On September 10, I posted an entry about the Forest Lodge Library in Cable, Wisconsin which claims to be the oldest log cabin library in the state. That claim has been challenged by the Wabeno Public Library in Forest County which is also located in a log building. Lois Radloff, Director of the Wabeno Public Library, has provided the following information about the library building.
In 1993, the Wabeno Public Library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The research for that designation was completed by the Nicolet National Forest Service in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The structure was completed by the Chicago Northwestern Railroad as its land office in 1895. The application for designation on the National Register states "the Land Office turned the building over to the city of Wabeno in 1923 to be used as the library." It has been in continual use as a library to this day.
Thanks to Lois for bringing this information to our attention. We have included the Wabeno Public Library on the Wisconsin Library Heritage Trail.
A real photograph postcard (RPPC) view of the interior of the old Lancaster Public Library. This postcard was mailed from Lancater to Blunt, South Dakota on Sept. 19, 1908. Real photograph postcards are photographs printed on paper with a postcard format backing.
Library postcards are one of my favorite kinds of library collectibles. I've been collecting Wisconsin library postcards since 1995 and my collection now consists of about 300 cards which feature 140 different Wisconsin library buildings. Ann Waidelich, a retired Madison librarian and advocate of historical preservation, introduced me to library postcard collecting. Ann has a collection of 283 Wisconsin library postcards which feature libraries in 119 Wisconsin communities. One of these days it would be nice to get these two collections digitized so that images of the postcards could be added to the Web. In the meantime, I will continue to add selected Wisconsin library postcard images to the WLHC website.
There are also several collections of Wisconsin library postcards already available on the Web. Judy Aulik's website "Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America" includes a substantial group of Wisconsin library postcards. As does the Sharon McQueen and Richard Douglas Library Postcard website. The American Library Association Archives is in the process of adding digital images from the postcard collection of Sjoerd Koopman to its website which includes many Wisconsin library postcards. There are also a number of Wisconsin library postcards included in the digital image collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society (search using the term "library building").
The Forest Lodge Library in Cable, Wisconsin claims to be Wisconsin's oldest log cabin library. Are there really more? The library was founded in 1925 and has been in the same building throughout its history. Located on County M in Cable, it's certainly worth a visit, so we've added it to the Library Heritage Trail page of the WLHC website. The Forest Lodge Library does something that every library should do. On its website, it has an "About the Library" section and in this section it has a brief history of the library. Your library's heritage should be part of your marketing/public relations plan and the library's website is a great place to put it front and center.
Update: As it turns out there is another log cabin library in Wabeno, Wisconsin which also claims to be the oldest log cabin library. See the entry on the Wabeno Public Library here.
Andrew Carnegie is noted for his gifts for the construction of public library buildings. However, he also gave gifts to help build 108 academic libraries in the United States. In addition to the Carnegie grants for 63 public library buildings in Wisconsin, there were two academic institutions that received Carnegie grants for library buildings - Beloit College and Lawrence University. The Lawrence University Carnegie building was razed in 1974, but the Beloit College Carnegie building still survives. In 1962 it became home to the Pettibone Center for World Affairs. Check out the "Carnegie Libraries" link on the right to find out more about Carnegie library buildings in Wisconsin.
Postcard showing the Lawrence University Carnegie Library Building
Postcard showing the Beloit College Carnegie Libray Building