Our History

History of the Hesperia Community Library

Our History

In 1912 members of the Women’s Literary Club became aware of the need for new and current reading material for the residents of the Hesperia Community. They were able to obtain books from the Michigan Traveling Library. About 100 books were received in the first consignment from the state library at Lansing. During the first four years, the library operated from the homes of club members. The first being the home of Mrs. Jessie Leland which was located at the NE corner of Division and Weaver Street.

Picture of first library in Hesperia, Michigan

Early in 1916 Mrs. Fannie Mills conceived the idea of a public library to be organized in the village and to supplement the traveling library. Through cooperation of local residents, donations of money, books, cases and reading tables were used to start a public library.

Club members raised funds and the use of a hall, fuel, and lights were donated for a time by Oscar Rowland. The Rowland building sat about 100 yards north of the intersection of Division and South Avenue on the west side of Division. The library officially opened on March 18, 1916 with a total of 237 books and $27.00 in cash.

The library was eventually moved to the council rooms of the Village Hall; with lights and rent being contributed by the village. Mrs. Fannie Mills was the librarian until 1921. Following that, several other club members served in that capacity until 1937 when Mrs. Iva Mills began her nearly 30 years of service as the librarian.

A beautiful new library building was erected in 1962 in Webster Park and was donated to the community by Mr. William Branstrom in memory of his mother Amelia.

Library building in 1962

After operating the library for 50 years the Women’s Literary Club turned its management over to a library board with members representing the townships served by the library as well as a representative from the village.

In the year 2002, we began the next chapter in the library’s history. With gratitude to the residents of Beaver, Denver, Greenwood and Newfield townships, the Village of Hesperia, the Fremont Area Community Foundation, the Gerber Foundation and private donors, we proudly dedicated the newly renovated and expanded library facility to the community of Hesperia.

Library building in 2002