Dillon City Library

As early as 1888, the Reverend and Mrs. Sidney Hooker of the Episcopal Church launched a book club, laying the foundation for this impressive public library. A town meeting in 1890 established a library association, and soon contributions of books, time, and money for the “free library” yielded a modest collection. The books were housed in a variety of settings: a Masonic Lodge room, a grocery store, a bank, and finally, in 1894, the parish house of the Episcopal Church. In 1896, the mayor appointed the first library trustees. Among them was Mrs. Hooker, the grandniece of author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who served as chief librarian. By 1901, the library had enlarged to 2,438 volumes and outgrown its parish home. Trustee secretary Reverend Henry Cope applied to the Andrew Carnegie Endowment Fund. A sum of $7,500 toward the $8,600 cost of a new building was granted. Distinguished Helena architect C. S. Haire designed the Romanesque Revival structure, completed in 1902. A steep gable, octagonal tower, semicircular arches, and carved faces lend a medieval quality to this dignified library built with such civic pride. One of seventeen Montana libraries constructed with Carnegie funds, the Dillon City Library is a tribute to the townspeople who supported its creation and to those who continue to nurture it.

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Dillon Public Library

Dillon Public Library

Library erected 1902 b&w print | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Photographer Unidentified View File Details Page

Access Information:

public

Street Address:

121 South Idaho Street, Dillon, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Dillon City Library,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed May 27, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/76.

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