MEETING # 1602
APRIL 16, 1998
The Centennial of the
A. K. Smiley Public Library Building:
Where the Past Looks to the Future
by Larry E. Burgess Ph.D.
Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public
The Centennial of the
A. K. Smiley Public Library Building:
Where the Past Looks to the Future
Rarely does the opportunity present itself to celebrate and make historical observations about the centennial of the A.K. Smiley Public Library building before such a distinguished group as Fortnightly, literally one hundred years after the building's completion. Moreover, to be Library director and a member of Fortnightly as well, and also to be the biographer of the Smiley brothers adds to this unique mix of "ties and binds" and to my delight at being able to present this paper.
My subject will focus upon the background and context of Albert K. Smiley's philanthropy in the form of a library building and downtown park. In 1898 Redlands had a population slightly in excess of 4,000 residents. Most of the streets were unpaved, except for those downtown, the rural and bucolic nature of the setting included about 3,000 acres of orange groves, and many cultural and social organizations. The YMCA building on the site of the current "former" city hall building also housed the city offices. In 1893 when Alfred H. Smiley led the public movement in Redlands to pass an initiative to create a municipal library, it came in the midst of the greatest financial depression in United States history. Nevertheless, the citizens of this small town voted overwhelmingly to create the Redlands Public Library.
Housed in two rooms, head librarian Helen Nevin showed an eager crowd the new quarters at 9:00 a.m. on March 1, 1894. "She pointed out the array of magazines, some 50 of them... and then led these new readers to the two double-faced stacks where she had shelved the 1,067 volumes."
Times changed for the library, rapidly, and for the better. By the end of 1896 the two rooms had become crowded with patrons and material. New quarters were necessary. Archival material does not exist supporting the theory that Alfred turned naturally to his identical twin, Albert, and said, "Please give the city a library." Family tradition demonstrates that the two mutually supported each other's activities throughout their long and productive lives. Alfred with six children ranging in age from young adult to teenager could not afford to build the library. Albert with no children - his daughter had died at five years of age many years earlier - was in a position to fund a library project. I have always suspected that Alfred and Albert naturally talked about each others mutual causes and that Albert spontaneously agreed to his brother's proposal to fund the new building. When Alfred first "discovered" Mohonk Lake, New York in 1869 and told Albert to come and see it, Albert responded by buying it and thus changed both their careers from educators to resort owners. When Alfred came to southern California in 1889 looking for an appropriate winter home, he wrote Albert a glowing report about Redlands and said to "come out." Albert did; and, they bought property and named it Cañon Crest Park (popularly called "Smiley Heights"). At the age of sixty-three, they adopted Redlands and gave to it a spirit that continues to this day. Hence, my hunch that Alfred said to Albert "We need a building" and Albert responded, "I'll give it."
The public library in California as we know it originated in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Twenty-five years earlier, shortly after California's statehood whose sesquicentennial we observe presently, the library ideal took its from the East and from H.H. Richardson's architectural ideal. In the East a variety of book-lending organizations existed and this concept was transplanted to California. The term "public library" only acquired the meaning we know now late in the century. By 1876 the common definition of the public library included an agency established by state law, supported by local taxation or voluntary gifts, managed as a public trust, and open to every citizen of the city or town that maintained it. The current Education Code states that for General Law cities like Redlands, the "Library shall be managed by a board of trustees......and that it shall be forever free to the inhabitants."
It was the Rogers Act of 1878 that launched the development of free city libraries in California. Up to that time there were a number of private subscription libraries organized around trades or interest groups and societies. For example San Francisco hosted a number of subscription libraries but no free public library. California became the seventeenth state to adopt a general public library law, three decades after New Hampshire passed one in 1849.
Soon many cities were voting on whether or not to create a public library. San Francisco was joined by Stockton and Sacramento. The initiative failed at first in San Jose but then passed in 1880, just about the time that Judson and Brown were planning the Redlands Colony. In the years of the 1880s library creation largely paralleled the larger population centers and public interest therein. One of the byproducts of the increasing popular support for public libraries was the decline of private libraries and subscription libraries. Few exist in America today but there are still a few which function along the original concepts of subscription.
