Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
As part of our move to the Carnegie Library Museum, I thought I would make today’s blog post about the Carnegie Library itself! As many of you may know, the Carnegie Library was the only library in Perry until the mid-1990s, when the current Public Library was constructed (due to the need to comply with fire safety laws). However, how many of you remember what the Carnegie looked like before it was restored?
For instance, the picture you see here is the old front door of the library! Unlike the restored door, the original door was only one door, and featured glass on either side. The only thing that remained for the restored door is the glass work above the door itself. Aside from the door, many of the other restorations are faithful to the original Carnegie. Objects such as the tables, chairs, and fireplace all were respectfully restored to preserve the look and feel of the original library. In fact, the tables even have the original etchings in them, as they were only refinished! There are also a few pictures around that show the original layout of the library. Perhaps some of the most interesting objects in the Carnegie are a few things that were original to the Carnegie library, but to find out what they are, you’ll have to come get a tour of the Carnegie yourself!
Another interesting part about the restoration of the Carnegie involves the floors. There are three different kinds of floors that can be found in the Carnegie: wood, tile, and cork. All of these floors were modeled after the floors in the original building, and they all hold an interesting little tidbit. For example, there are both square and hexagon tiles in the building, but what is the significance behind that? Come tour the Carnegie Library Museum to find out! As with our previous office, we are open from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, so come by any time you are free to have a tour and learn for yourself about the Carnegie Library Museum!
Today, I have an announcement about an event that is taking place this weekend. Perhaps many of you have heard this already, but Perry has lately had a Community-Wide read of the book Enrique’s Journey. This book is a nonfiction piece by Sonia Nazario about the perilous journey of Enrique, a Honduran boy, to travel from Honduras all the way to the United States in order to be reunited with his mother, who left eleven years earlier so she could send back money to try to feed her starving family. If you have not read it yet, there should be some copies at the Perry Public Library if other people have not already checked them out.
Anyway, the event that is happening this weekend relates to this book. Sonia Nazario herself will be here on Sunday, October 18th, at the Performing Arts Center at 2:30 pm to talk about Enrique’s Journey! Not to mention that, if you have not been able to get a copy of the book yet, Beaverdale Books will be selling them after Ms. Nazario’s presentation, and will be signing them.
This presentation is made possible thanks to Humanities Iowa, in partnership with the Perry Public Library and Hometown Heritage and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). It is part of a bigger project over the next year called Latino Americans: 500 Years of History. This project will have many events, ranging from talks and presentations like this one to a progressive dinner featuring dishes from Mexico and Central America. I highly encourage all of you to attend these events! Finally, if you wish learn more about stories similar to Enrique’s, you can read Sonia Nazario’s article that was published in the New York Times this past Sunday here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/opinion/sunday/the-refugees-at-our-door.html?_r=1
Sorry for the late post this week, we are rather busy here at Hometown Heritage as of late.
However, there is something interesting that I would like to share with all of you. First, let me ask you this question: have you ever wondered if you, or someone you know, appeared in one of the Perry Newspapers? Well, all of us here at Hometown Heritage are excited to tell you that now, you can find out! We have recently installed on our public research station a database of all the Perry Newspapers that have ever existed from 1874 to 2013. Not only do we have this database, but it is also super simple to search! So now you can find out if you have ever appeared in The Perry Chief, or any of the other local publications. Or, perhaps you have wondered what was happening on this day 100 years ago? The database can do that as well! The database is a wonderful tool, and we are very lucky to have it. All of this is possible thanks to Mary Murphy and the Perry Public Library. They were the ones who put in the hard work to create this database, and then shared it with us. For this reason, we would like to extend a big thank you to Mary and the Perry Public Library!
I highly encourage anyone to come down either to Hometown Heritage in the Town Craft Building (see the below map if you do not know where we are), where we have this database on our public research computer, or to the library to have a look at the database, and conduct a search for their own name. Not only could you find something interesting in the database, but there is plenty of fun and exciting things here at Hometown Heritage as well. Plus, it gets a little lonely down here. So please, do not hesitate to come down and take a look!