Augusta Lithgow Library.

The Lithgow Library and Reading Room online

. (page 8 of 10)
Online LibraryAugusta Lithgow LibraryThe Lithgow Library and Reading Room → online text (page 8 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

will do them no harm) :

Do not confine your reading too much to works
of fiction. Such reading tends to weaken the
memory, causes unhealthy excitement, and some of
the works instill erroneous views of real life. Read
biography, history, poetry, general literature, or
something else. It would be a good rule never to


The Lithgow Library

read two novels in immediate succession, but, in-
variably, after you have finished reading one, to
read carefully a different kind of work before you
touch another novel. I do not refer to that impure
class of works that endeavor to make vice attractive,
for our trustees will see to it that such books shall
never have a place in this library.

I have felt a special interest in this library ever
since Mr. Lithgow called upon me and informed me
what he intended to do, and requested me to prepare
a provision to be put into a will, and I then drew
the section for the Lithgow Library and Reading
Room, which he took and inserted in the will which
he himself prepared.

The words "Reading Room" were inserted for a
purpose, and I hope his purpose may be carried out,
and that newspapers as well as periodicals will be
provided, and the reading room kept open and made
comfortable and attractive ; and that our young
men will make it a point to spend their evenings
there in useful reading.

The generous founder of this library has well done
his part, and others have liberally done theirs, and
I now commend it to the city, in the hope that it
will receive such aid that the whole of the thousand
dollars annual income of the trust fund can be used


AND Reading Room.

for the purchase of books, and additions to the library
that will make it a library worthy of its venerated
founder and of the capital of the State.

Mr. Cornish, who needs no introduction to any
audience in this part of the country, has kindly
consented to address you.


Mr. President, Ladies wad Gentlemen: — It
would seem more fitting on this occasion if the
response on behalf of the board of trustees were
made by the honored president, who for so many
years has been closely identified with the best
interests of this institution ; but we know that he
has always been ready to bear his part when health
would permit, and has kept both himself and us
unmindful of his advancing years by holding himself
in close touch with the progressive movements of
the day, and by maintaining a deep and earnest
interest in all that concerns the intellectual and
moral welfare of this community. We therefore
comply with his request to be relieved from more
arduous labors, and count it good fortune that in
spite of his nearly ninety-four summers (he has had


The Lithgow Library

no winters,) he is permitted to preside on this
occasion and to witness the completion of this work.

The duty that he has selected me, as his subaltern,
to perform, is a most pleasant one, that of express-
ing to the building committee our appreciation
of their labors, and of accepting this perfected
structure fresh from their hands. No formal address
is required or expected, and no literary disquisition
need be attempted. We are gathered here, as
friends and neighbors, joint stockholders in a good
enterprise, in a purely informal manner to observe
this simple service of dedication, or as it might
perhaps be better termed, of recognition.

On a bright June day of 1894, with imposing
ceremonies and in the presence of a vast assemblage,
the corner stone of this building was appropriately
and impressively laid. The deep blue of a rare
June day hovered over us with all the beauty of a
new heaven, and the full measure of a New England
springtide surrounded us with all the fragrance of a
new earth. In a few hours the martial music had
ceased, the pomp and display had vanished and the
spectators had dispersed to their respective homes.
Scarcely had the curtain rung down upon that first
fair scene when there came upon the stage,
unheralded and without display, a small body of


O^O^^^v-^ (L^^'tS ^'^-^-i^t^t'^^<^



AND Reading Room.

men into whose hands had been committed the
erection and completion of the structure. Faithfully,
patiently and persistently they have done their work
and this afternoon they present to us as the best
evidence of their stewardship, this perfected building,
with its rugged strength, its chaste outlines, its
elegant equipment. Many may have wondered why
more rapid progress was not made, and why roof
did not more closely follow upon foundation. It is
but just to the committee to say that progress has
been made as rapidly as was consistent with
thoroughness and that "well done" rather than
"quickly finished " has been the motive. Somewhere
I have heard this legend used as a text : A traveler
in a strange country saw workmen busily engaged
upon the foundation of a building. And the stranger
said to the workmen, " What build ye here — a palace-
or a hovel?" And the workmen replied, "Sire, we-
know not, for we build in the dark." "See to it,,
then," said the stranger, "that ye build Avell."

