Carnegie Library building to celebrate centennial

Ceremonies, open house set Saturday for Miamisburg’s first public library.

The City Of Miamisburg is getting ready to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Carnegie Center, home of Miamisburg’s first public library.

An open house will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8 at the Library Park at the intersection of Fifth Street and Central Avenue.

The planning committee included Sharon Angel of the Monday Night Club, Bobbye Sweny of the Miamisburg Historical Society, Doug Voss of the Miamisburg Parks and Recreation and Cara Kouse of the Dayton Metro Library.

The master of ceremonies will be Ted Fink, president of the Miamisburg Historical Society. Miamisburg Mayor Dick Church will speak. Nancy Horlacher, local history specialist with the Dayton Metro Library, will give a history of the early years of the library.

Members of the Miamisburg High School band will perform and local Boy Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

There also will be tours of the Carnegie Center and various activities for children.

The Carnegie building owes its existence to a campaign by the Monday Night Club, a Miamisburg literary group which is still active. According to Sweny, who serves as historian for the group, its earliest members were teachers.

“They were very community-minded,” she said. “It was a very intellectual group.”

Before 1910, Miamisburg’s only library was in the school system. Seeing a need for a public library, the teachers approached the superintendent. “He was familiar with Carnegie’s work,” Sweny said.

The Carnegie Foundation donated $12,500 with two conditions: the city would have to find a site for the library and provide future funds for its maintenance.

What’s now known as Library Park was once a cemetery that extended from Fifth Street to Fourth Street. The Cemetery Association had sold part of the land to the railroad and another part to the Catholic Church for a school.

“They moved all of the — well, most all of the — graves out to Hill-Grove,” Sweny said.

They missed at least one. In the 1960’s when workers were laying water lines, a grave was found.

The Miamisburg Library became affiliated with the Dayton Public Library in 1966. It moved into the new building in 1981.

The Carnegie Center is now owned by the City of Miamisburg and is used for meetings, weddings and recreational programs.

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