While only 18 libraries had been created in California by 1885, there was fertile ground for expansion into the many communities established during the Boom Period of the '80s in southern California. The library triangle in the south was marked by Santa Barbara, Redlands, and San Diego. Present in these communities were strong community spirits and a deep-seated belief that civic institutions brought better people and made better citizens. Riverside led the resurgence of the 1880s in southern California. with a public library organized in 1889 from the earlier social libraries. San Bernardino followed in 1892.
Redlands in 1894 became part of a new trend in library growth in southern California. Orange, an even smaller community with a population of slightly more than 3,000 forged a link in a chain which included new city libraries opening in Monrovia, South Pasadena, Coronado, National City, Escondido, Corona and Wittier--all by 1900.
Donations, always an integral part of California libraries, eventually took the form of philanthropy. In earlier years Smiley Library Board President, Clarence G. White, himself a noted Redlands philanthropist wrote that "no city lives by taxes alone." That philosophy early on applied to the nature of library support in California and to the year--to--year annual budget existence of the libraries. They would never enjoy the valuable gifts to collection enrichment enjoyed by academic institutions such as the University of California, Stanford, and the University of Southern California. However, in later years, many remarkable gifts did come to various public libraries, but, alas they remain largely exceptions. I am pleased to note that the Smiley is one of the exceptions.
The most impressive private philanthropy to California's public libraries came not from books but rather in buildings. At the end of the nineteenth century an enviable record of new buildings accumulated across the state's landscape. When thinking of libraries and their buildings the name of Andrew Carnegie becomes a synonym for library growth. Indeed, Carnegie became not only the chief benefactor of libraries in the United States, but also in the British empire.
Yet three striking occurrences of local philanthropy preceded and paralleled Carnegie's interest in California's libraries. In Stockton, a double benefaction took place. A local wheat merchant, Frank Stewart left $5,000 upon his death in 1883 for the library. This enabled construction of a new library matched by city funds. A stunned city received the news in 1891 of a bequest from William P. Hazelton, pioneer dentist and pioneer schoolteacher of Stockton, who had died in the East and left $75,000 bequest for a new library building. A grateful Stockton allocated $15,000 for books and the remainder for a new and large building, and, named it the Hazelton Library.
The second of the major benefactions was Redlands, the subject of this paper.
The third and final donation involved a smaller gift. The family of General Edward Fitzgerald Beale, an early California pioneer (he introduced camels to the desert as a potential military transportation vehicle), offered to build a library in Beale's honor for the city of Bakersfield. General Beale has owned the Fort Tejon Rancho, and in 1900 the Beale Memorial Library was dedicated with the cost of $7,000 borne by the Beale family. This gift instigated the founding of a library whereas in Stockton and Redlands the philanthropy augmented existing libraries and gave them handsome new homes.
Of the three only the A.K. Smiley Public Library exists in its original structure, and partly because of that, is a California State Landmark.
The initial inkling for Redlanders that Albert Smiley was up to a major civic improvement appeared in a brief notice in the March 22, 1897 Citrograph: Considerable work on Mr. Smiley's proposed park on Eureka Street is being done, there being a dozen men and teams taking out the orange trees preparatory to planting it out to ornamental shrubbery and flowers, and laying out a road from the park east, running into Cajon street just north of the YMCA. Mr. Smiley's plants are not yet completed, but work will be pushed this summer and by next summer Redlands will have a city park of which she can justly be proud."
I suspect that editor Scipio Craig knew about Albert's plans when he wrote a week later in the Citrograph that Smiley's park exceed sixteen acres. In another column Craig observed: "Another set of book shelves has been placed in the public library in order to accommodate the ever increasing list of books that are constantly being received. Who is going to perpetuate his name and memory by erecting and donating to the city a building to be used exclusively for public library purposes."
Readers of the Redlands Citrograph on April 1, 1897 would have seen in the local notes a notice that John P. Fisk, Redlands pioneer realtor who had sold the Smileys the land for Canon Crest Park, had sold several more lots and houses to Albert Smiley. One of the new houses on the property was later moved to Eureka street where it still stands just below Olive. Anyone familiar with the Smiley name knew that something important was taking place.
On April 4, 1897 editor Craig again pitched the need for a library building in Redlands. He observed that in Pittsford, Vermont a beautiful building houses a library. It was build by a New York man in memory of his deceased brother. "The cost was not above $25,000," he wrote, "and it is well patronized." "The public library of Redlands ought to be housed in a similar way," he continued. "The building should only be for library purposes. ...There should be, not only the library and reading room, but a historical room and a museum, besides." How Craig's prescience predicted by 70 years the Redlands Heritage Room archives and the Lincoln Memorial Museum is a testament to his community spirit and faith in the future.
