Razed in 1952 to make room for a clothing store, the site now fronts on Town Center Mall. Bricks salvaged from the White Building were used to build the Goodwin Thomas home on Oakwood Lane.


Main Street, Rock Hill

Apparently the library flourished for the first few years. It added so much to the cultural life of the town that Mr. White called it "The People's Pet." The library's annual report of 1886 noted a membership of 115, and a collection of 514 books and 19 magazines.

In 1891, the Reverend James Spratt White died. Members of the Association solicited contributions for a photographic portrait of Mr. White to be hung in the library as a memorial. This portrait now hangs in the conference room of the main library.

Despite various efforts, library support dwindled after Mr. White's death, and around 1900 it ceased to operate. The Castalian Literary Club called for library reorganization in August 1904. Citizens responded and a committee was formed to secure a Carnegie library for the public. Winthrop College, however, had already received a gift from Andrew Carnegie in April of that year, and additional funds could not be secured.

In June, 1910, a new Rock Hill Library Association was formed by the City Union of Women's Clubs. The library moved several times during the next few years, employing librarians Miss Emma London, Miss Annie Claire Hutchison and Mrs. C.B. Haynes.

Funding was entirely from memberships and the money-raising activities of the all-woman Board of Directors. Efforts to keep the library going were furthered hampered by a December 1916 fire that badly damaged its quarters in the new Ratteree building and destroyed many of the books.

Finally in 1923, a one mill tax was levied on the Rock Hill School District for support of a library. A new library board of trustees was elected by the school district. The one mill tax remained until 1934 when it was increased to two.

With funding secure for the first time in its history, the library again sought a permanent home. In 1924, the Library Association purchased a lot on Oakland Avenue from St. John's Methodist Church. In November, 1930, it purchased the old (1905) post office building at Main and Caldwell Streets. In the summer of 1931, the building was moved with log rollers and mules to the lot on Oakland. After remodeling and furnishing, the building was opened as the Rock Hill Library on February 24, 1932.

An early home of the Rock Hill Public Library

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