use of text books, but by the reference books in the library," he said. "The boys and girls have taken trips to China and Japan, and in such a way that they will remember the trip. I wish you could read some of the papers they have written."
     At the election today any citizen, whether he be a property holder or not, has the privilege of voting. Any citizen of the United States who has been in Oregon for six months or in this city three months is a qualified elector at today's election.
     Before the meeting closed Rev. E.A. Harris urged that the people consider the benefits of the library and the necessity of having a proper location for it.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 16, 1913, page 4


     It is true that there is no good crying over spilt milk but the News cannot refrain from expressing regret that the library proposition was defeated Thursday. Those who have been working for many months past in behalf of the Hood River library were sorely disappointed. They had spared no efforts and were hopeful that the people of the city were in sympathy with them.
     We believe it was unfortunate that the other issues were injected into the election which should not have belonged there. It is natural, for example, that all should wish to see the public building of this kind located in their part of the city, but this consideration should not have entered have entered into Thursday's election. To inject it meant that much would be lost and nothing gained. Many opposed it for economy's sake, but we are convinced that it was short-sighted economy and that the bigger, better and more attractive site would have meant more in dollars during the years the years that are to come than the comparatively small amount saved.
     Those who are working for the library are disappointed; they are sorry that the matter was not so plainly understood that all would have voted in favor of it. But they are ready to abide cheerfully by the results and to prosecute plans for the library and to make it the very best that can be secured under the circumstances.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 16, 1913, page 4


     The library measure submitted at the election Thursday was defeated. The proposition involved the amendment of two sections of the charter and both of them lost by a narrow margin. On the first amendment there were 250 for and there were 260 against. On the second there were 235 for and 254 against.
     The proposition submitted was in substance whether or not the city should acquire an additional 50-foot strip for the site of the $17,500 Carnegie Library and to serve as a city park.
     As shown by the figures, there was a large vote out, both men and women taking an active interest. There was considerable campaigning going on all day about the streets.
     Defeat of the measure does not mean that Hood River will lose the library, but it does mean that it will in all probability be located on the 40-foot strip instead of having the more adequate grounds and more attractive site which would have been secured had the measure passed.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., April 17, 1913, page 6


     Such was the reversal of opinion after the result of the election last Thursday became known that there was urgent request by taxpayers that certain statements being made through the local papers and that there be renewed efforts to secure the additional ground for the library site. Therefore the following facts are stated as plainly as possible.
     The county commissioners have practically accepted the gift of $17,500 from the Carnegie Commission, awaiting only the decision of site. That is not the question.
     The library has been and will be run by the county and city tax already decided upon and the expenses of running the building will be no more in one location then another. This is not the question at present.
     Where it the $17,500 building to be placed? The county commissioners, with whom the decision lies, stated they would accept the site 60x200 feet (20 feet off for road) offered by the city, and the present city park, so the library will be put there unless something better is offered. It is possible to put a good building on such a strip of ground and far better to do so than to lose the gift. But have you considered what it would mean?
     An architect would be hampered in design for beauty and usefulness, the building would be low instead of on high ground; there would be practically no lawn; high buildings might at any time cut off light and air; the views from the building and the views of the buildings would be spoiled.
     With a public park surrounding a beautiful building erected where it would be easy access from two streets would be an object of pride to ourselves and of admiration to strangers. Our valley friends, who are joint owners, in this gift, would feel amply grateful to have it so located that they might find rest and comfort inside and outside.
     Can we afford to lose the opportunity to secure a proper site and a gift of $20,500, including building and park? Time presses, the present site will be forfeited unless used by October. Carnegie Commission must not be kept waiting. A new building said the under roof by Sept. 15.
     What can be done? Four thousand dollars in cash would secure 50x200 feet of ground adjoining the present site, making 90x200 feet available for building and park. This ground has beautiful oak trees and a view of mountains and river. The fact that business is in an unusually depressed state has been studied but this seems a proposition which cannot be turned down without great loss. Would it not be reasonable to consider some plan by which every citizen would be able to have a share in purchasing this ground? If $4000 for 50 feet cannot be secured, 25 feet at $2000 would be a wonderful help. If even that is beyond our power at this time, buy less, but have the building placed in such a position that it will be most available and have the right setting. If such a plan is offered every citizen should give it careful consideration. Library Committee.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 23, 1913, page 1


     So many are the expressions of interest on the part of the citizens of the Valley and city that the library committee of the Woman's Club hopes soon to announce the purchase of 25 feet additional land on the E.L. Smith property. All that remains is to transfer the goodwill of the citizens into dollars and cents and this is being done this week by many determined women. This additional piece of land will be given to the city.
     A most generous gift has already been made of $800 which consists of $200 apiece from Mrs. W.M. Stewart, Mrs. J.F. Watt, Mrs. O.J. Nelson, Mrs. Elmor Rand, given in honor of their father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Smith. This assures immediate success. This money is given with the exception that the Woman's Club will raise no less than $1200, which together with the $800 will make possible of the purchase of the 25 feet.
     The hope is that as many as possible will give $25, or $10 or $5, but it ought to be remembered that smaller amounts are as essential to success as the larger sums. We wish every man, woman and child in the county might have a share in the community site if only to the amount of 25 cents. Any sum is welcome. Those wishing to help are asked to bring or send their contributions to the library and obtain receipts. The campaign closes May first.
     In a letter sent by Judge Castner to the Woman's Club the statement is made that the county commissioners agree to place the Carnegie Library Building on the present site of 40 feet or any additional adjacent ground that may be purchased.
     Here is a splendid project nearly completed and it awaits only the prompt action of interested citizens.