It was prosaic, this digging for firm foundations,
this laying of stone on stone, of brick on brick, this
fastening together of timbers, this finishing, part
by part. And yet as the rough stone of the quarrj-
was gradually transformed into the graceful exterior,
and the rugged oak of the forest grew into pillar,


The Lithgow Library

wainscot and cornice, their satisfaction must have
been not unlike that of the sculptor whose chisel
calls forth the statue from the marble, or the artist
whose brush bids the portrait speak from out the

Gentlemen of the Committee, you have given to
this work the most valuable gift that busy men can
bestow upon the public, your time, and for the days
and months which you have devoted to it you deserve
and will receive the deepest gratitude.

It was appropriate that the beginning should
have been made in the spring time. It is equally
appropriate that its completion should have been
reached in midwinter, which to us of New England
suggests so much of indoor comfort, and that this
twilight hour should have been selected for this
simple service of dedication, that hour which is the
dearest of the day, gathering the family about the
hearthstone in that circle of mutual love and
helpfulness, of intellectual culture and moral
improvement which the stern bleakness of a New
England winter seems only to cherish and to
strengthen. To me the best picture of a New
England home is found just there, and now as night
approaches, these members of a larger circle have
gathered about this intellectual hearthstone to be


AND Reading Room.

welcomed to this new home of learning and to
dedicate it to the noble purposes for which it was
conceived and erected.

The citizens of Augusta may be pardoned if they
feel to-day, a full measure of honest pride and self-
satisfaction. In the first place, this is pre-eminently
a Maine institution, and I can almost say, an
Augusta institution. Its founder was a native of
this State and lived all his life within her borders.
Nearly every gift toward the building fund, supple-
menting the bequest of the founder, was made by either
a native or a resident of Maine and with rare excep-
tions a native or a resident of this city. This building
was designed by a Maine man, a native of the same
county as Mr. Lithgow. It is built of INIaine granite,
the product of our inexhaustible quarries. It has ]>een
put together by Maine men, the faithfulness of whose
work will bear the most scrutinizing test; and it is
to be used by Maine people who will see to it that
an institution so founded and a building so designed
and constructed shall be fostered and maintained.

In the second place, this library speaks for the
public spii-it of our citizens. It proves that they
may be relied upon to encourage and support an
institution that deserves their confidence, and that
wealth accumulated in our midst is used not for


The Lithgow Library

selfish purposes alone, but for the broader service
of humanity.

The man whose name it bears was an honored
resident of this city for more than forty years, living
a quiet, unostentatious life, but a life inspired by
broad purposes. His generous bequest crystalized
and made permanent his spirit of beneficence and
has created for him a monument more enduring than
bronze. But I regard it as fortunate that large as that
bequest was, it was not ample for the fulfillment of
the purpose because it gave an opportunity to test
the generosity of our people in order to complete
the work begun. How cheerfully they responded !
This building, with the lot on which it stands,
represents in round numbers a cost of $50,000. Of
this sum, $20,000 came from the residuum of Mr.
Lithgow's estate, $9000 from Mr. Carnegie, and the
balance, $21,000, from what may be termed popular
subscriptions. Twelve contributions were received
of $1000 each. In return for so large a gift the
subscribers were granted the privilege of naming an
alcove in memory of such person as they might
designate, and the bronze tablets in the library
below bear those names. But they mark, too,
though not in letters, the names of the givers, and
will stand not only as memorials to the departed but
also as tributes to the generosity of the living.


AND Reading Room.

The other $9000 out of the $21,000 was raised by
smaller contributions ranging from $5 to $500, and
to the credit of our citizens let it be said that not a
single subscription out of the entire $21,000 will be
lost to the library. I therefore rejoice that this
library is not the gift of one person. We honor
the memory of Mr. Lithgow, and but for his
benevolence the event which we are now celebratino:
would doubtless have been much longer delayed ;
but gifts are not always fully appreciated and the
fact that this building represents not the donation
of one but of many, and that the many are to have
the privilege of using it gives a sense of proprietor-
ship that will insure watchful care over it in the

And in this connection a word should be said in
gratitude to Mr. Carnegie for his princely gift of
$9000, a surprise to us but not to those who know
of his many charities. So large a donation from a
gentleman who had never been within our city and
who knew little of it except from his personal
acquaintance with our distinguished citizen, Mr.
Blaine, himself the donor of $1000 to the fund, and
from the earnest appeal of Mr. Randall, bears the
impress of a man whose hand has ever been open in
well directed generosity and who deemed this object


The Lithgow Library

worthy of his attention. We regret that he cannot
be with us to-day. But the citizens of Augusta will
hold the name of Andrew Carnegie in grateful
remembrance and an appropriate tablet will be
placed within these walls to commemorate his
munificent gift.

