Filed Under Dillon

Dillon Public 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.

Images

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 Date: [no date]
Dillon Public Library
Dillon Public Library Creator: Montanapictures.net Date: 2005

Location

121 South Idaho Street, Dillon, Montana | Public

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Dillon Public Library,” Historic Montana, accessed June 25, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/76.