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1880s: Taylors Falls Public Library

Location: 417 Bench St., Taylors Falls, Chisago County
Built: 1854, 1887
Builder: John Jacob Spengler, Thomas Peck
Listed on NRHP: October 15, 1970

For early Minnesota residents, public libraries often provided a getaway – a place to turn armchair traveler or lose oneself in a good book. Built originally as a residence and tailor shop for John Jacob Spengler, the house was sold in 1887 to the Taylors Falls Library Association for use as the town library.

The single-story, wood-frame building was built in 1854 in the Eastlake style. The front room with its barrel-vault ceiling served as Spengler's tailor shop, which made uniforms for Taylors Falls soldiers during the Civil War. Spengler and his family lived in the back room, decorated with oak-grained pine woodwork and a pressed tin ceiling.

Few changes were made to the building when it was converted to a library in 1887. There the Taylors Falls Library Association housed its collection, catalogued in order of acquisition beginning with a Bible. The library, filled with travel diaries, children's stories, tales of adventure, mysteries and novels, proved popular with townspeople and summer visitors alike.

 Minnesota Historical Society· 345 W. Kellogg Blvd.,
 St. Paul, MN 55102-1906·651-259-3000  Copyright ©  2007. Send questions/comments to

Click to go to larger photo of Taylors Falls Public Library.
Click to go to larger photo of Taylors Falls Public Library.
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