Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - May 11, 1863 - First Meeting of the LaPorte Library and Natural History Association

May 11, 1863 - First Meeting of the LaPorte Library and Natural History Association
La Porte established an informal library early in its existence. The first settlers came into the embryonic village in 1833. By the next year, the residents began collecting books and funds for a library. The collection grew as the citizens purchased more books with their accumulated funds and soon reached 300 volumes. The citizens housed their collection in the office of attorney John Niles. During the long years of the Civil War La Porte residents began a more organized approach to their library. Calling it the LaPorte Reading Room and Library Association, they acquired books that the Working Men's Institute of New Harmony had provided the town, brining their collection to over 700 volumes. On March 11, 1863 the directors of the Reading Room met and submitted a report to the city about their activities. Encouraged, in 1864 they renamed their library the  LaPorte Library and Natural History Association. Using the resources of the Association they collected books, newspaper, Amerindian artifact and other periodicals. In addition to this the Association sponsored lectures, hosting well-known intellectuals from the time. For more information, contact:
Laporte Public Library 
904 Indiana Avenue
La Porte, IN 46350
219-362-6156

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