If you’ve peeked in the windows at 124 N. Main Street, you’ve seen a transformation in the old Jamieson building! The walls are gone, the flooring has been removed down to the original 10 inch floor boards, ceiling boards have been stripped away, uncovering a secret that the Jamieson Building has kept for untold years. The evidence of a fire is seen in the scorched joists and beam. This was a surprise to all of us, since I don’t have documentation of it in my information on the history of the building. Does anyone remember a fire on the first floor of this building? If so, we’d like to include an estimated date and possible explanation for it, so please contact the Library if you can shed some light on this mystery.
Librarians love mysteries, and when one surfaced in the shape of a check to the Friends for $500 to be put toward the Jamieson Expansion Project from a stranger by the name of Robert Doornek, Portage, I had to find out who this mystery benefactor was and what connection he had to the Poynette Library. All was revealed when Mr. Doornek returned my phone call and he told me that he had attended an author talk way back on June 3, 2010 when Mr. James Conroyd Martin came to speak on his two historical fiction books based on a 1700s Polish contessa’s diary. I had made a remark at that well-attended author talk that we were planning on expanding the Library, and Mr. Doornek has been watching the Portage Daily Register ever since to see when construction would begin. He’d decided long ago to contribute to our project when it got underway. He was a very patient man, and we were rewarded by his personal commitment to help us out nearly four years later, thanks to the article by Lyn Jerde a couple of weeks ago.
It is always bittersweet to be named as the recipient of memorial donations when someone in our Library Family passes away. Shirley Wheeler loved to read, and she loved the Poynette Library. So, when we lost this dear friend, the family named the Library as a place to send remembrance gifts. Many thanks to her son and daughter-in-law Philip and Alta Wheeler, daughter and son-in-law Sheryl and Jerry Nied and daughter-in-law Doris Wheeler for contributing $670 toward the renovation of the Jamieson Building. These monetary gifts from her family and friends are much appreciated and will have a long-lasting effect on the community.
Further evidence that these people read the newspaper articles and columns about the Poynette Library came a few weeks ago when a new patron stopped by with an idea to raise $500 to pay for the window seat in the new children’s area because she felt very strongly that the kids should have their sweet little window seat. Angela Patridge works for the East Springs Drive Kohls in Madison and they have a Kohls Cares program that donates money to non-profit organizations. Angela organized a bake sale to benefit our Library Expansion Project, and Kohls augmented that $80 with the $500 grant that will fund our window seat under the south front window. We are so lucky to have individuals and corporations who go the extra mile for our young people! Thank you Angela and Kohls!
We also received an anonymous donation from some library friends for $1000 which will also go toward restoring items to the plan that had been deferred. In addition to the beautiful quilt lovingly made by Jeannette Lohan, we have many other items donated to our Quilt Raffle, including an electric pressure cooker and electric rice cooker from Cathy Peterson and two antique Red Wing crockery pots from Mary Jo Westerveld. We are so blessed to have so many generous patrons!
Research Products also fulfilled their promise for an additional $7500 to help fund our library expansion! In addition, they donated an Aprilaire conditioning unit for our new, high efficiency furnace that is being donated and installed by Prime Mechanical. There is no more generous group on the face of the earth than the people in this wonderful community!
The Lake Wisconsin Lions Club invited me to their March meeting at the Thirsty Moose to talk about the Library Expansion and presented the Library with a check for $200! What a wonderful surprise! In addition, the Town of Arlington gave $500 to support our fund raising efforts! Thank you ALL, very much!
This is a very exciting time for all of us. I know I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait to see how the progress transforms this stately old building!
See you @ the Library!