In the third place, this city should be proud,
to-day, because this library shall be henceforth in
fact as well as in name, a public library. In
addition to the residuary bequest to which I have
already alluded, Mr. Lithgow made a specific
bequest of $20,000, to be held by the city in trust
forever as a permanent fund, the income thereof to
be used for the maintenance of the library and the
purchase of books. That fund is now and will
continue to be so held, but the annual income of
$1000 therefrom was insufiicient to properly main-
tain the library in its new quarters and allow
anything for the purchase of bookvS unless an annual
charge were made to the takers, as has been done
in the past. The city in its municipal capacity was
then appealed to, and was asked to grant an annual
appropriation of $1000, provided the trustees would
make the library free to all the people of our city,
subject only to such restrictions as would be
necessary for its care and preservation. The city


AND Reading Room.

government cheerfully grunted the request and in
so doing voiced an enlightened and progressive
public sentiment. This action on their part brings
us also an annual donation of $100, on the part of
the State, for the Legislature has deemed it wise to
encourage in a substantial manner the increase of
free public libraries as a part of our educational

Is it strange, then, that we should congratulate
ourselves because of our good fortune, with a
beautiful building free from debt, with a library
choice if not large, with a fixed annual income of
$2100, and best of all, with the words, "Welcome to
the people," inscribed above the entrance.

And this means what? That to-morrow at ten
o'clock, for the first time in the history of this city,
a free public library will open its doors to all its
citizens of suitable age, and that without money and
without price the advantages of self-culture will be
accessible to all. It means that that beautiful reading
room, itself a source of education, may become the
private library of the boys and girls, the young
men and the young women of this town, w^here
amid artistic surroundings they may sit and read the
best thoughts of the best thinkers. It means that
the searchers after truth can find in the card catalogue


The Lithgow Library

which has just been completed the key to the
treasures upon the shelves, and can glean all that is
there contained upon any subject or along any line
of thought.

Few can have the advantage of a collegiate educa-
tion, and most of the world's workers must be self
educated, if educated at all. Here are 7000 volumes
carefully selected, including the best works of the
best authors, and they are yours for use. Do you
wish to associate with the best society? Come here
and you shall find it. Do you wish to make friends
who will be as steadfast in adversity as in prosperity,
who know no change but are always constant,
helpful and true ? They are waiting for you on the
shelves below. And as you meet these great men
here, you can talk with them and they with you,
without the formality of an introduction. Tennyson,
the man, lived a recluse in the Isle of Wight, where
personal approach was well nigh impossible, and if
by chance you were ushered into his presence, the
coldness of his manner rendered escape desirable.
Tennyson, the poet, lives here and is the same sweet,
honest-hearted soul to every one who will but knock
at his cloth-covered door. Many a traveler goes to
Concord to visit the old manse by the early battle-



AND Reading Room.

field, where Hawthorne dwelt, and the plain white
house where Emerson wrote his world-wide truths.
But the "Mosses from an Old Manse" are richer
still, and the immortal truths themselves than the
house in which they were written.

Not a few journey across the water to see the
thatched cottage of Burns in bonnie Ayrshire, the
baronial castle of Scott on the banks of the Tweed,
or the churchyard where Shakespeare lies in Strat-
ford-upon-Avon, and there is a thrill of satisfaction
even in seeing the places where great men once
lived and worked ; but it is better far to know the
thoughts, to understand the teachings and to catch
the spirit of the men themselves. These, these, are
here. And it is to such companionship that the doors
are now thrown open.

The trustees therefore accept this building from
the committee with a deep sense of gratitude, but
with a deeper sense of the responsibility it imposes.
They accept it as trustees for the people, pledging
themselves to cherish and promote its interests and
to transmit it to their successors richer, stronger and
more potent. They accept it too, with the confident
hope that as the past has brought forth friends to
found, erect and equip, so the future shall raise up


The Lithgow Library

other benefactors to enlarge, to increase and to

And now as the final word before the old order of
things passes into the new, let rae add that the
trustees would dedicate this building to wider learn-
ing, to better citizenship, to truer manhood and to
nobler womanhood ; they w^ould dedicate it to the
higher service of man, and therefore to thp worthier
service of God.

