Housed in a vintage Andrew Carnegie Building, the library looks virtually the same as it did on the opening day, June 12, 1906.Over the past one hundred years, Silverton has managed to maintain one of the best turn-of-the-century libraries in the state.
After many false starts and the usual number of reading rooms and “free” lending libraries, local residents organized to approach Andrew Carnegie for funding in 1904. Silverton dispatched a messenger to meet Carnegie when his train stopped in Grand Junction. The messenger extolled the many virtues of Silverton and the need for a library. Also mentioned was the new library in Ouray, built through the “generosity” of Thomas Walsh.
Evidently, Mr. Carnegie was favorably impressed by the community or the need to keep up with the Walsh’s. In June of 1905 the library board was informed that all conditions for funding had been met and a contract for construction of the building could be let.
The building that now stands at the corner of Reese and 11th Street was built at a total cost of $12,000. Money well spent, furnishings on the original inventory list are still in use today. The June 10, 1895 issue of the Silverton Weekly Miner gave a flowery description of the soon to be built library. “The building will be furnished in hardwood, as to floors, bookcases and furniture. The walls and ceiling will be frescoed and the rooms lighted by beautiful electoleers.”
Written by Judy Zimmerman