The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., April 24, 1913, page 3


     So many are the expressions of interest on the part of the citizens of the valley and city that the library committee of the Woman's club hopes soon to announce the purchase of 25 feet of additional land on the E.L. Smith property. All that remains is to transfer the goodwill of the citizens into dollars and cents, and this is being done this week by many determined women. This additional piece of land will be given to the city.
     A most generous gift has already been made of $800, which consists of $200 apiece from Mrs. W.M. Stewart, Mrs. J.F. Watt, Mrs. O.J. Nelson and Mrs. Elmer Rand, in honor of their father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Smith. This assures the immediate success. This money is given with the expectation that the Woman's club will raise no less than $1200, which together with the $800 will make possible the purchase of the 25 feet. The hope is that as many as possible will give $25, or $10, or $5, but it ought to be remembered that smaller amounts are as essential to success as the larger sums. We wish every man, woman and child in the county might have a share in the library site, if only to the amount of 25 cent. Any sum is welcome. Those wishing to help are asked to bring or send their contributions to the library and obtain receipts.
     The campaign closes May first. In a letter sent by Judge Castner to the Woman's club the statement is made that the county commissioners agree to place the Carnegie library building on the present site of 40 feet or any additional adjacent ground that may be purchased. Here is a splendid project nearly completed, and it awaits only the prompt action of interested citizens.

Committee of the Woman's Club.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 30, 1913, page 4


     Hood River can boast of many blessings and not the least of them is to be found in the energetic, public-spirited and persevering women who never tire in their work for civic development. They are now with demonstrating now this fact anew in their splendid work for the public library. They know no such word as defeat and although the library proposition lost at the election they were not discouraged but straightway set about over-coming the obstacle. They are convinced that the people of Hood River deserve and are entitled to secure a larger site for the $17,500 building and they have been canvassing the entire city for subscriptions. They have met with generous response and it is to the credit of the "man folks" that this is true. The new library building is going to have an ample site and is going to be a greater credit to the community as a result. The women of this city are deserving of much commendation for the work which they are doing in behalf of this importance enterprise.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., May 14, 1913, page 1


     Members of the Woman's club who set about raising $2000 for the additional library site have almost grasped success. They have secured assurances of more than $1900 and need only about $50 more to bring the amount up to the sum desired. They have been assisted by Odell and other sections of the county which will be been affected by the increased library facilities. Any persons who have not yet made contributions or any feeling able to give more than at first may do so by communicating with Miss Northey, county librarian, and such contributions will be thankfully received inasmuch as they will serve to bring the sum up to the $2000 mark it is hoped.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., May 15, 1913, page 3


     The work of the Woman's club in soliciting the funds for the additional ground for the library building site is drawing to a successful close. With subscriptions and pledges the amount now has reached $1913.50. Other amounts which will probably be given will bring this up to $1950, leaving $50 to be secured.
     On May 21 will be the last meeting of the Woman's club for this year and a strenuous effort is being made to complete this work by that date.
     The public is asked to consider this matter most earnestly. If no solicitor has called to ask you for a subscription be generous and send the sum to the library. All sums are thankfully received from 50 cents up. Anyone able to give a small amount only and feeling sensitive about sending it his name can send it "from a friend." The valley friends are responding finely.
     The selection of "the library park" for the celebration on July 4th indicates what the ground will mean to the city.
     The county court is busy in selecting the building committee and in closing the transactions with the Carnegie Commission, so it looks most favorable for early developments.
     As soon as possible a complete statement of the funds collected will be published in the local papers.

The Oregonian, Portland, OR., May 15, 1913, page 1

Work of Constructing Library Building to Begin Soon.

     HOOD RIVER, Or., May 14. - (Special) - Members of the Women's Club who set about to raise $2000 to buy property adjoining the vacated street secured by them for the site of the Carnegie library, after the citizens voted against a bond issue, have secured $1950 of this sum. Eight hundred dollars was given by the four daughters of E.L. Smith, Mrs. J.F. Watt, Mrs. William Stewart, Mrs. Elmer Rand and Mrs. O.J. Nelson. Dr T.L. Eliot, of Portland, was also a heavy subscriber to the fund.
     The work of constructing the library building soon will begin. The County Court has appointed the following on the building committee. Truman Butler, E.O. Blanchar, Miss Mary McLaren and Mrs. H.F. Davidson. Miss Della Northey was made secretary of the commission.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., May 21, 1913, page 4


     Hood River women, because of their energy and perseverance in securing money for the additional library site after it had been defeated by the opposition at the recent election, have come in for some very favorable mention. The following editorial appeared in the Oregonians the last of the week:
     The women of Hood River have proved that a stingy group of taxpayers cannot feel certain of keeping back improvements. A proposed bond issue to erect a Carnegie library was voted down at a recent city election, but the Woman's Club took the matter up and, without serious difficulty, raised this sum required by subscription. Some of the gifts were commendably liberal. It is mentioned for example that E.L. Smith's four daughters contributed $800.
     There is nothing in the way of civic improvement which an energetic and determined Woman's Club cannot accomplish if it takes hold in the right way. This lesson has been learned in many cities, both large and small, and others are rapidly learning it. Success in practical affairs has given the clubs an appetite to do more of the same kind of work, and we may expect to see them becoming more powerful everyday as factors in municipal government, the establishment of park and playgrounds systems, and so on. The old notion that a Woman's Club was an organization to study art out of encyclopedias and listen to essays on trashy novels has about vanished.
     The modern Woman's Club is an extremely practical and keenly active body. It is interested in art and literature, but in a thousand other subjects also. It is particularly interested in politics of the up-to-date variety. The women probably care as little as they ever did for that kind of politics which is concerned merely with putting one set of rascals out of office and another set in, but this is not the only kind. There is another which seeks to apply the principles of justice and common sense to the government of our cities, even to the government of the country.
     Women are emphatically creatures of common sense. In reality they are far less sentimental than men in relation to public business and far less liable to adhere to a political party on purely emotional grounds. At least such is the lesson we learned from their comparatively brief career with the suffrage. The increasing inclination of the women's clubs to plunge into politics means an influx of common sense where it is sadly needed.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., May 22, 1913, page 3

(From the Oregonian)

