Sunday afternoon was a special occasion in my little town. This year marks the 100th Anniversary for our District Library. This beautiful little library was built in 1914 from a Carnegie grant. Yes, my town can boast of having an actual Carnegie library. There have been special events held all year to commemorate this 100 year mark. But I was especially interested in attending the Devonshire Ladies’ Tea…because that’s how I roll. Did someone say “afternoon tea”? I am there.
The notice about the tea encouraged us to dress “period”. I did not. I know…vintage moi…confusing. Upon arrival, the attendees were announced. I wasn’t expecting this but it was a cute feature. Since I attended solo, I placed myself at a far corner table thinking maybe other loners would join me. In fact, no. I ended up sitting with three very lovely women, two of whom had much to do with organizing the tea. We had some great laughs and it was very pleasurable getting to know them.
We were served many yummy tea treats from finger sandwiches to lemon tarts. After we noshed and sipped to our delight, we were regaled with the history of afternoon tea. For your own quick education on this, click here. There. Wasn’t that nicer than me possibly boring you to death?? Did you know about the differences between high and low tea? I didn’t. Or how about what makes a tea a Devonshire one? It is so good to be informed of these trivial matters. Just think how you will shine at the next cocktail party when conversation hits a lull but suddenly you can chime in with your online self-study degree in tea culture. Win, win.
Another educational read is to learn about Mr. Carnegie. Interesting chap. He had this philosophy on life:
- To spend the first third of one’s life getting all the education one can.
- To spend the next third making all the money one can.
- To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.
He didn’t exactly follow his own dictum but he did become very generous towards the end of his long life. By the time of his death, he had donated “$350,695,653 (approximately $4.8 billion, adjusted to 2010 figures)”* Over 2500 libraries benefited from this generosity. It enabled our own library to move out of the Masonic Temple into its own, beautiful Art Nouveau inspired building. The proceeds from Sunday’s tea will go to buy period (replica?) lighting for the original part of the library. This upgrade will be a beautiful addition to our Carnegie endowment.
I am very thankful for our library. I love how libraries are staying current with technology and trends, offering e-books, providing an intra-library loans (meaning, I have found books from all over Michigan…one traveling from Marquette in the Upper Peninsula. Amazing.) and a host of other services. Love, love, love!
Does your town have a Carnegie Library? Have you had the opportunity to visit any Carnegie libraries?
*stats/quote from wikipedia