Euclid Library Celebrates 80 Years

Euclid Public Library officially was named a public library on August 12, 1935 with a resolution stating that the newly elected board would establish “a Public Library free to all inhabitants of the Euclid City School District and Cuyahoga County, Ohio.“  At this first meeting it was also agreed that “the said library board will serve without compensation” with Sam Foster officiating as the library’s first President.

Sam Foster was born in 1897 and, at the age of sixteen, he began a lifelong railroad career with the New York Central Railroad. Railroad men are typically good member of the communities in which they live and Sam Foster was no exception. He served as the library’s president of the Board of Trustees from the beginning in August of 1935 until July of 1953, 18 years later.  During his tenure, the public library operated out of the two high school buildings, Central and Shore. Other branches came along in other schools, but it was Mr. Foster who encouraged the board to pass a resolution to build a main library building in 1957.

Helen Pickard was the first librarian hired. She worked for 25 years with the Euclid Public Library.  She said she worked at the library as it was going through its first growing pains. She said, “We were given a hole in the wall at old Euclid Central School’s basement (the building is no longer standing,) where the pipes rattled and the water dripped.” Later, when Miss Avis Lane became Director, the library moved into the upper floor of the senior high building in a room 9’ by 12’.” Miss Pickard said “We had six employees, four busy typewriters and boxes of books piled up to the ceiling on all sides. If you liked air and light, that room was not for you!” Prior to her time at the library, Miss Pickard served as secretary to Mr. Ely, Mayor of the Euclid Village in 1925.

During this month of August, the library will host numerous events to remember the history of the library. On Tuesday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m., librarian Tom Pappas will take a look at the history of the City of Euclid. Did you know it was once a wild town with illegal gambling and rife with political corruption? Then, on August 12 at 2:30 p.m., we’ll host a birthday party, complete with cake to celebrate the lives of our residents who also were born in 1935. We’ll talk about what it was like to grow up in the 1930s and 40s. Friday, August 14 at 6:30 the Library’s Foundation will host a beer tasting event. “1930s Beer, Prohibition and Murder!” is the event where we’ll gather to taste a number of beers and hear interesting tidbits from the 1930s from three, local historical researchers! Tickets for this event are $25, all other library events are free.

Rebecca McFarland

Marketing Manager for the Euclid Public Library

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 7:11 PM, 08.09.2015