Concluding, Craig affirmed that he had "no sort or manner of doubt that Redlands' public library will be housed in a suitable manner by and bye. Redlands has not only a large number of public spirited citizens, but a large number of wealthy ones. Some one of these will take this matter in hand and provide a building somewhat after the fashion we have described, and then donate it to the city to be used only for library purposes. We are naming no names, but we feel confident that the building is almost in sight."
Adding an editorial opinion to the Library Report for April from director Antoinette Humpreys, Craig observes: "Almost 4,000 volumes in our young public library! At this rate it will not be long until we shall be compelled to have a library building that will hold 12,000 to 20,000 volumes."
The news of Albert Smiley's planned library and downtown park came officially to light not in the Citrograph, the booster of booster printed newspapers, but from of all places the pages of the Oakland Inquirer: One of the towns born lucky is Redlands, which was fortunate enough at the start to attract the attention of the wealthy Smiley brothers, who bought a hill near town and proceeded to improve it in the most beautiful manner with trees, shrubbery, flower beds and winding drives. At all seasons of the year Smiley Heights, as the place has been called is worth a trip to Southern California to see, and the view of the surrounding mountain ranges is superb. Not content with making this show place, the Smileys have now purchased and are improving a thirty acre park for the town, and it is said will erect in it a pretty library building."
There it was for all the readers of the newspaper to see--the gift of a new library. The secret was out. To his credit Scipio Craig printed no editorial comment and for the next several weeks the Citrograph remained mum on the subject of the library donor issue.
Work commenced upon the park in rapid fashion. On May 1, it was reported that the Drake Company completed 4,000 feet of water pipe and installed 100 faucets for irrigation. "This was 'rush' work," reported the Citrograph, "as large quantities of ornamental trees and shrubbery were awaiting planting and are now being set out as speedily as possible.... Mr. F.P. Hosp [of Riverside and a leading horticulturist who developed the climbing Cecil Brunner rose] is on the ground and busy as a beaver superintending the landscape work. Mr. Smiley is personally overseeing the entire park improvements, which means that all will be of the best, most substantial and pleasing character."
Clearly, there had been an internal press war in Redlands about the Smiley project. Craig clearly felt he had the inside track and the Smiley's personal confidence. So did the Redlands Daily Facts. Presenting an article with headlines which read, "Smiley Library and Memorial Building to be Built at Once. It will be the Finest Building in this City, and will Cost in the Neighborhood of $60,000--Surrounded by Fountains and Shrubbery it Will be a Cool and Beautiful Retreat for Readers," the Facts explained: "Last fall it was announced in these columns that it was the intention of Albert K. Smiley to erect a memorial and library building in the park which was then laid out...." proclaimed the Facts. "The location, corner Fourth and Vine streets, is an admirable one, facing the city and on a rise which overlooks the business portion , and surrounded by the beautiful grounds....We take pleasure in presenting to our readers today a zinc etching of the profile of the building which we have hurriedly had made at our own expense for their benefit. The building is of the Mission style of architecture, which is of such good taste in this country, bringing back the memories and romances of the early days of Southern California, and will be constructed of brick with trimmings of San Jose stone and tile roof."
In a self-congratulatory editorial accompanying the article, the Facts observed: "Much has been said and written about the generosity and public spirit of the Messrs. Smiley, but as the reader peruses our columns today he will readily conclude the half has not yet been told. The library building project in connection with the public park, by A.K. Smiley, and which will soon be in the course of erection will be an ornament and credit to the city and another evidence of the fact that Redlands is highly favored by the residence here of a noble-hearted gentleman, who takes genuine pleasure in such works of love."
With its usual enterprise the Facts comes to the front in advance of all others with a description and cut of this splendid building....It will be conceded that this is quick work for a paper so far away from the illustrators. But this is a way the Redlands Daily Facts has of doing things."
