Cramahe Archives Digital Collection
Castleton Public Library: The First Fifty Years
Introduction: The Castleton Women's Institute establishes the Castleton Public Library
Photograph of Castleton Women's Institute members, 1922
Photograph of Castleton Women's Institute members, 1922 Details
The members to the Castleton Women's Institute spearheaded the initiative to establish the Castleton Public Library. The Women's Institute also documented the history of the library in their Tweedsmuir History scrapbook.
The scrapbook contains a statement that Castleton Women's Institute wanted to establish a travelling library in 1925, but it is unknown if one was ever launched. According to the scrapbook, on "Oct. 9, 1930 the institute voted $25.00 to buy books for the Public Library to be started in the new Continuation School." The newly constructed Continuation School became the first formal location of the Castleton Public Library.
A fuller history of the early years of the Castleton Public Library was detailed in another section of the scrapbook and the following library roles and positions were reported - "On February 23rd, 1931 officers of the Women's Institute and officers of the Dramatic Club met at the home of Mrs. M. Purdy to establish a Public Library at Castleton. The books were to be kept at the school. Mr. Fred Black was appointed President. Nellie Wilson was Secretary-Treasurer. Mrs. Frank Issac, Mr. Arthur Jones, Miss Lick, Miss Carson, Mr. Baxter and Miss Nellie Pomeroy were appointed to the Board. Miss Nellie Pomeroy was to act as Librarian." Community efforts to fundraise for the library were also noted - "The Women's Institute and Dramatic Club each donated $25.00 to purchase books. A Euchre Party was held to raise funds for the Library on January 29th, 1932. In 1933, proceeds from a play, put on by the Dramatic Club, went to the library."
The Colborne Express recorded that fifty members of the Castleton's Women's Institute met at Mrs. Sam J. Purdy's home in January 1932, briefly stating that "Ten dollars was donated to the Public Library [a present day value of approximately $175]."
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