Two special anniversaries being marked this year

TWO VERY SPECIAL INSTITUTIONS in the city of Plymouth are celebrating anniversaries this year – one 100 years old, the other 25 years old, and both vital to the community.

It was in 1915 that the Plymouth Public Library found a permanent home of its own after a nomadic existence in various rented or loaned locations for a number of years, thanks to the efforts of many local civic groups. The brand new Carnegie library building on Division Street - one of more than 1,500 such libraries built across the country in the early years of the 20th Century under the impetus of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie – was one of 63 Carnegie libraries that were built in Wisconsin between 1901 and 1915.

The library, with remodelings and additions over the years, continues to serve Plymouth and the surrounding area while keeping up with modern technology and information services to meet today’s needs. It is one of only 21 of the original Wisconsin Carnegie libraries still in use as a library today – a remarkable accomplishment.

Three-quarters of a century later, under the leadership of the late Jim Stahlman, a group of residents decided to form a new organization dedicated to honoring, preserving and promoting the rich and varied history of the city of Plymouth.

The group they formed, the Plymouth Historical Society, quickly made their mark in the city, sponsoring regular events to remember the city’s history, sponsoring publications that highlighted much of what made Plymouth and where it came from, leading efforts to recognize landmark historic buildings and structures, and much more.

The culmination of their efforts came with the opening of the Plymouth Historical Society Museum at 420 E. Mill St., appropriately located in a restored historic building in the heart of the city’s landmark downtown area.

The society has diligently worked to ensure that Plymouth’s present and future are enhanced and enriched by recognizing and honoring its past, where we have come from and where we are going.

This year, the Plymouth Historical Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary and the Plymouth Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Both have a full slate of events scheduled throughout the year to allow the public to join in the celebrations.

For the library, it will include a variety of displays throughout the year – including a traveling exhibit from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in July – and special events running the gamut from button collecting to pioneer lifestyles and more. It all culminates in a community Christmas party in December with presents and cookies.

The historical society will be augmenting its usual array of annual events with special events and culminating in a 25th anniversary celebration dinner at Amore in October.

The two celebrations will come together in June when the Plymouth Historical Society will include the Plymouth Public Library in its annual landmarking event, recognizing the historic structure.

These events and more will be open to the general public, providing a chance to recognize these two special institutions and the vital role they play in our community. Take advantage of any or all of them to be part of the recognition and acknowledgment we all owe the Plymouth Public Library and the Plymouth Historical Society.

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