     The women of Hood River have proved that stingy group of taxpayers cannot feel certain of keeping back improvements. A proposed bond issue to erect a Carnegie library was voted down at a recent election city, but the Woman's club took the matter up and, without serious difficulty, raised this sum required by subscription. Some of the gifts were commendably liberal.
     It is mentioned, for example, that E.L. Smith's four daughters with some hald a dozen others contributed $800.
     There is nothing in the way of civic improvement which an energetic and determined woman's club cannot accomplish if it takes hold in the right way. This lesson has been learned in many cities, both large and small, and others are rapidly learning it. Success in practical affairs has given the clubs an appetite to do more of the same kind of work, and we may expect to see them becoming more powerful every day as factors in municipal government, the establishment of park and playgrounds systems, and so on. The old notion that a woman's club was an organization to study art out of encyclopedias and listen to essays on trashy novels has about vanished.
     The modern woman's club is an extremely practical and keenly active body. It is interested in art and literature, but in a thousand other subjects also. It is particularly interested in politics of the up to date variety. The women probably care as little as they ever did for that kind of politics which is concerned merely with putting one set of rascals out of office and another set in, but this is not the only kind. There is another which seeks to apply the principles of justice and common sense to the government of our cities, even to the government of the country.
     Women are emphatically creatures of common sense. In reality they are far less sentimental than men in relation to public business and far less liable to adhere to a political party on purely emotional grounds. At least such is the lesson we learned from their comparatively brief career with the suffrage. The increasing inclination of the women's clubs to enter into politics means an influx of common sense where it is sadly needed.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., June 4, 1913, page 3


     Although this is the period of greatest activity on the ranches, the circulation of books at the library is still increasing. There is scarcely a day in which there are not new registered borrowers.
     Believing that the library is not only a cultural institution, but that it should bring returns in dollars and cents to its users, the library is constantly adding to its collection books that can give the rancher and the business man definite help along their lines of work.
     Requests for the worth while books are frequently made and books are continually reserved and mailed to the different stations or to individuals. If to individuals the library pays postage one way, the individual pays return postage. The librarian is eager to make the library a living thing. Requests for such books are in line. If we haven't them on our shelves we will get them.
     Mothers' clubs have been organized in Odell and Oak Grove is next in line with one planned for the fall. The librarian has had the pleasure of furnishing books along certain lines of study.
     A reading hour is to be established at Pine Grove, Oak Grove and Mt. Hood. Programs for the summer are being made by the librarian and the work will be in charge of interested young women of the community. It is just such things as this that make the work of a librarian worth while.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., June 4, 1913, page 6


     A report made by the Woman's Club of collections made for the additional ground to be purchased for the Carnegie Library site shows that the desired amount -- $2,000 -- has been secured with $58.50 to spare. The club has worked hard in behalf of the fund and it is a pleasure to report their success in this public-spirited enterprise. The report follows:

Dr. Elliot.................................$100.00 
Japanese of Hood River.......................49.25
Hood River Heights..........................143.00
Business firms and downtown residents.......636.50
Odell and vicinity...........................67.50
East Side....................................29.50
State Road Fund..............................16.50
Amicus Club, East Side........................5.00
Mt. Hood Dramatic Club.......................25.00
Barrett District.............................22.00
Tuesday Evening Club.........................10.00
Property holders of living outside of city...20.00
Pledged for July or August..................100.00
1258.50 Given by daughters of E.C. Smith............800.00 Total.....................$2058.50

     If it is necessary to close the deal before the few outstanding pledges are paid the money will be advanced.
     As at least $100 will be needed to put the grounds in order after the building is completed it is hoped that $50 will yet be added to this fund.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., June 17, 1913, page 8


     The Carnegie library building, which is to be erected on the beautiful oak covered lot, a portion of Fifth street, which has been a vacated, and the east end of the Smith residence property, will be completed by the middle of September, before the fall rains begin, according to Miss Northey, librarian. The structure will be two stories in height. A portion of the lower story, on account of the excavation that will be necessary, will be basement. It will be built up red "Rug" brick and finished in grey sandstone. The dimensions are 56x68 feet, and the architecture chosen by the board is old English.
     The new building will be equipped conveniently throughout. The main floor will be taken up with receiving, reference, reading and children's rooms. On the other floor will be class and committee rooms, and an auditorium to seat 200 people, will be provided. It will have dressing rooms and will have an appropriate place for readings and lectures. The library building will also have a room for its country patrons, where the wives of the country orchardists may come for a rest when in the city.
     The bids will be opened on Thursday, July 24, and work should begin by the first of August.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., August 6, 1913, page 1


     At a meeting of the county library board Monday the contract for building the Carnegie Library was awarded to L.A. Woodard of this place, subject to approval by the Carnegie Corporation of the plans as revised.
     The sum bid, $15,000, provides for the building, the heating and plumbing systems and wiring. The rest of the fund of $17,500 will be used for shelving, furniture and the like. Work will be started as soon as final approval is received from the Carnegie Corporation, which has been requested to send approval by wire.
     The library building was designed by Sutton and Whitney, architects. In addition to being attractive to the eye it has been designed to embody the modern ideas in library construction. It will have two stories and the construction will be of Greendale Rug brick. This is a course, red brick which gives something to the effect of burned brick. It will have stone trimmings.
     There will be two entrances. The main one will be on State street and will be open into the second story, which will contain the library. The other entrance will be on the east side of the building and will open into the ground floor.
     The larger part of the ground floor will be taken up by the auditorium. This will have a seating capacity of about 150 persons. It will be equipped with stage and dressing rooms. On this floor also will be the county patrons' room, class committee, work and storage rooms for the librarian's use.
     The main entrance on the second floor will be at the corner of the building and from the lobby one can either go down stairs or into the main library room, which will occupy the entire second floor. The delivery desk will occupy the center of this room and will be divided off into sections. At the east will be the children's rooms and on the west the reading and reference rooms. The stack rooms will occupy the north portion of the floor and the librarian's room will be on the south side.
     Ample space is allowed in the plans for the growth of the next 10 or 15 years. The building is of the Old English style of architecture, with Gothic windows which will swing on pivots. In order to take advantage of the splendid view of river and mountains afforded from the north exposure of the building, a large window will be inserted, giving a clear view from the library room on the second floor.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., August 27, 1913, page 1


