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KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Community Rallies to Save Library

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

Franklin's Carnegie Library is one of the town's most historic relics.

But over the years, it has deteriorated to the point of needing major repairs.

That's why the community is coming together to save the library.From it's red tiled roof, to the towering concrete steps, the Carnegie Library has been the cornerstone of Franklin for nearly a hundred years.

It was Franklin's first mayor R.M. Cole, who thought the town needed a library.

So he applied for money from the Carnegie Foundation.

In 1913, Cole was given 7500 dollars to build the library.

"It takes a while to do all this -- but we've come a long way," said Mary Cole.

Cole is the great-granddaughter of R-M Cole.

Now she's spending her retirement, trying to save the library from deterioration.

"It's my legacy. It's my town and I'll do all I can to save it," said Cole.

Charles Ellison is Franklin's current mayor but he's also an artist.

One of five local artists selling their artwork to raise money for the library's renovation project.

"I believe it's 1 of 4 in Texas that's still operating as a library. So it means quite a bit to us," said Ellison.

Since 1913, the library hasn't just been a library. It was used as a school house, meeting place and even a boy's locker room at one time.

"When I was 10 years old, we didn't know it was a library. Actually the bottom part was used for ag shop and the top was used for homemaking. All those years we thought it was a school building," said Ellison.

After renovation, hopefully there will be no doubt that the Carnegie Library is still a library.

The project will be completed in three phases.

$100,000 will have to be raised to fix the roof, then the basement's flooding problem will need to be fixed and finally they'll create a reading room so generations to come can enjoy what so many others have.

"Hopefully it'll still be standing. If we don't do something now, it won't be," said Cole.

If you'd like more information about the project give Mary Cole a call at 828-4865.


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