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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.




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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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