Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Library . . .

I moved to Michigan from Wisconsin in 1975.

One of the first things I remember doing after our move was to go to the library,

get my library card, check out some books.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to read.

I have frequented several of the libraries in our area in the past forty years.

I had not visited the largest, most historical, magnificent

Hackley Public Library

Muskegon, Michigan

until a very snowy January 13, 2016.

Not sure why I hadn't ever visited the

Charles Hackley Muskegon Library

other than the convenience of branch libraries being closer to me.

very large stone exterior, solid oak interior

tables, corners, shelves,

quiet rooms, glass floors

wood, copper, brass

entire second floor a children's library

friend Lenore has always been a Hackley Library visitor
we decided it was a perfect place for a visit
I appreciated her tour with some history
Thanks Lee
we enjoyed coloring and visiting in the
children's library
and visiting with a little four year old girl
I am looking forward to more
"want to do"
things for 2016.

A Short History of Charles Henry Hackley,


Charles Henry Hackley was born January 3, 1837 in Michigan City, Indiana, the oldest of five children of Salina (Fuller) and Joseph Henry Hackley. In 1847 he moved with his family to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where his father was in the building trades. By age 14, Hackley had left school and was driving a horse for 15 cents a day. In 1856, at 19, he worked his way from Kenosha to Muskegon on the schooner Challenge to join his father, who had been commissioned to build a sawmill along Muskegon Lake. The day after his arrival in May of 1856, he went to work shoveling sawdust into a boiler in the lumber yard of Durkee, Truesdale and Co. at a monthly wage of $22, a figure soon raised to $26. When the mill closed that fall Truesdale sent him to the lumber camps to scale logs.

The previous summer, young Hackley had learned office procedure and the basics of the lumbering business in the company store in the evening after his day's work outside. When a slow time at the lumber mill occurred, Truesdale suggested that he return to Kenosha for a six-week bookkeeping course. Hackley finished it in four weeks and returned to Muskegon. Meanwhile, the Durkee Truesdale firm had been liquidated and Gideon Truesdale headed its successor. Charles Hackley assumed charge of the books, the supply store, and lumber shipments for $30 a month.

The city's sawmills formed, changed, closed, and reformed. Hackley's family followed him to Muskegon and founded the lumbering firm of Hackley and Sons. This later evolved into the lucrative partnership of Hackley and Hume. This firm was one of the largest operators in the country, cutting 30,000,000 feet of lumber a year at its peak in 1894. In 1864, Charles Hackley married Julia Ester Moore. They adopted one son, Charles Moore Hackley, in 1898, and raised a foster daughter, Erie Caughell (Hackley).

Hackley amassed a fortune of $18,000,000, one third of which he gave back to Muskegon. His first gift, given on May 25, 1888, was for the construction of Hackley Public Library. He served on the Board of Education of the Muskegon Public Schools for twenty years, was an alderman and a state delegate to two national Republican conventions.

Hackley died on February 10, 1905, of a ruptured aneurysm. He lay in state in what is now the Children's Room of the Library and more than 7,000 mourners passed the casket.

(excerpted from Hackley Public Library, A Centennial History by Marilyn Anderson)



TexWisGirl said...

great big building!!

Collie222 said...


I am stopping by your blog via Life At Golden Pines. I had to comment, because one of my favorite authors uses Michigan as the location for her books. Also featured in her books is a library, located in an old Victorian. (I wonder if she used this one?) You can check out my review, if you are interested, by clicking:

barb said...

That is a beautiful library. I could live there...if I could take my sewing machine.

Gail said...

I would be content right there.

I love history and the fact he gave back to his town.

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

A lovely library. The quality of many of our older buildings is impressive, and they're also full of character. Looks like you had a pleasant visit with your friend and a new young acquaintance. :)

Michelle said...

What a fantastic building. I am a library lover and this is a place I would spend some serious time.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What a lovely and perfect library--and one with history makes it even more of a gem!! I hope it's continued to be used and enjoyed for many, many years!

MarmePurl said...

Before I wanted to be a mom and an accountant and a preservationist and a archivist and a farmer and a shepherd, I wanted to be a librarian and work in a building just like this.

Jeanie said...

What a beautiful building -- and such intricate details. I love the history, too -- it makes one appreciate it all the more. How nice to see an öriginal building and not one built with the most recent millage or whatever. Oh, the things one loses when that happens.

I love your scarf! I have the same one, a present from years ago when we were in Japan. Our friend Fumio (and many other Japanese) were wearing them and the next holiday there was one under the tree for me! I just got it out today. It looks much better on you!

amanda | wildly simple said...

Oh, My Stars!! IT'S GORGEOUS!!!

We have a gorgeous library on the Mississippi, gorgeous-but-modern, built around the turn of the millennium. I love the grandeur of a building built long ago like this one.. Those shelving brackets! Those door knobs! That exterior! I think I'd have to go there every day. ;)

Shortbread and Ginger said...

What a great library! Interesting to hear a bit about its history too.

Adam said...

Ours was built I'd say probably 15-18 years ago, the main branch anyway. It's big but more modern on exterior design.

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh my favourite thing has always been visiting the library. This is a beautiful one. Hug B

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what a beautiful library both inside and outside. Thanks for the tour and the history.
Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

Kim said...

I am a huge fan of the library. The smells, quiet sounds and yes, if old, the architecture. This looks like a fun day, Lynne....and the kindergarten teacher in me is very impressed with your coloring skills! ;)

Missy George said...

Old and beautiful..The building, that is...You are beautiful as well...

Musings from Kim K. said...

I just love seeing you coloring. A beautiful library. For 10 years I was a college of librarian. I have a special place for libraries and librarians.

bj said...

We love love love pretty libraries...when our girl was growing up, she loved to read and we visited libraries often. She still reads a lot more than I do.
This is a beautiful place and I know you enjoyed your visit....
You look so cute.....

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Such a beautiful building. I don't use library's anymore..I have found I love owning the books because I always read my books more than once and like them at my fingertips. Like you, I love to read and always have. No TV when I was young and the radio was only for certain programs and for the adults.
The Hackley library opened on my mother's birthday, I noticed..well, except she was born on that day in 1919. :) I should visit our libraries more often I think. My books are things I treasure. Like dear friends.

Sarah Huizenga said...

Awesome library building. The Grand Rapids one is filled with treasures like that as well. All the lovely details that are ignored now days. So funny - my dad lived in Michigan City and then Kenosh, just much later than Mr. Hackley.

Pamela Gordon said...

What a beautiful old library and interesting history. So much character and charm and I can almost smell the scent of the books just looking at the photos. I remember our old library when I was a child which was in an old Victorian house. Squeaky floors, file drawers of cards to check out books and, of course, the smell. Gives me warm fuzzies. ;)

Pepper Medley said...

Looks like the perfect library and what a nice place to meet and visit. I sure hope libraries never become a thing of the past.

A Joyful Cottage said...

Beautiful structure. I love the ornate ends on the bookshelves.