National Library Week

Apr 9 2018, 4:51 pm in

I grew up in St Augustine Florida, the oldest city in the nation. History all round. Many buildings in use date to the early 1700’s. My grandparent’s home was built around civil war times.  

One was constructed around 1783, by Bernardo Segui.  It also was the home of Edmond Smith, the last Confederate general to surrender his command. He was born in the home in 1824. In 1863 Union officials exiled the general’s mother from the city for spying.   

The house came to be called the Segui-Smith House. In 1895 it was given to the city to be used as a library.  My library.

It’s a good possibility many of the books I perused on the shelves had been there since 1895. Really. It’s still in use as a research library, home to historical records. That building holds powerful memories for me.

Rainy afternoons sitting in a corner listening to rain tap a beat on the banana leaves and palm fronds in the courtyard. The rooms were dark and the library cards yellowed.  The wood floors upstairs creaked when no one stepped on them. The powerful musty scent of dust, old paper and history was comforting. I honestly can’t remember any books I checked out and if I remember correctly there were a set of encyclopedias from the 18th century. Yes, I am that old that I didn’t have a device to look everything up on not the 18th century part.     

I miss my library.   

Do you have fond Library memories?

   

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