Jun 15, 2020

Newsletter | June 2020

    "Pages From Our Library's Past" Mural Progress We're nearing completion of our 30th mural. Here are photos of the top two shelves of books. Enjoy a close-up look!       A few stories from our Library's History... When the hurricane of 1926 blew off part of the roof of the Masonic Temple (then located in town on Sullivan Street just south of Marion), the Punta Gorda library, housed there since 1914, needed a new home. The Federated Woman's Club of Punta Gorda had recently built a new building on Sullivan just a block away. The library was saved when the Club rescued the undamaged books and moved the library into the small left front room of their new building. The Woman's Club was formed when the Married Ladies' Social Club, the Women's Civic Improvement Association, and the Fortnightly Literary Society, merged in 1925. It was thought that the ladies from the Fortnightly group likely convinced the Club to save the library. The history of the Fortnightly Literary Society dates back to 1896. Miss Norma Pepper moved to Punta Gorda that year with her father and sisters, and started the Society shortly after arriving. Miss Pepper became well known in town after opening a private school on Olympia Avenue where she taught all grades. The Society was a small group of prominent ladies who were known to be "straight-laced" and devoted to the group. They would get together to discuss books they read....all classics and ones of good taste of course. For a change of pace, they would also prepare papers on issues of the day. Local resident Esther McCullough remembered fondly the strange paradox of the Society reciting Shakespeare while cows roamed the streets just outside their meeting.

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