May peace, plenty and prosperity attend this
institution as it now steps forth into a wider sphere
of action, clothed with new garments and eager for
the work that lies before it.

* Among the bequests of the late Hon. Joseph H. Williams,
(born Feb. 15, 1814,) was one for the sum of one thousand dollars
in favor of the Lithgow Library. Mr. "Williams with his sisters
(Mrs. Helen A. Gilman of Portland, Miss Ann Williams and Mrs.
Jane E. Judd of Augusta,) contributed $1000 to the building
fund. The historical engraving, Cromwell Befusing the Crown
of England, which hangs above the mantel in the Book Room,
was the gift of Mr. Williams. The hanging of that rare and im-
pressive picture was the occasion of the revered donor's last
visit to the Library, when the weight of years was bearing
heavily upon him, a few weeks before his death, July 19, 1896.

Mrs. Mary Nason Robinson, daughter of the late Edward A.
Nason of Augusta and widow of the late Samuel F. Robinson of
Indianapolis, Indiana (formerly of Augusta), bequeathed by will
the sum of $1000 to the Lithgow Library and Reading Room.
The will was probated at Indianapolis, November 5, 1896.


AND Reading Room.

The exercises closed with a benediction pronounced
by Rev. James S. Williamson.


Almighty God ! May the years bring to our
experience the joys of the love which fills Thy heart
and may eternity employ the exercises of our
minds so as
to perceive
the beauty

and wisdom which dwells supremely in Thee and
in all the works of Thy hands. We ask in the
name of our Lord and brother, Jesus Christ. Amen.




JOSEPH LADD NEAL, was born in Wiscasset,
Maine, May 27th, 1866. In 1886, he commenced
the study of architecture as a student in the office of
C. Howard Walker, architect, Boston, Mass. Before
leavins: Boston for New York, he studied and
worked as a draughtsman in the office of the succes-
sors to Henry Hobson Richardson, of Brookline,
Mass. , (father and promoter of the modern American
Romanesque style of architecture) when the influ-
ence of that famous architect was still strong, and
where Mr. Neal imbibed a respect for that style
which is indicated in the strong lines of many of his
designs, including the Lithgow Library.

In New York, he was connected with some of the
largest and most prominent buildings in that city
and vicinity, including the "Wilkes Building,"




The Lithgow Library.

building for the "Farmers' Loan and Trust Co.,"
"Bank of America," "Mechanics' Bank," the "Green-
wich Savings Bank," "Chapel" at Sailors' Snug
Harbor, and "All Saints' Cathedral/'

In the fall of 1891, he established his present
office at No. 61, Fourth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Penn.,

C^^ and shortly

y^^^^ys^ after formed
' partnership
^ with Alfred Hopkins,
with whom he had been
associated while in the office of James Ken wick, —
now deceased, one of the oldest and most prominent
of New York architects. This partnership was dis-
solved in 1894, Mr. Neal continuing the business.

Among the successful buildings designed by this
lirm, may be mentioned the "First Unitarian Church,"
Pittsburgh; "Home for Colored Orphans," Alle-
ghany, Penn. ; Hotel, at Ellwood, Penn. ; Power
House for the " Alleghany County Light Co. ;" the
"Morrill Memorial Library," at Norwood, Mass.,
(now, 1896, under construction, and the result of
the fame of the Lithgow Library,) and including
residences in Pittsburgh for Mr. James Neale, John
A. Bower, Charles M. Bollman, and the summer
residence for Mr. James B. Dewhurst at Ross
Mountain Park.


The Lithgow Library

Mr. Neal considers the Lithgow Library — the
honor for which he shares with his former partner,
Mr. Hopkins — to be among the best, if not the
best, result of his hibors, and of which he is
justifiably proud.

