By Wayne Townsend on
7/4/2012 5:36 AM
The Shelburne Public Library celebrated its 100th anniversary last weekend as part of the Heritage Street Festival and the Dufferin County Museum & Archives was thrilled to be asked to take part. Lauren, the Library’s summer student, put in some research time at the Archives and gathered together some really interesting items from the DCMA’s collection to put on display. You can check out the grant application written to the Carnegie Foundation for monies to turn the “Mechanic’s Institute”, into a “Free Public Library”. Mr. Carnegie agreed to give them a grant of $6000 to build the library building in 1911.
For a population of only 1200 in 1907 they read a lot of books; over 4600 books circulated that year and there were 2832 books in the library’s holdings. The account book, meticulously maintained by Mr. T.F.E Claridge, the original owner of the Shelburne Free Press and Economist – incidentally he lived in that beautiful house on Andrew St. with the round porch that previous owners have lovingly restored – shows that it cost $361.95 to run the library for a year in 1912 and that the Caretaker actually made a higher salary than the Librarian and it cost more in coal to keep the building heated than it did for a Caretaker!