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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
October 31, 1997     Cape Gazette
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October 31, 1997
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 31 - November 6, 1997 - 7 Will the real birthplace of Rehoboth Beach Public Library please stand up .... As Rehoboth Beach Public Li- brary continues to raise funds for the million dollar expansion of its facilties on Rehoboth Avenue, Anne Duffin has been conducting her own campaign. According to extensive research conducted by Duffin over the past couple of years, Rehoboth Beach Public Library will mark its 85th anniversary in November of this year. Although she's found plenty of references to the early days of the library, and has compiled dozens of pages of information, one criti- cal aspect of the library's birth continues to escape her. Where exqactly was the Re- hoboth Beach Public Library born? If anybody knows where people of the town first went to check out books from the Rehoboth Beach Public Library, Anne would like to know. Checking local and state records, Anne determined that Re- hoboth Beach Public Library first received state funding of $37.50 in November of 1912. To receive the state money, the Village Im- provement Association (VIA) helped raise local funds for the re- quired match. It's that event that's being used to mark the birthdate of Rehoboth Beach Public Library and to observe this year as its 85th birthday. Rehoboth's VIA, which DUFFIN formed in 1909 as part of the wave of women's clubs rising across the country at the time, took the lead in formation of the public library. According to Duffin's research, establishment of free libraries rat- ed high on the list of community betterment projects being pursued by groups like the VIA. While there are many refer- ences to the library being housed in a number of private homes of the young resort town, Duffin found a reference that made her wonder whether the library's first location may have been in Union iiiliF  ...... i " ii .... BAREF00TIN' Dennis Forney Methodist Church [now gone] at 95 Rehoboth Avenue. "VIA min- utes of 1912 described events as club members worked to qualify for state funding for a town li- brary," wrote Duffin in her notes. "The minutes also noted that 'Mrs. Kates reported Miss Lulu Hooper's objection to the town people using the Union church as a library.' "Such use could have been a proposal at the time. But it's also possible the VIA, which had no regular meeting place, or a group called the Library Association, had a circulating book collection at the church." [In other words, it's not clear whether Miss Lulu was objecting to stacks of secular literature in her church or whether she was just trying to head the heathens off at the pass.] Duffin also found an early refer- ence to Miss Ann Hazzard's rec- ollections of the library's begin- nings. In a newspaper article, Hazzard said that the library formed in 1912 and that a small room in the former City Hall quar- ters in the old fire hall building was used. After the library bounced from room to room and house to house between 1912 and 1927, it located for a number of years in a large room on the second floor of the brick public school building built in 1908 on the north side of the third block of Rehoboth Avenue. ""The room had been used for VIA meetings briefly during comple- tion of the VIA oceanfront club- house in 1926," Duffin noted. After residing in a number of Continued on page 8 The Rehoboth Beach Village Improvement Association (VIA) formed in 1909 and served as catalyst for creation of Re- hoboth Beach Public Library. The VIA's oceanfront club- house, shown here, was completed in 1926. THIS WILL SELL FAST! Builder's Personal Residence 5 Bedrooms ~ 4 Baths ~ 3.08 Acres In-Ground Pool ~ Heated Workshop Formal Living Room ~ Separate Dining Room Large Family Room ~ Cape School District 123 Breezewood Drive Four bedroom - two bath Cape Cod on large lot Two car garage & studio $149,900 57B Delaware - Rehoboth Three bedroom condo Second Floor recently redecorated $124,500 16 Hickman St. - 3W Top Floor 2BR Condo Heat & A/C Ocean View Deck $119,500 127 Kings Creek Circle 3BR, 2BA, screened porch, cedar deck, two-car garage, hardwood floors, Berber carpet, tile baths, pre-stained cedar siding, gas heat and central A/C. Cathedral ceilings in Great Room & Master Bedroom. Includes full golfmenabership. October 15 completion. $295,000 Lewes Close to Hosp. Apt. Bldg. 5 Units I 14 Coleman Fully Rented Year-Round Asking Only $299,900 I have ready, willing and able buyers for[ lots in Rehoboth. Please call me if you ! would consider selling. You do not I have to sign a listing agreement. J Call Oaa9 NEW LISTING OCEAN BLOCK EFFICIENCY OFF STREET PARKING Unit 101, Sea House Condominium at /2 Wilmington Avenue Convenient location for seasonal workers or a basic getaway spot. LOW PRICE $51,900 Doug Davis Associate Broker RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach 226-DOUG (Direct) 1-888-226 DOUG (Toll Free) Fax 226-0970 - email:doug@davis.com