Mr. Neal's ancestry as shown on the annexed
genealogical chart, runs back in two of its lines at
least, to families of the first two colonies of New
England, — John Alden of Plymouth and Chris-
topher Wadsworth of the Massachusetts colony.
It is a fact of interest and not unworthy of note
here, that it was one of the descendants of John
Alden, (whom Longfellow idealized in Myles Stan-
dish's Courtship and who personally engaged in
establishing and conducting the Pilgrims' trading-
house at Cushnoc,) who was selected as the designer
of a library building for the city that has been built
at the place where two and a half centuries ago the
pilgrim ancestor trafficked with the Indians in the
interest of the Plymouth Colony. Mary South worth,
wife of David Alden, son of John and Priscilla
Mullin Alden, was a daughter of Constance South-
worth, the first resident magistrate at Cushnoc.

Alfred Hopkins, son of Capt. Alfred Hopkins,
U. S. N., was born in Saratoga, N. Y., March 14th,

mi i

i 5

-I 1

3 «.3


I 1

2i O

-1^ s

2? i



AND Reading Room.

1870. He lived and commenced his studies in

architecture in Washington, D. C, and before his

professional connection with Mr. Neal spent a

number of years

^ n I n I I J -

draitsman m the U I

office of James Renwick. He is an energetic young
man of many talents, and in addition to his success
as an artist and architect, is a musician of marked
ability, — playing many instruments and ranking
high as an amateur performer on the violin and
violin-cello. His friends predict a successful career
in either or both of his favorite pursuits, and should
he concentrate his energy and abilities on either, it is
safe to predict fame as the result.


The Lithgow Library.



Neal and Hopkins, Architects, No. 61 4th Avenue, Pitts-
burgh, Pa.

Granite for the foundation walls : Augusta Granite Co. ;
Philip H. Carey, foreman; Albert T. Fuller, treasurer.

Granite (wrought and carved) for the superstructure : The
DoDLiN Granite Company, Oakland ; "Wm. M. Ayer, treasurer.

All granite and brick masonry work : Sahth and Clark,
Augusta, superintended by Henry T. Clark.

The carpentry: Llewellyn E. Bradstreet, Hallowell;
Herbert M. Damren, foreman.

Roofing: The Celadon Terra Cotta Co., Alfred, N. Y.,
by J. K. Smith of Waterbury, Conn.

Adamanting walls and ceilings : Fred'k Cony, Augusta ; J.
Manley Nichols, foreman.

Painting and finishing woodwork : Hiram W. Judkins, fore-
man, Augusta.

Papier Mache and composition ornaments and carving of
capitals : Charles Emmel, No. 383 Albany St., Boston.

Gilding decoration in Reading Room, Ruby L. Gledhill, No.
874 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y., and John Weigel, Brooklyn,
New York.

Fire places tile : Charles A. Millen and Co., Nos. 11 and 12
Charlestown St., Boston, Mass.

Leaded glass windows (transoms) : Phipps, Slocxjm and Co.,
No. 144 Essex street, Boston, Mass.

Carved State Seal in Book Room: Morse and Co., Bangor,


The Lithgow Library


Book shelving and memorial tablets : The Fenton Metallic
Manufacturing Co., Jamesto'.vn, N. Y., M. S. Kelly, Agent.

Heating outfit: Tabkr, Cakey and Co., Augusta, Me., Willis
R. Goodwin, foreman.

Oak mantels (three) : R. S. Bradbury, Augusta.

Marble Wainscot, etc., in vestibule, Chas. E. Hall, Boston,


Carving names on granite panels aud medallions : Wm.
Tregembo and George B. Lord, Hallowell, Me.

Lighting fixtures : The Kennebec Light and Heat Co., John
A. Hamblin, superintendent; with the manufacture of
McKenny and Waterbury, Boston, Mass.

Vestibule floor: The Enamel and Mosaic Marble Co.,
Beverly St., Boston, Mass.

Leaded glass windows (basement) : Redding, Baird and Co.,
83 Franklin St., Boston, Mass.

Plate glass window sashes : Webber and Gage, Augusta, Me.

Filling and grading the grounds : J. A. Norton and O. R.
Wellman ; Robert McCutchix, foreman.

Reading Room furniture (mahogany) : The Grand Rapids
School Furniture Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. General Agent,
E. K. Fassett, No. 76 Fifth xAvenue, New York.

Catalogue cases, tables, etc. ; The Library Bureau, Boston,
Mass., General Agent.

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10

Online LibraryAugusta Lithgow LibraryThe Lithgow Library and Reading Room → online text (page 8 of 10)