     There was a sound of rejoicing at the county library the first of the week when word was received from Carnegie approving the revised library plans and authorizing the starting of work on the new building. As a consequence the board met Monday and arranged for the starting of work this week. Several of the oak trees will have to be removed to make room for the building. The contract calls for the completion of the building in four months, so it is believed that the house warming will be the first of the year.
     Those in charge of the library have been afraid that the revised plans would not be O.K.'d in time to permit the building to be started before next summer, hence the rejoicing.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., August 28, 1913, page 1


     Work has begun on the new Carnegie library, and the building will be rushed to completion, as it must be undercover by the middle of October. The building alone will cost $15,000, and the architecture will be of collegiate gothic, with rug brick facing. The main floor will comprise the library and children's study alcove. The lower floor will be for the auditor, county rest room and accessories. It will also contain a class room and the librarian's work room, and a steam heating plant will be in the basement.
     L.A. Woodard, of Hood River, has been granted the general contract; J.F. Volstorff, the heating and plumbing; Bert Kent, the painting; and Morrison Electric Co., the wiring.

The photograph to the left appeared in the 50th Anniversary insert of The Hood River News in 1950, and relates to the event in the article below.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., September 3, 1913, page 1

Simple Ceremony Marks Beginning of Important Work - Woman's Club Sees Efforts Crowned With Success - Library Has Had Rapid Growth Since its Establishment a Year Ago.

     Marking the successful culmination of the persevering efforts of the Woman's Club, ground was broken Friday morning at 9:30 o'clock for the Carnegie Library.
     Those who gathered for the ceremony found that marked improvement had already been made on the site, contractor L.A. Woodard, having been busy grubbing out the trees that stood on the site of the building. The other trees on the lot had also been trimmed and the effect was parklike and decidedly attractive.
     Those present included representatives of the Woman's Club, the county library committee, county court and Mayor Blanchar. Before the brief ceremony a couple of pictures were taken of the group for publication in the Portland papers and for preservation by the library.
     Mrs. Charles Castner, president of the Woman's Club, opened the exercises by presenting to Miss Mary McLaren, past president of the club, a spade tied with the colors of the club, green and white. In doing so Mrs. Castner made a neat speech in which she spoke of the happy moment having arrived in which the members of the club saw their efforts crowned with success.
     Miss McLaren found some difficulty in extracting the first spadeful of earth, but, as was remarked, it has been hard work getting the library from the start and she stayed with it until she succeeded in turning over a generous spadeful.

Growth Has Been Rapid

     Hood River County Library has been open to the public a little less than one year. At the end of the first week there were 287 borrowers. There are at present 1591 registered borrowers at the central library, 795 from the city and 474 from the county. This does not include those using the county stations. The library opened with 963 books and the number has increased to nearly 3000 books and bound pamphlets.
     At the beginning the library as was open only three evenings in the week but by the first of the year it was found necessary to keep it open every day.
     As soon as the library was formally opened an application was formally opened an application was an application was forwarded to the Carnegie Corporation asking for $25,000 for a county library building. They replied that $17,500 was the maximum gift for communities of this size. The county court accepted the gift and agreed to guarantee at least one-tenth the amount each year for maintenance, with the assurance from the city council that the city would pay its just share towards this.
     The main library of the county system is located here in the city. There are branches or stations at Odell, Parkdale, Mt. Hood, Oak Grove, Cascade Locks, and Fir, besides collections sent to the several schools. The station at Dee will again be opened this fall.
     Plans are made for active work all through the county and arrangements have been made whereby the co-operation between the several schools and the county library can be completed. Co-operative reading lists have been made for the High Schools and the grades and all books may be found at the library. Several mothers' clubs have been organized through the valley and the Parents and Teachers' Associations at Hood River and Odell will soon begin active work.
     The library has begun a picture collection as help to better teaching in geography and history. A beginning has also been made of an art collection for use in the art study in the schools. Reading lists have been made on certain subjects and others will be prepared on request.
     The librarian wishes to know your needs. Every effort will be made to supply them.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., September 4, 1913, page 6


     Ground was broken for the new Carnegie library at ten o'clock last Friday morning, and the building will be rushed to completion as the contract states that it must be completed in four months. Only a moderate crowd turned out for the ground-breaking ceremonies, as the date of the commencement of the new library was apparently little known.
     Mrs. Chas. H. Castner, president of the Woman's Club, made the presentation speech in behalf of the club, giving Miss Mary McLaren the spade, tied with a green and white ribbon, with which Miss McLaren dug of first shovel of dirt, which was followed by cheering of the onlookers.
     The building committee, comprising Truman Butler, chairman, E.O. Blanchar, Mrs. H.F. Davidson, Miss Mary McLaren, and Judge Castner, J.W. Putnam, and G.A. McCurdy, of the county court, were all present with the exception of the last two named men. E.J. Bloom took a group picture of the crowd.
     The final culmination of the efforts of many of the citizens for this new library, after several years work toward this end, is indeed gratifying. Socials, contests and entertainment have been held to raise money to launch this undertaking, which is now an assured success. It was deemed necessary to cut down one of the large oak trees, but those remaining will contribute toward a beautiful library site.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., September 24, 1913, page 1


     Plans are now being made for laying the cornerstone of the Carnegie Library on Thursday, October 2. Truman Butler will preside at the exercises, while E.L. Smith, Hood River's "grand, old man," will lay the cornerstone. Miss Marvin will be present representing the State Library Board; Mayor E.O. Blanchar will represent the city; Mrs. C.E. Castner, the Woman's Club; J.P. Lucas the County Library Board, and Judge G.R. Castner the county. The Hood River Band will supply the music for the occasion. The exercises will be held at 3:30 p.m.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., September 25, 1913, page 1


