History of the Mason County District Library – Part 2

History of the Scottville Library

In 1899 retired banker Mr. Charles Blain donated a lot on South Main Street in Scottville for a library. Money to build a building and purchase books was raised by subscription and by holding socials. The first library was known as the Blain Reading Association and was located at 113 S. Main St.

Parts of the library were leased for various purposes. Mr. Virgil Fitch had his justice of the peace office in the library and acted as the librarian. It was also the site for Mrs. Lowa Tracy’s millinery shop and Mrs. Mark Smith’s beauty shop.

Downtown Scottville 1910
Scottville grew in population from 554 in 1900 to 891 in 1910
Downtown Scottville
Main Street Scottville c. 1930s

In 1940 this first building was sold and removed and a new building was erected. At first the library was located on the second floor with the offices of the Michigan Public Service Company on the first floor. In the early 1950’s, the Michigan Public Service Company moved and the library expanded, with the children’s room on the top floor, adult books on the first floor and magazines in the basement.

Mason County Library

In 1941 the County Board of Supervisors established the County Library.  At its inception and until 1953, the county library was housed in the basement of the Ludington library and served 53 rural schools and 10 communities through the bookmobile.

In 1952 the Scottville Library board and the County library board agreed to merge. The Scottville library sold the building on South Main and turned to proceeds over to the county for the construction of a new building in Scottville.

On October 4, 1952 the new county library on East State Street was opened with books from both the Scottville and county libraries. Read the newspaper article about the new, spacious library that will be built! A need for more space was met in 1958 with the addition of a children’s room and workroom.

Scottville 1952 LDN
Ludington Public Library circa 1925

Part 3 of the History of Mason County District Library will chronicle the formation of our District Library.