By mid-August ground was broken for the foundation of the library. The Pomona Times in describing the construction praised the Smiley gift and wrote that now Smiley "has decided to build in the park a memorial and library building to cost $60,000, which of course the city will fall heir to. Redlands ought to build an imperishable monument to the Smiley brothers." When a group of citizens determined to commission a statue of the twin brothers in 1992, they accomplished their goal totally by private subscription with the William G. Moore Foundation leading the effort. The statue stands in Smiley Park at the juncture of Vine and Eureka streets.
Ernest Frenzell began the foundation work early in September, 1897 and pushed the work "with the utmost vigor. He has eight men now at work, besides six teams hauling sand and gravel and rocks. The foundation is to be completed by October. Frenzell made good on his projection finishing the effort by mid-October. A.E. Taylor, whose well known brickyard on Olive at Lakeside [a street so-named because the depression in the land from which the red soil had be scrapped for turning into brick served as a giant water catch basin], would construct the brick walls." About the same time the Los Angeles Express wrote: "The Redlands Public Library has over 4,000 volumes and the city is soon to be presented with a $60,000 library building. Happy, fortunate Redlands!"
An editorial in the Los Angeles Express from December 9, praised the Redlands library: "Mr. and Mrs. Smiley," it began, "were in Los Angeles Tuesday visiting the public library and taking points on its furnishing with a view to adopting some of its feature in the magnificent new library that they have presented to Redlands.....Mr. Smiley will not consider that he has completed his gift to Redlands by erecting a handsome building and filling it with books. It is to be an educational institution in as many senses as a library can be such, and no effort will be spared to that end. The benefaction of Mr. Smiley's is admirable, therefore, apart from the fact that he has given $60,000 in money to erect the Redlands library; besides that, he gives his own time and taste and business ability to the task of extracting from that sum as much in behalf of thee education and amusement of Redlands as can be had. This is a true benefaction. Would there were a Smiley in Los Angeles!"
Work on the library was suspended in mid-December because of a delay in receiving the San Jose stone. An impending arrival was reported. After a visit to Redlands the construction site, the Pomona Beacon reported that men of the "Smiley stamp; are public benefactors and the number of them is easily estimated. But these gentlemen are not doing the work mentioned just to get before the public; they enjoy the genuine satisfaction in what they do."
As spring 1898 began and as the building took on its completed form, speculation and anticipation began about the dedication day. The date established,. Friday, April 29 at 2:30 p.m., included a full program: music from the Redlands orchestra, invocation, seven addresses which included the Mayor and E.G. Judson, Redlands' co-founder. In all nearly two hours. How to accommodate the numbers nagged the planners and especially, Smiley. Interest was great. Dozens of people milled around the site. When the building was "lighted up" on Tuesday, April 26 at night it attracted a great deal of attention. Visitors had to be turned away as the workmen hustled to complete last minute construction tasks.
Albert Smiley wrote a letter to the Daily Facts on April 27 explaining how the crowd situation was to be handled: "It will be evident to all that the limited room in the new library building will not be sufficient to hold all whom we should be glad to welcome next Friday afternoon. The usual plan on such occasion is to issue tickets of admission; but I could find no competent person who would consent to distribute a limited number of tickets.
The suggestion was made that an admission fee of twenty-five cents be charged, and the whole proceeds be turned over to the Library Trustees for the purchase of books. This plan has been adopted; and no one will be admitted free, except invited guests from out of town, the orchestra and the ushers. At 5:30 o'clock the doors will be thrown open to al the citizens. I hope this plan will meet the approval of the citizens of Redlands."
Among the distinguished guests in the audience were Thaddeue S.C. Lowe, proprietor and designer of the world famous incline railroad in the mountains behind Pasadena; E.W. Holmes, a well known newspaper man who was the originator of the Riverside public library; and John Warson of the Pomona Times and R.C. Harbison of the San Bernardino Sun.
Congratulation articles appeared in many newspapers across the country from Chicago to Brooklyn. Two California editorial comments are appropriate to site in relationship to the philanthropic nature of the Smiley Public Library. From the Palo Alto Live Oak: "The other day at Redlands was dedicated a public library building, donated by A.K. Smiley... A few years ago when the writer lived in Redlands the public library was not better than that which Palo Alto now has, yet Redlands now owns one of the finest library buildings in the State and an excellent library. The citizens of our town should be encouraged in their efforts to establish a library--some good citizen may come to their aid and donate a building." And from the June 4 Fresno Expositor: "The Redlands Citrograph has this week, history, with handsome four-column cut of Redlands' beautiful new public library. The building, which is a beauty, and the park surround it were the gift ... of A.K. Smiley. This beautiful home for books, this temple of thought...will stand as a delight to the people of Redlands a as a monument to Mr. Smiley's taste and liberality. Our Southland friends have a right to feel proud of both gift and giver and we heartily congratulate them. We wish there were more Mr. Smileys."
