June 23, 2017
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Public Library
 
In the spring of 1896, a group of Canastota citizens began a rally for a public library. They consulted with the Board of Regents, and soon steps were underway to establish a facility for the village. By August of 1896, the local school board had appointed a library board and had voted $200 to the library. New York state matched these funds, and private subscriptions also added to the kitty. An agreement was reached with Miss Julie Perkins to furnish a room and to care for the books. The Canastota Library officially opened on September 4, 1896 in Miss Perkin's home (which would become the White Elephant Restaurant in the 1950's). When the library first opened, its collection consisted of 774 books and 11 magazine subscriptions.

The Board of Regents issued the library's charter on October 15, 1896, establishing the Canastota Public Library as a school district library.

The popularity of the library soon demanded more space. In 1902, the Carnegie Fund offered $10,000 for the construction of a new facility. Carnegie's stipulation was that the community raise $1000 per year for the maintenance of the building and the purchase of library equipment. A special election was held and both propositions were passed by a 341-25 vote. Plans for a new building were quickly underway.

A plot of land at the corner of Center and Main streets was purchased from Clarence P. Colton for $900. As it turned out, this new site was a mere quarter mile from Miss Perkin's Center Street home. The Syracuse architect Archimides Russell was commissioned to design the facility, and construction was completed by William Funda and Delmonico Brothers of Syracuse.

Nearly 300 people attended the opening ceremony of the new library in 1903.
Contact Information
Canastota Public Library
Phone: 315-697-7030
Web Links
Canastota Public Library
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205 South Peterboro Street - Canastota, NY 13032
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