     The contractor, L.A. Woodard, is rushing work on the Carnegie library building. The concrete work of the foundation has already been finished and the brick work has been started. The cornerstone of the new building, which is rising amid the classic oaks of the lot, will be laid on Thursday, October, 2.
     E.L. Smith, whose four daughters each contributed the sum of $200 toward the purchase of the lot, will lay the stone and deliver an address. Other speakers of the day will be: Truman Butler, chairman of the building committee; J.P. Lucas, chairman of the library board; Mayor E.O. Blanchar, in behalf of the city; County Judge Geo. R. Castner, and Mrs. C.H. Castner, president of the woman's club, in behalf of that organization.
     The building committee of the library is composed of the members of the county court, Mayor Blanchar, Miss Mary McLaren and Mrs. H.F. Davidson.
     The ceremonies will be held at 3 30 p.m., in order that the children of the public schools of the city a be given an opportunity to participate to participate.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., October 15, 1913, page 1


     Everything was propitious for the laying of the cornerstone of the Carnegie Library Saturday afternoon. Blue skies and a mild October day made conditions ideal and a large number attended the ceremonies.
     The Hood River band played a selection to give notice that the exercises were about to start. Truman Butler presided and opened the exercises by introducing the Mayor E.O. Blanchar.
     Mayor Blanchar said:
     "On behalf of the city of Hood River it is a pleasant duty to give due recognition of this ceremony, marking a step toward the speedy completion of a building that will prove a blessing to the community.
     I should not fail either to acknowledge with gratitude the unselfish and untiring efforts of the Woman's Club of Hood River which inaugurated the movement to establish a free library, or the magnificent gift from Mr. Carnegie which has made this structure an immediate possibility in our midst.
     "I believe I am correct in saying that no other city in the state has been favored with so large a gift, in proportion to its size, and our good fortune is due to the fact that this is a county library, made possible by the intelligent interest and enthusiasm of the county as well as the city.
     "This is a splendid selection as a site for this building, here among these sheltering oaks which have been so carefully nurtured and guarded by our beloved citizen, E.L. Smith.
     "Fellow citizens, our public library is now assured. In a few months it will be thrown open for our use and I would feel that I had been negligent on this occasion should I not direct your attention to one or two points concerning its future welfare. What does it mean to have a well-equipped library here? Not merely an attractive building to show to our visitors, even though some little benefit might come from that. Let it be the duty of every citizen to interest themselves in this library, its maintenance and management. Use it. Plan for its welfare. Be a citizen, not merely a resident of the city, and the result will be that we will soon wonder how we did without the free library during the years now past."
     Following Mayor Blanchar, County Judge Castner was called upon as representing the county, inasmuch as the scope of the new library includes the entire county. Judge Castner spoke of the generous support which has been given the library and praised especially the Woman's Club, which he declared to be one of the greatest factors in the upbuilding of the community. He also reviewed the history of the county library here, emphasizing its rapid growth. He declared that it is serving a utilitarian purpose and that it is providing all classes of persons with practical books. As an illustration he told of sending a book on dairy keeping by parcel post to a rancher in a far end of the county. The opportunity which the library will afford visitors from the county to find a comfortable resting place was also emphasized.
     J.P. Lucas as chairman of the library board gave an interesting talk. It was partly reminiscent, Mr. Lucas having been a pioneer resident in this part of Oregon. He outlined a number of the obstacles against which the board has had to contend and also gave credit to those who have so faithfully advanced the cause, especially the Women's Club. Mr. Lucas also paid a tribute to E.L. Smith and in conclusion spoke fittingly of the loss to the library board and to the community as a whole through the death of J.M. Schmeltzer.
     Mrs. Charles Castner, a native daughter, was called upon to represent the Woman's Club in her capacity as its president. She spoke briefly of the club's pleasure at realizing there long-cherished ambition to secure a library. She read extracts from the minutes of the club meetings in 1908 to show that the idea first originated with them. Then she placed in the vault under the cornerstone a number of documents. These included the club's year book for the present session, a 1913 coin, current issues of the local papers and Oregonian, also a picture of little Miss Ruth Lenore McClain, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. McClain, as the next to the youngest baby in the club.

E.L. Smith Eulogized

     To E.L. Smith, Hood River's most revered citizen, fell the honor of laying the cornerstone. In introducing Mr. Smith, Mr. Butler voiced the regard of all present in the following eulogy:
     "I have not minded introducing the other speakers in the brief and blundering way in which they have been presented to you.
     "They know we all think well of them and even now they have forgotten my shortcomings.
     "The next speaker would no doubt be equally charitable, but I am less inclined to ask him to take the will for the deed and I would that I might in well-turned phrase and smoothly rounded sentence express the feeling of love and respect for him that fills the hearts of the people of this community today.
     "Here among the grand old oaks that have been a part of his home for many, many years, and on the ground that has been made available for this purpose largely through his generosity, I would well wish that this pleasant duty had fallen to a more worthy follower of Demosthenes or Cicero.
     "And yet, I am selfish enough that I must confess that I am glad to preside on this occasion.
     "I deem it a privilege to extend to him who is to perform the ceremony of laying the cornerstone at the Hood River County's Library the good wishes of a host of friends and to assure him that the position he holds among us is truly enviable.
     "It is, indeed, with great pleasure that I now present Hood River's Grand Old Man, the Hon. E.L. Smith."

