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Celebrate Sage Library's 130th Birthday

Thursday, January 16, 5:30-7:30 pm

January 13, 2014       1 Comments
By: Mary Ruthko

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Sage Branch Library

Join the Bay County Library System for a very special birthday celebration! Sage Branch Library turns 130 on Thursday, January 16. From 5:30 to 7:30 pm on this day, you and your family are invited to a free open house at this beautiful branch located at 100 E. Midland St. in Bay City.

Featured events and entertainment include harpist Karen Parelius, balloon animals and magic tricks with Joel Tacey, cake and beverages, photos with a life size Flat Henry, adult and teen "I Spy" with a chance to win a gift card, children's "I Spy" for a prize from the treasure chest, and a special Sage birthday prize for children in attendance!

Sage Library Facts:
  • Donated to West Bay City by prominent lumber baron Henry Williams Sage. The gift, which included land, building and 10,000 volumes, was worth between $40,000 and $60,000.
  • Dedicated and opened on January 16, 1884.
  • The building's architecture has been described as French Chateau, Victorian Gothic and Ruskin Gothic.
  • When it opened, the library occupied the second floor with a reading room and debate area. The first floor was used as a school, and the third floor was used as school administration offices.
  • The fountain of Leda and the Swan is an original feature. Vandalized in 1977, it was beautifully restored by Scott Pope and the Friends of the Fountain.
  • The statue on the front of the building is called the Lady of Learning. She lost her arm because it stuck out just far enough for children to swing on!
  • The fireplace tiles were made in England by the Minton China Works between 1875 and 1880. The top tiles represent scenes from Sir Walter Scott's Waverly novels. The tiles down the sides are from various fairy tales.
  • The original slate roof lasted for 106 years! It was replaced in 1990.
  • Sage Library is on both State and National Registers of Historic Buildings.

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    Gabriel says:       On January 16, 2014 at 09:31 AM
    Happy 130th Birthday to the Sage Library. I love this building,the Leda and the Swan Fountain, and the large wonderful statue of Knowledge (that's what I always called her). I learned to read in this wonderful library,as did so many thousands of children from the Bay City area.I should say hundreds of thousands learned to read there. I was proud to join Mr. Pope as we fought to have the fountain and its cast iron statue of Leda and the Swan(Zeus) saved and working again. I have always hoped that one day the missing arm on the Statue of Knowledge would be restored. I have seen pictures in books in the Sage Library of what she looked like.Couldn't a group start a committee to restore her missing arm. Let's give Knowledge a hand,and HUGE hand of applause to the Sage Library for all it has done for us over the years. I am a criminal defense attorney in Washington State and Oregon. Thank you Sage Library,and all your staff over the years. I am exactly, at 65,half the age as the Sage. I'd like to give Knowledge a hand to say thanks,as I am sure others would.Happy Birthday,Gabriel Sheridan, Portland,Oregon,Seattle,Washington, and Inverell,NSW,Australia.
    Agree? or Disagree?

    Mary Ruthko

    Mary Penn currently serves as Marketing Manager for the Bay County Library System.

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