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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Last updated on January 23, 2006

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