Address by E.L. Smith

     Mr. Smith made the principal address of the day and, because of the intimate connection which he has had with the building of the library, his talk was an impressive one.
     Mr. Smith recalled the time 50 years ago when a woman sat in a wagon selling ice cream during the Fourth of July celebration. "It was my wife and she was not doing this for her own gain, as many thought," said Mr. Smith, "but because she was determined to accumulate a fund for establishing a reading room and library in this county.
     "I am glad that the library is being built upon this ground which has, in a way, been consecrated by her life to such a purpose and I hope that someday the city may acquire the rest of the block and make it a city park."
     Mr. Smith paid tribute to Andrew Carnegie, recalling many of the donations which the Scotch philanthropist has made to libraries and universities. "Nor did Mr. Carnegie accumulate his wealth through trust methods," said Mr. Smith, "but through the building up of a great constructive industry."
     He emphasized the value of the library to a community, quoting from the sayings of a number of great men and giving an eloquent description of the purposes for which the library serves.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., October 16, 1913, page 1


     Despite the rain in the first part of the week and on the day before, the clouds cleared way Saturday morning and the afternoon was bright and sunny for the laying of the cornerstone of the Carnegie building of the county library, by E.L. Smith. A large crowd assembled under the classic of oaks that have given Hood River a broad-spread fame for beauty.
     The meeting was presided over by Truman Butler, chairman of the building committee of the library board. Seats had been arranged on the improvised floor of the structure, and a large crowd was present. The chief address of the afternoon was made by E.L. Smith, whose talk, after he had placed the first trowelful of mortar at the base of the large stone, closed the exercises. In his introduction, Mr. Butler, as did all of the speakers, who had preceded him, paid a great tribute to Mr. Smith. "I wish that I might properly express our appreciation of our grand old man," said Mr. Butler. "And I want to extend to him the good wishes of a host of friends."
     "I wonder if you think of the benefit that will begin from this beautiful October day," said Mr. Smith. "This library will be an emblem of the intellectuality of the people of our community. It will be the means of a postgraduate work for the students of our high schools. Thomas Carlyle said that a circulation of books is the best university we may have.
     Mr. Smith told of the aims of Andrew Carnegie in establishing libraries over the land. He named a number of the great institutions of learning that he had endowed. "The great Scotchman," said Mr. Smith, "tells us that the love of books will drive out the lower tastes of a people. He acquired his wealth, not through speculation in stocks and bonds, but by straightforward business methods and he considers that he has held it in a kind of trust, and the libraries and institutions of learning over the land are being endowed for the benefit of the people."
     Mr. Smith recalled the earnest work his wife had done toward securing reading matter for the people here." Many years ago, one Fourth of July," he said, "when the patriotic people of this valley, White Salmon and The Dalles were assembled here, a woman was seen selling ice cream from a wagon. She was not doing it for profit, but that funds might be raised to buy magazines and books for a reading room for the people.
     "I am happy that the building has been erected here on this property that is sacred to me."
     Mayor Blanchar spoke on behalf of the city. "This does not mean to us merely an attractive building," said Mr. Blanchar, "that we may show with pride to our visitors, but it means that we will have maintained an institution that we may learn to use to increase our knowledge. Let us help in the work, take an interest, and be not merely residents of the town, but citizens." Mr. Blanchar stated that he understood that the Carnegie corporation had appropriated more money for the local building than for any other city in the state proportionate to population.
     Judge G.R. Castner followed Mayor Blanchar, saying: "This is a time for congratulations for the people of the county; with branches established at Parkdale, Mount Hood, Odell, Pine Grove, Cascade Locks and other points, the people of all the county are given the privilege of using the institution.
     "Last week someone telephoned in in the evening for a cow book. By next morning's mail the desired volume was on its way by parcel post."
     J.P. Lucas spoke in behalf of the library board. "Many years ago as I passed up the Columbia, little did I dream that a fair city would rise on the banks of the Classic Dog River, and that some day we would have an institution of learning second only to the public school."
     Mr. Lucas told of the heroic fight made by the Woman's club. Both he and Mr. Smith praised the board for the selection that had been made in securing Miss Della Northey as librarian. In closing his address he paid a tribute to the late J.M. Schmeltzer, who was an earnest worker on the library board.
     Mrs. Chas. H. Castner, president of the Woman's club, gave a short address, telling of the efforts of the women, and declaring that the event of the laying of the corner stone was the most important ever participated in by the members of that organization. Mrs. Castner deposited beneath the corner stone, as symbolic of the things in which Hood River people are interested in the following articles: a picture of little Ruth McClain, the second youngest baby of the Woman's club; the year book of the Woman's club; a photograph of those participating in the ground breaking exercises, a copy each of the Hood River Glacier, the Hood River News and the day's issue of the Oregonian, and a 1913 penny.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., October 23, 1913, page 8


     The new Carnegie building of the county library, when completed, will be one of the handsomest structures in the city. It was necessary to remove the but one of the oaks on the lot, a portion of the E.L. Smith homesite, and the two story red brick building will arise with these beautiful trees surrounding it.
     "We will have the library building undercover by the first of next month," says L.A. Woodard, who is erecting the structure. "It is going to be one of the most compact and convenient little buildings that I have ever seen. The women certainly have right to be proud of their efforts, as well as the citizens of all the county."

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., November 20, 1913, page 2


     The county now has a library, with a handsome home. It is an institution that the citizens of the community should be justly proud of. Not only of the Carnegie home, with those who desire to do so may search the reference and texts that will be kept on the shelves and at which all of us will be able to point with pride to visitors, but the library, as in institution of learning and education.
     However, the success of the library is going to depend to a great extent on the manner in which we make use of it. Are we going to allow it to become a mere shell, a library in name alone? Or is it going to be all that a modern day institution of the kind stands for? The work has started out well. Branches are being established in all parts of the county, and judging from the use that is already being made of the books, the library is going to be a source of beneficial information to all the people of the county.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR.., November 20, 1913, page 2


