|Watercolor by Nancy Muldowney*|
The City of Brunswick, located on the Georgia Coast, has had a long and rich history dating back to1738 when the first European settler arrived. The city was one of the original five ports of entry during colonial America, and was officially founded in 1771. Today, the Port of Brunswick is still a huge industry for the area, and it is currently the second in the United States for roll-on/roll-off vehicles.
Like the city, the Brunswick-Glynn County Library has also had a long and rich history. It was first organized as a subscription library in 1883, and was housed above a store in Downtown Brunswick. Around 1894, the library was moved to a different location and was able to offer “drive through” service. It was reported that Mrs. Hunter Hopkins rode up to a window on her horse to return and check out her books. Throughout the next few decades, the library moved several times to various locations within the downtown area.
When WWII broke out, the coastal town began to change. While German U-boats sat in the waters off the city’s coast, Brunswick began building Liberty Ships. Throughout the war, the Brunswick Library remained open. However, money was scarce and there is little history of the library during the war years.
After the war, funding for the library began to increase. The library was housed on the second floor of City Hall in Downtown Brunswick. The increase in funding made it possible to purchase more and more books. The weight of the shelves became an issue, and in 1950 the library literately outgrew the building. With a shift in the structure, one night the pendulum of the clock in the clock tower came crashing through the librarian’s desk on the second floor all the way through to the City Manager’s desk on the first floor. Next, the partition between the Courtroom and the library collapsed. Finally, when the walls of the second floor started to separate from the floor, the library was moved to a larger facility a few blocks away. The library continued to grow, and in 1958 an old grocery store on Gloucester Street in downtown was purchased and renovated. The library has since been torn down, rebuilt, and renovated, but has not moved again from the site.
Today, the library is the Headquarters Branch of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries, the public library system in Glynn County, Georgia. It is open 51 hours a week to the public, and offers an array of services. Margie Young, a steadfast and long-time volunteer said, “the Brunswick Library is a friendly, quiet place where everyone is helpful, the books are free and so are the various programs offered for children and adults. Just about whatever you need can be found at the library in a book that will take you into a new world of your choosing. Visit the Brunswick Library and see if you don’t agree.”
Visit http://moglibraries.org for more information.
The library building painting is a watercolor by a local artist, Nancy Muldowney. In over the 20 years of living in the Golden Isles, Nancy has not only been active as a professional artist and business owner but actively involved in community nonprofit organizations.