Brief History of the Library
The Schoharie Free Library was founded in 1916 by a group of women from the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It obtained its absolute charter from the State of New York in 1927 and became an Association Library in 1959. Also in that year, the Library joined the Mohawk Valley Library Association (MVLA).
In 1963, the weight of the books was damaging the DAR Hall and a fund drive to buy a new home for the Library was begun by the Schoharie Kiwanis Club, the Schoharie Rotary Club and others. Mr. James Cushing donated the money to buy the Miers house and the Library was called the Mary Beatrice Cushing Memorial Library in honor of his deceased wife.
In 1989, Schoharie was hit by a rare tornado. In 1994, the Library was hit by a different kind of storm as our first computer was installed. Also that year, the Carriage House in the back yard was destroyed by a fire caused by an overheated light fixture, and in January of 1995 a Flood of the Century deposited five feet of water in the basement. Of course, 2011’s Hurricane Irene did major damage as the 7 feet of water in the parking lot meant the entire cellar and 27” on the first floor were inundated.
Through it all, the Library has kept growing and has kept pace with the new technologies common to libraries today. We fully participate in the automated circulation system common to both MVLS (Mohawk Valley Library System) and SALS (Southern Adirondack Library System). The Addition/Renovation Project has yielded a beautiful new Children’s Area and an elegantly redecorated interior. Stop in and visit us!
Brief History of the Miers House
The house was built around 1866 by Jacob Miers, who ran a Dry Goods store on Main Street in Schoharie. It has two fireplaces said to be made of Italian marble inlaid with gold. During the post-Irene rebuilding, it was decided that they are actually faux-painted stone, not marble. The front newel post is not original to the building; it came from an unknown structure on the grounds of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. The property was inherited by Jacob’s only child, Hattie Miers, and passed through several more owners before being acquired by the Library.
(photo courtesy of descendants Bruce and Barb Miers)
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