105 E. Main Street
Buckhannon WV  26201
Phone/Fax: 304-472-2339


HIGHLIGHTS IN THE  HISTORY OF THE CHARLES W. GIBSON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The first chapter in the two chapter history of a public library in Buckhannon was started in 1925 by the Buckhannon Lions Club.  It was housed first in the Upshur Building on West Main Street and then moved the same year to the basement of the Upshur County Court House.  It operated in that location until 1942.

            The second chapter of a city library began with the construction of our building at East Main and Sedgwick Streets.  The Lions Club turned over records, equipment, and in excess of 6,000 volumes to the new library.  The funds for the new building were provided for in the will of Mrs. Charles W. Gibson who died December, 1939.  In her will she bequeath to the city of Buckhannon funds to be used for a public library to be named in honor of her husband, Charles W. Gibson.  At that time (1942) it became known as the Charles W. Gibson Library and has continued to serve the city of Buckhannon.

            Additional funds for labor on the building came from the Works Progress Administration.  The architecture of the building is one that was popular at that time and much of it is still maintained to this day.  An original blue print of the building is on display in the front reading room, and will verify this fact.  The building was formally opened to the public on October 20, 1942.

            Since that time the library has been maintained with funds from the Gibson Trust, a Buckhannon City Levy, West Virginia Library Funds, the Lillie Gould and Lowell Armstrong Trusts and individual contributions.

     The library houses a genealogical section which has proven to be very popular.  One piece of furniture located in the building often stimulates many questions.  It is located on the mezzanine and is a replica of a tall, narrow medieval inn, namely the Tabard Inn in Southwark, London, the starting point of Chaucer's 14th century Canterbury Tales.   Local tradition says this shelf goes back to 1898 when it was maintained as the branch of the Tabard Inn Rental Library Service operated by Miss Lizzie Arnold in her dry goods store.

 
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Historical Highlights