     The county library board held its annual meeting at the room of the library Tuesday night, when the members of the library committee of the Woman's club and their husbands were present. The members of the city council and county court and their wives had been invited. However, the former had spent the day as a committee of the whole inspecting the city water works system and only F.A. Franz was out for the board meeting. The court was represented by Judge Stanton, who was accompanied by Mrs. Stanton.
     J.P. Lucas, president of the library board, presided. He called on Judge Stanton, who made the first speech of the evening. "I formerly lived in a community where we had a circulating library," said Judge Stanton. "I paid a dollar and a half a year for the privilege of reading those blocks and I think I always got my money's worth. This is the first time I have ever had the privilege of living in a community where we had such a fine building. There is no argument against a library."
     Miss Northey, librarian, followed with the report of the library for the past year. "We have 3,000 books on the shelf," said Miss Northey. "From the main station 14,372 books were circulated last year. The increase has been very heavy over that of last year. Last year 65 percent of the books read her fiction. This year only 47 percent were fiction. We get people interested in the new books by advertising them, but placing them in the windows and making notes of them in the newspaper.
     "The girls and boys are beginning to read, and our work with the schools will be our most important work. I have visited every room of every school in town and most of those in the country.
     We appreciate the interest the country people have are taking in our books; the men of the country read more than those in town. I was surprised at the number of men who attended the meeting at Mount Hood last week. They are eager to secure the works on farming in the Upper Valley, and Grubb's potato book has been in demand there this summer. Beal Bros., who are reputed to have grown the best potatoes in the valley this year, claim that they did so by using the book we sent them from the library."
     Miss Northey then went on to tell of the Carnegie building which will be ready for occupancy by the first of the year. "The children will be provided for," she said, as she pointed out the needs of a well equipped auditorium." We can have free lectures by the University of Oregon extension course. It will serve as a meeting place for our boys and girls, many amusements can be given them."
     Short talks were made by the following, after which coffee, sandwiches and doughnuts were served by Mrs. J.P. Lucas and Mrs. William Stewart: Miss Mary McLaren, Truman Butler, Mrs. Chas. H. Castner, Mrs. F.E. Newby, Mrs. Geo. Strannahan, E.E. Franz, J.E. Robertson, L.A. Henderson, R.B. Bennett, Joe D. Thomison, and W.E. Hanson.

The Oregon Journal, Portland, OR., December __, 1913, section 2, page 8

Municipal Water System Is Among Year's Achievements; Library

     Hood River, Or., Dec. 29. - The administration of the affairs of this city under Mayor E.O. Blanchar has been characterized by economy and yet the amount spent for public improvements have exceeded the amount spent in all former years in Hood River's history.
     A municipal water system has been installed at the expense of $146,000; $36,000 being paid for the private water system in use in the city and $110,000 been expended in bringing in the Tucker spring. The system now affords a flow of 2,000,000 gallons per day.
     The city streets have been macadamized at a cost of $60,000, cement sidewalks have been laid at an expense of $15,000 and additional street and sidewalk work is underway that will run the total of street improvements up to approximately $100,000.
     An electric fire alarm system has been installed throughout the business and residence sections of the city at an expense of several thousand dollars, and it is estimated that the total expenditures for public improvements for the year will approximate $230,000, or an average expenditure of about $800 per capita.
     Bank deposits and business in general lines has shown a marked increase over last year. While no new business blocks have been erected this year several new enterprises have been begun, and there are no vacant store buildings in the city and few vacant residences.
     Early in the year, Andrew Carnegie donated $17,500 to the city for a public library to which the citizens added $2500 and the new building is now nearing completion and will soon be dedicated.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., December 3, 1913,page 7


     More and more interest in the library is being shown through the county. On the fourteenth of the month a meeting of the people interested in the branch library was held at Mt. Hood. Seventy-five people, including a large number of men, were present. The librarian had with her a box of best books for children. Much interest was shown in the beautiful collection. A library association was formed and officers were elected for the coming year.
     The following day Mrs. Northey and Miss McLaren, a member of the Library Board, attended an afternoon meeting at Parkdale. Miss McLaren gave an interesting talk on the social center. After the exhibit of children's books chocolate was served and a social time was enjoyed.
     On the twentieth Mr. Lucas, the president of the Library Board, and Miss Northey attended a Parents and Teachers association meeting at Cascade Locks. New interest has been taken in the branch library there. Plans are on foot for the opening in the near future of a general reading room with a room adjoining where the men will be allowed to smoke.
     Notwithstanding the establishment of these several branches through the county, there are over six hundred out of town borrowers at the main library.
     The new library building is progressing rapidly. It is planned to make the library the social center of the community. It should be the natural meeting place for everything of a public nature or for community welfare. It should be everybody's forum. Speakers can be secured for the asking and they will find an eager, willing auditors, earnest, intelligent men and women who will fill the lecture room to the doors. Free entertainment and illustrated lectures may be made so attractive that they will always draw crowds.
     Up to this time it has been impossible for the library to co-operate with the University in their efforts to bring the University to the people because we have had no public gathering place and other facilities for the meeting of groups for study. Many young men and women would avail themselves of the opportunities afforded free to improve their vocational proficiency.
     The cost of hiring headquarters is eliminated if the citizens of the county owned their own meeting place where everyone is welcome.
     The county patrons' room will fill a long felt need of a public comfort station -- a place where women can come with their children after a long drive and enjoy the conveniences of the rest room.
     With an attractive library building and a public auditorium, the federation of the community becomes a much simpler proposition.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., December 18, 1913, page 4


     Hood River's county library has established itself firmly as an educational force during its first year of existence, as shown in the report of Miss Della Northey, librarian, submitted to the County Library Board. This shows that the total circulation of books for the year was 16,857 and interest in the library such as to make its influence felt in also sections of the county. The report follows:
     On August 15, 1912, the librarian entered upon her duties in the room in the Smith Building on Third Street. With the help of an untrained assistant, the numerous gifts and first purchases were prepared for the shelves. On September 15 the library was opened to the public with a total of 1093 volumes on the shelves. These were supplemented by five traveling libraries from the Library Commission, making a total number of volumes at our disposal 1343. From the first the citizens of both city and county have been much interested. Patrons have been most generous in donations and have added materially to the stock in hand.

