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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Sullivan Carnegie Library Sullivan Carnegie Library

St Vincent's InfirmarySt Vincent's Infirmary

Location: Sullivan Public Library, 100 S. Crowder St., Sullivan (Sullivan County, Indiana)

Installed 2008 Indiana Historical Bureau, Sullivan County Library, and Friends of the Sullivan County Public Library

ID#: 77.2008.1

Text

Side one:

Women's Club of Sullivan was instrumental in forming Public Library Board 1902. Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 after site and required local funding secured December 1903. Cornerstone was laid June 11, 1904; building dedicated January 19, 1905; Sullivan Public Library opened January 30, 1905 with a collection of 1,222 books.

Side two:

Built of Bedford limestone by architect Paul O. Maratz, its domed tower is an unusual Carnegie feature. Interior restored to original look in 1986, with 2,400 square foot addition in 1995. One of 1,679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state.

Keywords

Education and Libraries, Buildings and Architecture

Annotated Text

Side one:

Women's Club of Sullivan was instrumental in forming Public Library Board 1902.[1] Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000[2] after site[3] and required local funding[4] secured December 1903. Cornerstone was laid June 11, 1904; [5] building dedicated January 19, 1905; [6] Sullivan Public Library opened January 30, 1905 with a collection of 1,222 books. [7]

Side two:

Built of Bedford limestone by architect Paul O. Maratz,[8] its domed tower is an unusual Carnegie feature.[9] Interior restored to original look in 1986,[10] with 2,400 square foot addition in 1995.[11] One of 1,679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state.

Notes:

1. The Library Dedicated, Sullivan Democrat and Sullivan Times, January 26, 1905 (B060349). In his dedication speech, Mr. Hays pays tribute to O.B. Harris and the Women's Club of Sullivan for procuring the public library building.
It is rumored that the Women's Club of Sullivan began discussing a library in the final years of the nineteenth century, but these dates have not been confirmed. Sullivan Daily Times states that the Women's Club of Sullivan began discussing the need for a public library on November 8, 1898 but offers no sources for the date and was written 85 years later. In 1984, Sullivan Library Celebrated its 80th Year  Sullivan Daily Times, December 26, 1984 (B060358).
A second article from the Sullivan Daily Times states that the Women's Club of Sullivan was solicited and a sum of $201 was pledged in 1899 for the construction of a library; however, the article was written over 15 years later and was incorrect on the date that the cornerstone was laid. Public Library Ten Years Old, Sullivan Daily Times, January 20, 1915 (B060364).

 

2. Letter, Secretary of the Office of Andrew Carnegie to O.B. Harris, December 13, 1903, Sullivan Library, Sullivan, Indiana (B060322).

3. Library Site Accepted, The Sullivan Democrat, April 2, 1903, Vol. 49 No. 33 (B060323).

4. Letter, Auditor's Office to whom it may concern, January 8, 1903, Sullivan Public Library, Sullivan, Indiana (B060321).

5. Large Crowd Witnessed Corner Stone Laying, Sullivan Democrat and Sullivan Times, June 16, 1904 (B060399).

6. Sullivan Democrat and Sullivan Times, January 26, 1905 (B060349).

7. Julia Mason, Public Library Report from January 30, 1905 to November 30, 1905 Sullivan Public Library, Sullivan Indiana (B060460); Sullivan Public Library Web Site, http://www.sullivan.lib.in.us/ (accessed March 20, 2007) (B060400).
Public Library Report from January 30, 1905 to November 30, 1905 (B060460). Report states that in the first 246 days that the library was open, 608 adult borrowers cards were issued and 432 children's cards were issued. Books were counted on December 22, 1905.

8. Sullivan Democrat and Sullivan Times, January 26, 1905 (B060349).
Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, The Department of Natural Resources, The State of Indiana, and The Indiana Historical Society, Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory: An Introduction and Instruction Manual (Indianapolis, 1976), 7, 69 (B060372). This Indiana architectural style manual names several defining characteristics for Romanesque Revival. Among them are heavy stone walls, towers with pyramidal roofs, and straight-topped windows with stone lintels.
Interim Report identifies the Sullivan Public Library building as Romanesque Revival and comments that it is unusual in form for a Carnegie library. Sullivan County Interim Report, (Indianapolis, 1992), 34-35 (B060346).

9. Library Dedicated, Sullivan Democrat and Sullivan Times, January 26, 1905 (B060349) and Redecorating Planned, Sullivan Daily Times, January 2, 1986 (B060360).

10. Redecorating Planned, Sullivan Daily Times, January 2, 1986 (B060360).

11. Year-long Library Construction Project Climaxes with Open House, Sullivan Daily Times, September 11, 1995 (B060361).