About the Enumclaw Library
History of the Library
In 1922, the Parent-Teachers Association, the Pre-School Circle and other interested organizations sponsored a drive to collect books and funds to start a library. The Library opened in 1923 in City Hall. By January, 1924, the Library held 500 Danish books and 939 English language books. There were 548 registered borrowers and a monthly circulation of 736.
Johannes Mahler started a library building fund in the 1920's. In 1928, Mary Fell Stevenson Yerxa willed her home on the corner of Myrtle and Wells along with $100 to Enumclaw for use as a library. Her former residence housed the Enumclaw Library until 1953 when it was razed to build a new concrete block building on the site. The new library building was dedicated February 7, 1954. It had a main floor area of 3,100 square feet and a 1,716 square foot basement at a cost of $37,974, raised through public and private sources as well as a $20,000 bond issue.
From the 1950's to the 1980's, the Enumclaw Public Library served its expanding community from essentially the same physical plant. In 1963, an addition, the Pioneer Room was added after the Scholtfeldt family donated $25,000. The Enumclaw community supported its library with varied and continued gifts such as the Richard R. Lafromboise Memorial Fund in 1987.
The Library increased its hours of service, staff, adult and children's program, outreach to the nursing home and senior residences, and cooperative borrowing arrangements with neighboring Libraries. Unfortunately, by 1989, the library building was becoming grossly overtaxed dealing with 30,000 books and 100,000 plus borrower transactions a year. Growing community sentiment required a new town library be built.
Today the Library houses over 50,000 items, circulates over 175,000 annually, and has a patron base of 10,000.
In 1983, the city acquired the Burlington Northern right-of-way and appointed the Town Center Committee to develop a plan for the land. The Library Board of Trustees requested that space be allotted for a new library facility, and this was incorporated into the Town Center plan.
A bond issue was secured and funding was set for the new building. The ground breaking ceremony took place August 21, 1990. The library collection of over 40,000 materials was moved September 21, 1991 with a combination of volunteers and professional help. After a one-week closure, the new library was opened and dedicated September 28, 1991.
Last Updated: November 28, 2012