Dakota Carnegie Libraries

Statistics come from George S. Bobinski's Carnegie Libraries.

 North Dakota

8 Carnegie grants accepted.

Devils Lake

Devils Lake, ND Carnegie building

Opened in early 1910, replaced in late 2003.


Dickinson, ND Carnegie building

1908 building. Still in use after tortuous rounds of (probably perfectly necessary) renovations.


Fargo, ND Carnegie public library Fargo, ND Carnegie public library

Little Fargo obtained three Carnegie grants.

James Lileks, whose research, at least, is generally impeccable, states that Fargo College and the Ag School (now NDSU) also had Carnegie libraries.
Not only did Fargo College fail, its Carnegie building was torn down.

Visigoths, I tell you.

The lefthand card also commemorates Fargo's fire department.

Grand Forks

Grand Forks, ND Carnegie building Grand Forks, ND Carnegie building Grand Forks, ND Carnegie building

1901 grant. Replaced sometime after 1960. The second Carnegie building in Grand Forks is at UND. It's still standing, but no longer in use as a library.

(L) German card, mailed in 1910.
(C) Curt Teich card, reprinted for the Gaulke News Agency.
(R) Card from the North Dakota Drug Co.


Minot, ND Carnegie building

In use from 1911 to 1965. Renovations began in 1979, yielding today's Carnegie Center.

Valley City

Valley City, ND Carnegie building Valley City, ND Carnegie building

According to the Valley City, ND Tourism website, this Classical Revival building is one of eleven Carnegie buildings in North Dakota, and is one of the three that remain unaltered. This may be due in part to the fact that it was placed on the Register of Historical Places in 1979. Today it serves as the Valley City/Barnes County Public Library.

Note the number of windows and their size on this card. Originally I thought that this could not be a Carnegie building. The Valley City site comments that this feature deviated from the Carnegie prescription.

 South Dakota

Supposedly, there are 25 total for this state.

Aberdeen (Alexander Mitchell Library)

Alexander Mitchell, SD Carnegie building

Built 1902, condemned in 1950.

The card (C.T. Photochrom) survived in much better shape.


Brookings, SD Carnegie building

1907 Carnegie grant. Card mailed in 1916.


Canton, SD Carnegie building

Late 1904 grant. Replaced; appears from photos online to be a day care center.

On this remarkably clear photo postcard, the tiny words 'Carnegie' and 'Library' flank the large PUBLIC LIBRARY over the entrance. So much for Brazil, Indiana's claim that they have the only Carnegie library with carved letters celebrating such.

The card was mailed in 1945.


Huron, SD Carnegie building

1907 Carnegie grant. Card dates from after 1911.


Madison, SD Carnegie building

1906 Carnegie grant. Postmarked 1911.


Milbank, SD Carnegie building Milbank, SD Carnegie building

1905 Carnegie grant.

(L) Replaced (1979) and incorporated into the Grant County Public Library. They feature this same card on the history page.
(R) Photo postcard, stamped but never mailed. Shows window details plus what looks like a livery barn in the background.

The Carnegie building is now the Grant County Museum.


Mitchell, SD Carnegie building Mitchell, SD Carnegie building

1902 Carnegie grant: replaced.
Somehow this building seems just right in the hometown of the Corn Palace. Now, it is known as the Carnegie Resource Center, and is said to hold Corn Palace memorabilia.

(L) Rotograph card, mailed in 1905.
(R) Photo postcard, trademarked Co-Mo.


Pierre, SD Carnegie building

1903 Carnegie grant.


Redfield, SD Carnegie building

Nice clear view of the American flag. Too bad that Hopkins Bazaar couldn't have done the same for the Carnegie building.

Dating from 1902, Redfield Carnegie Library is the oldest example in South Dakota that has been in continuous use.

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, SD Carnegie building Sioux Falls, SD Carnegie building

1901 grant. Building replaced ca. 1973. Brief library history on the Siouxland site. In 2001, renovated into the Carnegie Town Hall. Nifty reuse!

(L) No name card that resembles the Rotograph products.
(R) Card mailed in 1910. It has a trademark of a 4-leaf clover with C G R Co in its leaves.


Tyndall, SD Carnegie building

Late 1915 grant. I don't know whether this Prairie style building is still in use.

Card dated October 12, 1931. In case you're wondering what the notice says on the door, it's 'Rest Rooms.'


Watertown, SD Carnegie building Watertown, SD Carnegie building

Superceded in 1967.

The entity is now known as the Watertown Regional Library. Since 1974, the 1906 Carnegie building houses the Codington County Historical Society.

(L) One (actually A-49123) of Curt Teich's 'American Art' postcard series.
(R) Sepia St. Paul Souvenir card.


Yankton, SD Carnegie building

1902 Carnegie grant. Sepia-toned card. Library resembles that of Stevens Point, WI.


Drop that mouse and visit your public library. (Or, if you're viewing this in the library, set the mouse down carefully.) All the following resources were found at a local library.

Bial, Raymond and Linda LaPuma. 1991. The Carnegie Library in Illinois.
(With Photography by Raymond Bial.)
Bobinski, George S. 1969. Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development.
Dickson, Paul. 1986. The Library in America: A Celebration in Words and Pictures.
Frye, Lonn. 1992. Carnegie Libraries: Restoration and Expansion.
Krass, Peter. 2002. Carnegie.
Van Slyck, Abigail. 1995. Free to All: Carnegie Libraries and the American Culture, 1890-1920.

© 2008 - 2013 Judy Aulik
Updated 23 June 2013.
Part of Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America.