Wednesday, July 20, 2011

“The past is never dead, it is not even past.” —Novelist William Faulkner

Make new memories at the hometown library

A hundred years ago, the whole town turned out on Election Day to create the Beaumont Library District.

It was Aug. 12, 1911.

Some people climbed into wooden wagons pulled by plough horses. Others cranked up newfangled “horseless carriages” and drove to the polls.

When the votes were counted, a new Library District was born by a 2-1 margin.

New celebration

Now, the whole town is being invited to come out again—this time to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Beaumont Library District, one of the city’s most enduring public institutions. The Memory Festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, at the Beaumont Library, 125 E. Eighth St.

The festival promises fun for youngsters and adults alike.

Community organizations will be on hand to elicit memories of the Library, the community and our own lives through journaling, quilting, games, crafts and music. Local historian Bill Bell of the neighboring Banning Library District will do oral history interviews with special guests, including Beaumont Mayor Brian De Forge. The interviews will be posted later on the Library’s web site:

There will also be appearances by mime Mark Wenzel and national bestselling mystery author Earlene Fowler, who wrote “Spider Web.” Free hot dogs and lemonade and a special anniversary cake will be served.

Paying tribute

De Forge, who as a youngster often did his homework in the library, will present a proclamation paying tribute to the Beaumont Library District. The mayor vividly remembers walking to the library and spending time surrounded by books.

“It was a place of solace and knowledge,” De Forge said. “A place of quiet reflection, where an entire new world was waiting for my mind to explore.”

As the Library District’s centennial anniversary nears, De Forge says, “Our hometown library has served this community long and faithfully. With reading, we’re able to enrich our own lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren and create lasting memories.”