Circulation is Large

     That number of books circulated from the central library for home reading was 15,833; that from the county stations 1014, making a total of 16,857 for the year. It has been absolutely impossible this first year to keep accurate records at all the stations of the circulation of the different classes of books, because we have had to depend entirely upon a volunteer service and have had no regular custodian in charge, the attendant changing each week.
     At the central library fiction formed 66 percent of the entire circulation. This is a record of which we may be justly proud. The percent of the fiction read at the county stations is even less, not because, as one might believe, that they are sent only serious books, but because there are fewer outside interests and probably more leisure for the higher life.

1435 Borrowers Registered

     There are 1435 registered borrowers at the central library, 928 from the city and 507 from the county. There is a minimum of red tape to the system, no guarantor being required except in the case of children under 16 years of age. A special non-fiction card is issued on request and more than two books may be drawn on that card. Books for home study may be drawn for one month without renewal.

Generous Gifts Made

     The total number of books added to the library this year was 2063, of which 702 with were by purchase, 1319 by gift, 42 by binding of magazines. The gifts include many valuable pamphlets, of which are placed in Gaylord binders and circulate as any other book.

Reference Service Helpful

     Although the library as a source of reference material is a new innovation in the community and our supply of such material is limited because of the youth of the library, results this year have, on the whole, been quite satisfactory. Material has been furnished to our four Parents' and Teachers' associations of the county and assistance has been given in the making of the programs. The Art division of the local Woman's Club has also found the resources of the library useful in the presentation of their weekly work. The interest of the High School pupils is increasing day by day and teachers are encouraged to send pupils to the library for its supplementary material in the different classes in the literary program. The library furnishes collections for debates, supplementing that on hand with loans from the State Library. Twelve debate libraries have been furnished for the several schools of the county.

Six County Stations

     There are at present six county stations at Parkdale, Mt. Hood, Odell, Fir, Cascade Locks and Oak Grove. The station at Dee has been temporarily closed because of seeming lack of interest, the one at Pine Grove on account of its proximity to the central library and the preference of the patrons to draw books from the central library. However, some of the patrons requested that a small collection be placed in the schoolhouse during the winter.
     Odell is the first station to have a permanent reading room. It is understood that Cascade Locks is soon to open one also. At Mt. Hood the library is placed in a room adjoining the Odd Fellows' Hall, but is scarcely large enough for a reading room. At Oak Grove, Parkdale and Fir the collections are at present in the schoolhouses.
     Books are sent on request to individuals or to the county stations, the transportation being prepaid.

Is Well Advertised

     Although no special effort has been made to advertise the library, the work of organization requiring that all our available energy of the librarian and the assistant, some attention has been given to publicity. Through the courtesy of the local papers, lists of the new books and library news have appeared from time to time.

The Staff

     In September Mrs. Lottie Kinnaird, having completed the required six months of apprentice work, was appointed a regular assistant in the library. In September she resigned and Miss Elsie McLucas was as appointed to succeed her.

The Future Needs

     In reviewing this year's work we see much cause for encouragement for the county library is no longer an experiment, but has proved its right to a place as part of the educational system of the county and city. However, only a mere beginning has been made. There is much more to be accomplished. Before we are content the library should reach every home in the county. There are still many who know nothing of the resources of their library. We need more books, more stations, more collections at out-of-the-way stations, closer co-operation with the schools and facilities to meet the needs of the children. All this extension requires funds. The future looks bright. We are filled with enthusiasm when we realize our wonderful opportunities for service, and with the completion of the new building and the increased appropriation from the city and county.
     In conclusion the librarian wishes to express her grateful appreciation to each member of the Library Board for their heart and willing to co-operation and support, without which nothing could have been accomplished that has been accomplished.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., December 25, 1913, page 2


     Meetings were held in the Valley Saturday to discuss the tax budget submitted by the county court, and at the Pine Grove meeting a resolution was carried to limit the appropriation for the county library to $1,000. In commenting upon this action a member of the library board said:
     "There is on file in the court house and in the county library copies of the contract drawn up between the county of Hood River and the Hood River public library. According to this contract, the county court levied a tax for library purposes, the same to constitute a "library fund" for the county. The library board agreed to open a public library, to maintain the same in suitable quarters, and to extend the use of the library to the residents of the county in accordance with Sec. 4351 Lord's Oregon laws. The members of the county court are ex-officio members of the library board with full voting privileges and committee appointments.
     "The county agreed to pay properly certified bills of the library board to the full amount of the "library fund," provided that such payment shall be only four books and periodicals, for necessary binding and supplies for same, and the service of a librarian of the county library and for necessary transportation and traveling expenses in maintaining the county system.
     "Last year the city appropriated the sum of $850, sufficient to maintain the library in its present quarters. At a recent meeting of the city council it was voted to appropriate a one-mill tax, approximately $2,000 for library purposes. This will provide for the maintenance of the new building, including heat, light, janitor service, and an assistant, for although the new building is for the use of all the county, it is maintained by the city according to the previous contract. It is only by this co-operation between city and county that a library is possible in Hood River county.
     "A county library is more than a place where the people of the county may go to read, study, or borrow books. The library should be as vital a thing in the country as in the city. Deposit stations have been located in many parts of the county. Other sections or neighborhoods may have collections of box by simply making request to the librarian. Boxes of books are sent to the places to remain two or three months. These books return to the library and a new supply is sent out. Any borrower living in the country may ask by mail or telephone for a desired book and it will be mailed postpaid to him. If it is not in the library at the time it will be reserved for him. A person living in the country may borrow from any station or from the central library, but the book must be returned to the station from which it was borrowed."
     A resolution was also passed favoring the completion of the survey now being made by the State Highway Commission, but to go no further unless assured of state aid.
     The $1,000 appropriation for a county exhibit at the Panama exposition was also voted down.
     The meeting held at Barrett schoolhouse took up the discussion of the exposition appropriation, and sentiment was against it, but after an ax explanation by Secretary Ravlin, the question was put to a vote, three voting in favor of it and two against.
     It was voted to approve of completing the survey of the Columbia river highway, to stop at Hood River, after an explanation by Judge Stanton as to what was being done.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer