on Monday 10 April 2006
by admin author list
in content > Society related

Source: excerpts from a small booklet promoting the Mary W. Dixon Library and Museum. The booklet is circa 1979

front cover of booklet


Many happy and busy hours were spent in 1941 at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Amos F. Dixon preparing books for a free public library which was originally housed in the Stillwater Township School.

In 1945 when space was needed for classrooms, the Dixons purchased the old Stillwater Academy Building to provide space for the library and to serve as a community center.

Hiram Beegle, a long-time resident of Stillwater, became caretaker of the potbellied stove, the only source of heat in the building at that time. Mr. Beegle was a collector and had a good sized museum in his home which he willed to the Board of Librarians.

In 1954, after many efforts to raise money for an addition to the library building to contain the collection, Mrs. Charlotte L. Jones of Middleville, generously donated the funds to erect a two story building. The museum is housed on the second floor, where the original potbellied stove is displayed. A pleasant community kitchen is on the first floor. This has been used by many civic organizations.

Upon the death of Mrs. Dixon in 1958, Mr. Dixon set up a trust fund to ensure the continued maintenance of the premises. The Board of Librarians has continued to keep the book collection up-to-date. This has belied the prophecy of a state library official who said, "It would never work because volunteer libraries always die out in a short time." Thirty-four years later, we are still the town's library!

The 30 member board functions on a voluntary basis and the members take turns acting as librarians and museum guides. Those books which are not donated are bought with funds raised by the group.

We trust you will make use of its available services.

back page of booklet