In the mid 1930's under the Works Progress Administration and with the guidance and cooperation of the Home Demonstration Clubs of Saluda County, library service was first started in Saluda County. Initially the library was a book collection circulated by a book truck which visited the rural areas of the county on a regular schedule. Bad weather sometimes interrupted the service because during unfavorable weather the roads were frequently impossible to travel. For several years a library consisting of several hundred books was housed in a small room in the City Hall and used by the people in the Town of Saluda.
Saluda County's first taste of full scale library service came as a member of the Newberry-Saluda Regional Library, established July 1, 1948. Library service in Saluda County was an immediate success. The bookmobile provided books in all rural areas and the headquarters library in Saluda grew to such an extent that it soon was apparent that a special library building was required to house the book collection, staff and library patrons.
In 1972, concerned for the growth and cultural betterment of Saluda County, many citizens recognized the need for improved library services and more adequate facilities. Appeals from numerous organizations and individuals to the Board of Commissioners resulted in new quarters for the library which was opened to the public on August 11, 1975 and officially dedicated on October 5, 1975. Under the leadership of J.H. Wheeler, Sr., Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, the old county jail was renovated. The transformation from the jail to a truly handsome building and library facility attest to the cultural and educational climate in Saluda County. In addition to the reading rooms for adults and children on the main floor, there is a board room and offices on the second floor.
The new Saluda County Library was established by ordinance of the Saluda County Council in January, 1979. This legal establishment was in compliance with the new Home Rule legislation.
Clark Brockman, Columbia, 1946-1956
James F. Dreher, Columbia, 1956-67
James H. Ellison, Columbia, 1967-68
Dr. Daniel W. Hollis, Columbia, 1968-69
Julian Hennig, Jr., Columbia, 1969-72
Julian J. Nexsen, Columbia, 1972-74
Mrs. Jean G. Bissell, Columbia, 1974-77
Owen G. Shell, Columbia, 1977-80
Dr. John R. Stevenson, Columbia, 1980-
Mrs. Hagood Bostick, 1944-67
Mrs. George King, 1967-79
David Warren, 1979-
Estellene P. Walker,
"So Good and Necessary a Work": The Public Library in South Carolina, 1698-1980
(Columbia: South Carolina State Library, 1981), p. 46.
A note on the text
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