Wabash Carnegie Public Library
Only thirteen years after Wabash was founded, the first library was established. In 1848, a collection of 300 books were available for the community. Librarian John U. Pettit had to pay for the books that were not returned with his own money. In the decades that followed, the library moved to the county courthouse, the old Wabash High School building, and Memorial Hall. The lack of a permanent space to house the library and the growing needs of the Wabash community led the Women’s Library Association and the city school board to reach out to the Carnegie Foundation for help.
In 1901, Andrew Carnegie’s gift of $20,000 allowed for the construction of the Wabash Carnegie Public Library. The building, completed in 1903, originally housed 3000 books. Today, that number has grown to over 85,000 items. Constructed in a Neo-Classical design using Indiana limestone, it is one of the oldest Carnegie Libraries in the state. Its beautiful architecture features a stained glass dome, protected on the outside with copper, and tall pillars. In 1972, an addition expanded the building from 5,000 to 14,000 square feet. To this day, WCPL adds new technology, databases, books, music, movies, and downloadable content to continue to serve and grow with the community of Wabash. If you would like to learn more about the library’s history, click here.