vintage ~~ celebrating one hundred years of reading

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


13 thoughts on “vintage ~~ celebrating one hundred years of reading

  1. Oh…that sounds like a lovely event. I’d be there, too, at the mention of afternoon tea. Especially as it would be an opportunity to wear one of my vintage hats!
    I sometimes go for “tea” at the Chateau Laurier here in Ottawa. Love the scones and cream and those little sandwiches. Interestingly enough in my last post I wrote about visiting Dawson City, Yukon. They have a Carnegie library building too…recently restored, it now belongs to the Masons.


    • That is ironic…that Carnegie library belongs to the Masons? Completely opposite outcome. I wonder why they didn’t keep it as a library. Maybe I need to go read your post?? : ) I told my husband when I got home that we need to do tea every day at 4:00. Even if it it is just tea and scones. We were “kind of” doing this a few months ago but somehow fell out of the habit. Love afternoon tea!


  2. 🙂 Looks and sounds like you had a splendid afternoon!
    I miss going to a library, spending hours browsing through books – finding the perfect read to take home, the funny musty smell of old books…
    I don’t have an e-reader and don’t want one. I enjoy having a book between my fingers, folding a page if I can’t find a book mark.
    We have an outside book case near to where I live – I can take my old books there and drop them off / donate them and pick up the ones that other people have deposited there, if I find something interesting.

    And regarding the tea: it’s about time I take a trip to London and go for a delicious afternoon tea 🙂 xo


    • Although I use an e-reader (mostly for convenience), I prefer an actual book in my hands too. I think I get more out of a book when it is printed on paper, remember it better. But I love my e-reader for reading at night, carrying books around, etc. Hey, I will meet you in London!


  3. Wonderful post, and I learned things about tea that I never knew! I love libraries too … it’s my strongest memory of grade school. And just for the record, you could not possibly bore any of us to death – you are SUCH a creative storyteller and I look forward to anything you write. This looks like such a fun afternoon!


    • It is a strong memory for me too. In fact, we would go to the library before ever going to a bookstore. To buy books was a “treat”. Thank you for your kind words again. Have you ever considered that maybe you are easy to entertain? : )


  4. I’m so glad you were able to attend this function. I’m sure you fit like a hand in a vintage glove.
    I am also a huge fan of our library. Even though I’m “Nook exclusive” these days I still enjoy going there to catch up on magazine reading.


    • Oh! Thanks for the link. That library reminds me of ours–just built a few years apart. You are funny about the screwdriver…but I don’t blame you. Maybe you and I could plan some covert operation in the future? I am so happy they will be replacing the lights in our library with art deco-y ones. It will be beautiful!


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