Grapeland Public Library

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Vision and History

Vision

The Grapeland Public Library is the result of the dream of a young man, Brent Alan Pridgen, who loved this town and felt that “every town should have a library.”Brent's vision and the library's stated purpose are two-fold:

  • to preserve the building, formerly known as the First United Methodist church, for posterity;
  • to establish and administer a public library in Grapeland, Texas.

Brent guided the establishment of both the library and the Pridgen Foundation which supports it. Although he passed away in 2004, shortly after the library opened, Brent's vision and dedication continue to inspire staff, volunteers, and the community which supports the Grapeland Public Library.

We aim, for example, to retain the charm and ambiance of this beautiful, historic building. Inside and out, the building reflects its church heritage, retaining the original wood floors, much of the woodwork and original fixtures, and many stained glass windows. The shelving was custom-built to accommodate the angle of the floors leading to the former pulpit area, now the circulation desk.

The fact that the building hails from the 1920's doesn't stop the library from providing thoroughly modern services, however. In addition to a wide selection of print and audio resources, the library offers internet and computer access, a variety of research tools and reading aids, meeting rooms, etc. (See Services and Facilities for details.)

History

1923: Construction began on the First United Methodist Church

1925:

Building occupied by church members
2001:
Pridgen Foundation formed the Grapeland Public Library (September 10), bought the former church building and began renovations

2002:

Grand Opening of the Grapeland Public Library (May 10)

2005:

Dedication of the rose garden

2008:

Children's area re-fitted and updated

2012:

Fannie Campbell Stubblefield Room dedicated (genealogy and local history research)
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