Amelia S. Givin - Cumberland County Library System
In early July of 1889, workers hauled and hoisted large brownstone blocks from the Hummelstown Brownstone Company to form the walls of the first free public library in Cumberland County, The Amelia S. Givin Library.
Heir to the Givin fortune, Amelia Steele Givin asked Pittsburgh's James T. Steen, a prominent H.H. Richardsonian school architect, to design her memorial library using classic Richardsonian elements. The interior owes its woodwork to Moses Ransom, an Ohio artisan who reinterpreted Victorian ornamentation to create "Moorish fretwork"; a machine-made Open Barley Twist molding woven together to form a myriad of lattice-like screen designs.
In 1890, the citizens of Mt. Holly Springs were presented with their library: a massive 60 x 30 foot stone structure, fully furnished and stocked with books and periodicals.
For the dedication ceremony, a special train from Carlisle carried dignitaries to Mt. Holly; then-Governor James A. Beaver; Secretary of the Commonwealth Charles W. Stone; the president of Dickinson College, and members of the Harrisburg press.
In 2004, the library received another distinction when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, preserving forever its unique contribution to history.
More than a century after it was first built , the library continues to serve Mt. Holly and the surrounding area.
Page updated May 20, 2009