Sunday, November 27, 2016

Back to the 50's--Perrysville Library

     Typical of Hughes Family holidays, we delve back into our childhood and for me, that means Perrysville, Pennsylvania and our first house at 745 Washington Drive.  This Thanksgiving was no different and since Thursday, I have been spending any free time I can gather, google searching for information, maps, a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g I can find on several topics.  This blog concerns the Perrysville Library of the 1950's.  My childhood library.

     Slim pickins on this topic on line.  A little research....a lot of memory.

     I attended Perrysville Elementary School for Kindergarten through sixth grade. That would be 1952-1958.  My neighbor and childhood friend, Ruthie Arthur, and I walked to school every day, were brownies and girl scouts, took streetcar rides into Pittsburgh from West View, played in the woods behind our houses, walked to West View to watch movies at the Gerard Theater, and on and on for the entire time we lived a door away from each other on Washington Drive.

Red marks the spot
Perrysville Library
Perrysville, Pennsylvania
From a 1940 map
     One of the places that Ruthie and I frequented was the Perrysville Library.  It was a quick walk or bicycle ride from Perrysville Elementary School or again, about a mile walk or bike ride from home

     The library was a very small building, somewhat hidden away from the bustle of downtown Perrysville.  There was a short alley beside the Perrysville Fire Department and a quick turn to the left behind the fire department was the location of the library. Inside the walls were lined with shelves, floor to ceiling with books. There was a children's section and I seem to remember I enjoyed Nancy Drew mysteries and the Bobbsey Twins series.

     Oddly, one of the books I remember taking out was Stowaway from a Mushroom Planet.   When I googled it, I remembered the cover; however, none of the story seemed familiar.  

     I have tried to capture a picture of the unique pencil with an attached date stamp. The librarian used it to mark the lending cards.  However, I did manage to capture an old library card which would be tucked inside a pocket that was attached to either the front or back cover of every book in the library.  I seem to remember that I did not sign the card.  The librarian would stamp the date loaned and then use the pencil to write my name as the borrower.

Have no idea why this is sideways.  Odd ;-)

     I was so impressed with the entire inner workings of the Perrysville Library that I decided to have a library of my own in my bedroom.  I had a collection of books and made and attached paper pockets inside the front cover.  Then took more paper and cut out library cards.  I must have gone to the local 5&10 and purchased a date stamp and stamp pad.  Voila!  The Linda Hughes Lending Library was born.  

     I did have one success.  I located a newspaper article regarding the Perrysville Library that was published in a local newspaper in 1962.  By then, I was in high school and had moved away from my childhood home near Perrysville.  

     This little library was a magical place for an elementary school girl of the 50's.  And what a delightful memory.

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