Saturday, January 28, 2012

1916 Jane A. Chilcote Free City Library, Washington, Iowa

[LIB6159] - 1901-1952

In 1901 Jane A. Chilcote, widow of Dr. Alexander Chilcote, bequeathed her house at 120 E. Main to the City of Washington to use as a public library. In her honor, the library was affectionately known as the Jane A. Chilcote Library for many years. Original portraits of both Jane and Alexander Chilcote can be seen on the second floor of the public library, behind the information desk. The Chilcote house was extensively remodeled to serve as the library. A lovely painting of the Chilcote Library by Edna Jones can be seen in the second reading room of the public library above the globe. During the late forties and early fifties the house had begun to seriously deteriorate. The foundation had begun to crumble and the walls and floors were infested with termites. In 1952 the city undertook the construction of a new building on the site funded in large part by major donations by Fort Sherman and Ralph Smith. The Chilcote house was demolished and the main portion of the new E. Main building was constructed. The building built in 1952 was about 7,100 square feet and included an upstairs meeting room and a storage / research room that now houses the genealogical library. The gallery was remodeled in 1971. [Read more at the Library Website]

No comments: