The early 20th century was a time of vast civic improvements in the United States, and small towns were as involved in these efforts as were larger cities. The Poulan Library and its initial collection of books was a gift from philanthropist and Michigan governor (1911-13) Chase Osborne, who often stayed at his nearby plantation, Possum Poke. Significantly, the Poulan Library was the only public library in Worth County until the Worth County Public Library opened in 1931. The library was also the meeting place of the Poulan Women’s Club from its founding in 1916 until the 1930s. Still open today, it’s said to be the smallest public library in Georgia.
National Register of Historic Places
I spent many days reading the books on Clara Barton. This is where I determined I was going to be a nurse. I did become a nurse and received my Masters in Nursing. Miss Irene ordered wonderful books for us like Nancy Drew books. The hidden staircase was one of them I remember. I am 87 years old and these were happy memories for me.
What wonderful memories. Thank you so much for sharing, Mrs. Simmons.
Mrs. Cannon, who lived in the house next to the library, was librarian for many years. Her granddaughter, Judy, would visit her in the summer and she and I became friends at a young age…..we have continued that friendship all these years. She and I still drive to Poulan when she visits from CT. This was a utopia town to grow up in during the 50’s, 60’s…….sweet memories!
Is library still there?
Joyce-the last time I was in Poulan it was still there. I think it’s just open a day or two each week.
I too remember the smell of the old books and how quiet we should be. Ms. Irene Harshburger was the only librarian I knew during the 40’s and 1956 when I left for college. Ms. Irene was also the cook, along with Ms. Bessie Porter, for the Poulan School lunchroom. They were wonderful cooks and we had great meals for fifteen cents. They cooked on a wood and coal burning stove. I still remember the meatloaf, english peas and mashed potatoes–and the corn bread–and so many other dishes as Irish Stew (soup). Ms. Irene wore small reading glasses that would be withdrawn from a broach-like pin on her upper dress.
Ms. McPhaul was a most important lady of Poulan and she did drive the book mobile in her later years. Ms. Lissie J. Deariso was the Visiting Teacher when I was in grammer school. She indeed was a great story teller.
I asked my grandmother about this building and she said that has been around long before she and my grandfather moved to Poulan in 1957. She said two ladies, Mrs. Nancy McPhaul and Mrs. Lizzie Deariso used to be the librarians. She said that they drove a book-mobile and they went around to all of the schools to read to children during the 1940s. I can also add that when I was a child, it had a summer reading program, in which I stated earlier that I went to when I was a child. My whole family has lots of fond memories of that building. I love how cute and quaint is is!
Thanks for the history, Ashley! Fascinating…
I always enjoyed spending summer days at this wonderful library. My cousins and I would spend hours reading in there reading. I sure do miss those days and the smell of all the old books. Wonderful memories of growing up in Poulan!
I would love to know more history of this library, certainly one of the smallest and most unique in Georgia.
I like this library.