Hi everyone! One thing I love about blogging is the people that I “meet”. And while we have never actually met, Lisa from Boondock Ramblings is someone I love sharing stories with, photos, chatting about our day – she has become a friend, even though she lives states away from me. We message back and forth throughout the day, and one thing that we share with each other are the goings on in our communities, and talk about the differences in where we live. She lives in rural Pennsylvania; I live in the most populated county in Michigan, right outside Detroit. The views outside of our windows, what we see everyday, is very different. And I love hearing about the dairy parades, the trips through the narrow winding mountain roads, the bear that lives in her neighborhood. She also sees cool bugs and sends them to me, since I am such an insect person these days. One she sent the other day, the Rosy Maple moth is one that is only found in her area! It was so pretty and I would not have known its existence without her sending me that picture.
Anyway, we have teamed up to share some of our hometown views on our blogs. When we talked about it at first, we decided to look at it like, if we were to visit the other, what would we like to share with them about our hometown and area? And since we are both lovers of words and reading, the library was only natural. You can see Lisa’s post here – she is an amazing writer and photographer, so I am sure you will enjoy it!
The library has always been a place I have loved. My mom introduced me to it when I was just a little girl, and I started taking Wyatt right away too. The three of us have been checking out and reading books from this library our whole lives. When my mom was younger, this is the part of the library that she used. She remembers my aunt taking her there to read, and later hanging out in the rooms on the upper floors in high school.
It began its life in 1898, as the family home of Edward Ford, and later the home of his daughter and her husband, Mark Bacon and Mary Ford Bacon. It is a grand old dame, with 27 rooms and 11 fireplaces, a four story bell tower, and a huge porch. In 1942, when Mary’s husband died, she gave the home to the public school system and it now serves as the public library, and has since at least the 1950s. When my mom was younger, she remembers more of the home being open, as it was the main part of the library. Now only a small part of it is open to the public, and it holds meeting rooms, reading rooms, and periodicals. I love to go and sit in the reading rooms, and in college I would study there as well. No one uses those rooms too much, which is sad but at the same time, I like that when I go, it is almost like my own quiet getaway.
I feel so fancy sitting in here. These next photos are of the Max Schwartz room, which was the children’s library area when my mom was little. I picture her sitting on the window seats (where the old Life magazines are now), reading her favorite books, glancing out the window occasionally.
The rest of this floor is for the current periodicals and meetings and crafts. I love that they have figured out how to make this beautiful space work for the needs of people now, although I can’t help but wish it was still just the library in here, all the books spread out. But I know it is not practical or accessible to all! I can’t even take my son in there without using the little elevator to go up to the next level to enter. So I do see that it is not possible. But I can dream of what it was like! They had the upstairs closed off while I visited the other day, I think it has not completely reopened due to the pandemic, but upstairs are offices and rooms that can be used for meetings. When I was on the board of an animal rescue group, we used to have our meetings up there.
It is under construction right now, but when it is not you can sit on the porch and read which I of course love.
However, the area of the library that I grew up using is just through the door and down a few stairs. Out of the frame to the left is an elevator for those who need to use it.
The main part of the library now. I sat at these tables often in high school, and have been browsing these stacks since I was a little girl.
The children’s area. It usually is a bit more lively and filled with more displays, but they just reopened the library and are in the process of setting everything back to normal. I did see they are doing a chicken hatching demonstration for the kids.
I also took some time to wander around outside, while Billy and Wyatt read on the steps. I of course had to take photos of my guys.
This library has been a refuge for me for years, and I love that Wyatt enjoys going as much as I did as a kid. Three generations, one library.
How about you? Are you a library lover?
To read about more charming libraries, hop on over to Lisa’s post!