Library History | Timeline | Time Capsule

Flagstaff Public Library Time Line

by Richard Mangum, February 12, 1996
1884
Summer
First reading room opened in Ellis & Whitney's saloon.  For men only.
1888
June
Literary society formed.  Fund raising begins: play presented.  Books donated.
1890
February
Temporary quarters in Methodist-Episcopal Church parsonage.  Flagstaff Free Library Association was organized.
1891
March
New library association formed.  Reading room moved to Gibson's law office on SW corner of Leroux and ASpen [Weatherford Hotel site]
 
July
Matt Riordan donates 600 books.
 
October
Benefit hall held to raise money.  Library moved to Frank Leaming's iron building on N. San Francisco Street.  It is now large enough to house Riordan's collection.
 
December
D.J. Bransen (sp?) has donated a set of the Encylopedia Britannica to the Flagstaff library.  Library Association rents the ground floor of the T.G. building, corner of N. San Francisco Street and Aspen.
1892
May
A croquet ground, as a sort of annex to the public library, has been made on the lots owned by G.A. Bray on San Francisco Street.
The public library is now in its new quarters in the Norris Building.  [The Norris Building was on the SW corner of San Francisco Street and Aspen Ave.  G.A. Bray put his store there.  It was later the site of the Grand Canyon Hotel, which burned in 1897.  The David Babbitt building was erected on the site in 1907.]
1893
?
Library moved to the Tourist Hotel.
 
September
Fire destroys all the books.
1893-1900
 
Some private clubs, such as G.A.R. and National Guard had libraries for members.  Emerson School and Normal School also had libraries.
1897
 
[Several editions] Newspaper urges that Flagstaff needs a library.
1900
November
New library / lunch counter.  East side of N. San Francisco Street, one half block north of Railroad Avenue.  Lunch counter profits paid for the library.
1909
March
W.C.T.U. takes over.  Runs the library.  Babbitt's drug store [Lot 19, Block 5]
1914
December
Women's Club takes over.  Located the library on the second floor of the Sanderson building, where it stayed until 1938.  One night per month was library night at the movie, the proceeds going to the library.  Also there was a Library Day once a year, when merchants gave part of their sales revenues to the library.
1920
 
City Council begins to support the library with taxes.  Tried to get a Carnegie grant.  
1921
January
City of Flagstaff takes over operation of the library.  Sanderson building.
1927
 
Coconino County begins to support the library.
1936
 
Museum of Northern Arizona vacates the Women's Club building
1937
September
City buys the Women's Club building [212 W. Aspen].  Remodels it.
1938
January
Library moves into Women's Club.
1970
?
City examines building to see whether it can be enlarged.
 
April
City condemns the library building.
 
?
Books are moved into a trailer, temporary library.
 
November
City buys the old Elks Club building at 11 W. Cherry St.
1972
June
Library moves into the Elks Club building.
1985
 
Bonds voted.  Voters are given choice of sites.  Emerson picked.  Construction of present library begins.  Emerson School torn down.
1987
May 9
New library building opens.
2002
 
Tuba City Public Library moved into a renovated historic trading post.
2003
March 16
East Flagstaff Community Library opened in the Coconino Community College building on Fourth Street.

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