Kelley Home Calendar: Coastal Libraries, Half V

Kelley House Calendar: Coastal Libraries, Part V

The Library at Skating Rink Corridor

That is the fifth phase in a collection of articles in regards to the libraries in Mendocino. The earlier column took us from 1883, when the primary library opened within the Good Templars’ Corridor on South Essential Road, to 1909.

That yr the county went “dry” and the libraries sponsored by these temperance organizations had accomplished their mission. With saloons closed and males in want of extra healthful diversions, the businessmen of the city fashioned a brand new civic-minded group referred to as the Good Authorities League. They joined forces in 1909 with the lately created Mendocino Library Affiliation on a venture to enhance the neighborhood with a Recreation Middle.

Their location was the “outdated Temperance corridor” (later referred to as Kellieowen Corridor) on the nook of Lansing and Ukiah streets. The studying room would relocate from its retailer constructing on Essential Road close to the Kelley Pond to a big, renovated room on the corridor’s south aspect, as soon as used as a restaurant and dwelling.

With this transfer, the library went from being a quiet room for studying magazines and checking sports activities scores, to being one aspect in a feature-rich amusement corridor that additionally provided a billiards room, a gymnasium, and confectionery and refreshment stand to assist fund the place.

The big nook constructing it got here to occupy had been constructed again in 1887, by William H. Kelley, as a skating rink and dance corridor. So, it was becoming that the League ought to revive this earlier use, asserting in its first yr {that a} new skating rink would now be open within the evenings. Joe Nichols oversaw all this enjoyable, and he promised that “good order might be maintained, and no objectionable characters allowed on the ground.”

You’ll be glad to know that the studying room was not forgotten on this new endeavor. They employed a librarian named Paul Schultz, “an industrious younger man of regular habits,” who saved it tidy and open each day with each day and night hours.

To construct up the anemic library division, Elise Drexler (W. H. Kelley’s rich daughter) donated 35 books in 1910, together with volumes on historical past, biography, astronomy; three titles by Emerson, others by Dickens, Burroughs, Sewall, Hawthorne, Coffin, Bolton, Morris and Harrison; two volumes of encyclopedias, and a dictionary stand. She despatched extra volumes the next yr, these have been largely fiction.

Her older sister, Daisy MacCallum, lived a brief approach down Ukiah Road from the corridor. Daisy managed the Kelley Household’s Mendocino actual property pursuits, together with this constructing. For her contribution to the recreation middle, she employed Fred Smith to put concrete sidewalks round its north and east sides, all the best way from her lately enlarged house to the west, down Ukiah, across the nook, after which south on Lansing to Albion Road.

By 1911, movement footage have been being proven on Saturday nights on the Mendocino recreation middle. This continued till at the very least 1919, when competitors arrived with the Liberty Theater and its personal reveals a block souths at Essential and Lansing streets.

Regardless of initially robust monetary assist from non-public people and the Mendocino Lumber Firm, in 1916, Trustee John S. Ross needed to publish an enchantment for cash and donations of outdated books and magazines in order that the studying room might stay open. The gymnasium continued as a hub of youth-oriented actions by the Twenties, internet hosting highschool basketball and baseball video games, in addition to quite a few events and social occasions. A younger males’s athletic membership was fashioned in 1923.

As for the library, there’s little point out of its use through the ’20s, besides by a gospel group, led by Roland H. Smith, that held its weekly “Studying Room Sunday Faculty” there for a couple of months in 1922 earlier than transferring throughout the road into their new Gospel Corridor (the longer term Sea Gull restaurant).

However in 1931, Woman Scout Troop No. 1 got here to the library’s rescue. We’ll learn how within the subsequent column.

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