Etowah Carnegie Library, the second public building erected in Etowah (the first being the Old Grammar school building in 1910) was first built in 1915 by means of an $8,000.00 grant From the Carnegie Foundation. It was built on property donated by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company. There are only 2,500 Carnegie Libraries in the world. About 1,700 of these are in the United States.
The two-story brick edifice is 100 feet long by 40 feet in depth, facing Ohio Avenue, with the remainder of the property then in use as a quasi-park, a calaboose (jail) and later a fire station. After World War I, the park was used for the display of captured German artillery. During the late 1960’s, the park south of the Library was used for the construction of a combination police and fire department building.
The Carnegie building has always been used primarily as a library, except for the years from 1918 to 1922 when it was occupied by the first Etowah High School. It remained in use as a high school until the new school was built on Washington Avenue and 5th street. After the school relocated City offices were established on the ground floor, with part of it used for an auditorium. This has continued until this date.
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