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History of the Old Library Building
Annandale's Library, 1923-2003
drawing by Dean Cheney
The Improvement Club has printed and sold two cookbooks to raise funds to
support the library. Kitchen Secrets,
or "the yellow Improvement Club Cookbook" as it is referred to by many, was
first sold in 1976. Its sequel, "the green Improvement Club Cookbook,"
Secrets II, came out in 1991. The cookbooks are still available
for purchase at the library, and both books include the following description of the
history of the old library building.
|Our present [sic] library building began as South Side School District 130
before the turn of the century. In 1910 School Districts 71, 72 and 130 voted for
consolidation and buildings of Annandale District 71 were used for classes.
following year agriculture and domestic science were added to the school curriculum.
More space was needed so District 130 school building was drawn across the ice of
Pleasant Lake, to the site it now occupies, to be used for the new classes.
The Annandale community was then reading John Fox's The Trail of the Lonesome Pice
and Ellen Glasgow's The Wheel of Life. Model T Ford cars were selling for
Enrollment mushroomed and in 1923 a combined elementary and high school was
built. That left our sturdy brick building available for other community uses.
One room has since served as a community library. Part of the building served as
village offices. The basement once housed the jail. The building was a rest
stop for weary travelers. At one point an apartment was built for the janitor and
his wife who took care of the building. All these functions have moved on to other
quarters with the exception of the library.
The library is now affiliated with the Great River
Regional Library. Partitions have been moved, the walls are resplendent with
fresh paint and books are being arranged on new shelving. The improved arrangement
has almost doubled the usable Library space. The facility is a comfortable spot for
Improvement Club meetings.
The building still echoes the memory of J. F. Lee who taught in the original school and
later became a state representative and superintendent of schools in Annandale, Miss Clara
Shabacker who taught domestic science, and all the other people from the past who have
journeyed through these rooms.
The Old Library Building was vacated June 7, 2003, when the
books and materials were moved into the new library building. The old
building is currently used by an art gallery, The Snooty Fox, opened in 2004.