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Aug. 28, 1988 marks the 10th anniversary of the main library in the government center complex. The move into the new facility marked a significant increase in the number and variety of library services available to El Dorado County residents.
From 1906 until the late 1920s the library was located in Confidence Hall, where the town council now meets. In 1947, a group of citizens decided that the county had grown to a point of needing a county library. They sought assistance and guidance from the State Library, and convinced the Board of Supervisors to provide a library budget and hire a professional librarian.
This early Friends group, the first one in the state, raised funds by public subscription to buy the old A. S. Fox residence on Sacramento and Benham streets to house the library. The library was moved into the new quarters in 1948.
By 1958 the county librarian realized the building and parking were hopelessly inadequate. In the mid-1960s the library was moved into the old Purity grocery market, fondly known as the “Quonset hut” by patrons and library staff.
One unique feature of the library in the Quonset hut was that the librarian’s office was in a meat locker. In 1978, a federal EDA grant was made available to the county for a building. The county already owned the site in Placerville and the library had been included in a master plan for the site. The new main library opened to the public on Aug. 28, 1978.
Official word from two El Dorado County men held prisoner by the Japanese at Philippine Prison Camp No. 1, was received during the week. Each notification was in the form of an official postal card.
One card was from Captain Robert L. Ayers, of the Army Medical Corps, to his wife, Mrs. Coralee Anderson Ayers. The card has been the first direct word from him since before the fall of the Pilippines. The message said he is well.
Another card came to Mrs. G. H. Messer and brought word concerning her son Melvin L. Routt, F2C who became a prisoner in the fall of Corregidor. The message said his health is fair; he is uninjured; and his condition is improving. “Love. Hope this finds you well. Regards to all.”
Gilbert S. Tong, a former resident of Clarksville, died Wednesday, August 19th, at the railroad hospital in Sacramento. He was a native of Missouri whence he came to this county in 1850. His residence in this county was at Clarksville, where he served for many years as Justice of the Peace. Thence several years ago he removed with his family to Folsom. He leaves a wife, five sons and two daughters to mourn his loss. His remains were brought to Clarksville for internment.