When Andrew Carnegie made the following generous remarks on the steps of Smiley Library before a crowd who had assembled to honor him, there was more to the story than most people realized. Carnegie, then the richest man in America [about eight billion in today's dollars] had come to Redlands to visit Smiley and see Cañon Crest Park and of course, the Library. Smiley and Carnegie were friends and involved in many causes together, especially that of international arbitration and world peace although their experience, training and temperament were widely divergent.
Placing his hand affectionately on Smiley's shoulder, Carnegie remarked: "Before giving libraries I waited until I had this useless dross that men call money, because it was useless until it is put to some good us, and he [Smiley] could not wait. His live for the cause impelled him to give and he actually borrowed money--borrowed the money, I say, to build this magnificent structure."
The little known story behind Smiley's benefaction must take context and form with the philosophy of the time and a philosophy espoused with much eloquence by Carnegie. One of the cherished autographed volumes in the Rare Collection of the Library is The Gospel of Wealth written by Andrew Carnegie in 1900 and inscribed during his visit to the Smiley.
Without dwelling on Carnegie's early life in Scotland, let me remind my fellow members that he came from an activist family of pamphleteers and speakers who championed Scottish independence and condemned gleefully the British monarchy and the "idle aristocracy." When he came to America it was as a savvy, bright, and capable young man with splendid intellectual abilities. His rise to wealth as one of the nineteenth century "robber barons" and his later immense charitable donations present a picture often unclear in the minds of later generations. Let me share a few portions of his philosophy about wealth which was inspired by the biblical concept of dying a "poor man" and going out of the world in the condition into which he was born to the Lord.
"There can be but three modes in which surplus wealth can be disposed of," Carnegie asserts. "It can be left to the families of the descendants; or it can be bequeathed for public purposes; or finally, it can be administered by its possessors during their lives. Under the first and second modes most of the wealth of the word that has reached the few has hitherto be applied. The first is the most injudicious." He notes in Europe the tradition passing on wealth to the first one represents the vanity of the parent as a means of perpetuating later generations. In all cases Carnegie is not urging for disinheritance but for modest and proper provisions for the sons. He is silent in the subject of the daughters. Of the second mode of "leaving wealth at death for public users, it may be said that his is only a means for the disposal of wealth, provided a man is content to wait until he is dead before he becomes of much good in the world....Besides this, it may fairly be said that no man is to be extolled for doing what he cannot help doing nor is he to be thanked by the community to which he only leaves wealth at death."
Of the third method, during one's lifetime, Carnegie continues: "This then is held to be the duty of the mean of wealth: To set an example of modes, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so, to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community--the man of WEALTH THUS BECOMING THE MERE TRUSTEE AND AGENT FOR HIS POORER BREATHER, BRINGING TO THEIR SERVICE HIS SUPERIOR wisdom, experience, and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves."
"Thus is the problem of rich and poor to be solved. The laws of accumulation will be left free, the laws of distribution free."
As to the most important charitable object in society: "What is the best gift which can be give to a community," he asks? "[It is that a free library occupies the first place, provided the community will accept and maintain it as a public institution, as much a part of the city property as its public schools, and, indeed, an adjunct to these....In the very front rank of benefactions public parks should be placed, always provided that the community undertakes to maintain, beautiful, and preserve them inviolate. No more useful or more beautiful monument can be left by any man than a park for the city in which he was born or in which he has long live, nor can the community pay a more graceful tribute to the citizen who presents it than to give his name to the gift."
It thus comes as little surprise that Albert Smiley's gift would come along the lines approximating this philosophy with one major exception: his borrowing of money. Daniel Smiley, the twenty-seven year younger half-brother of the twins deserves much recognition for his stewardship in making the Library and Park possible. As the manager of Mohonk, as Albert Smileys heir, and as the helpmate who kept his elder brother's Redlands dreams alive, Daniel is the one who confronted the many years of debt repayment. Even as the Library project ended, Albert dreamed of extending the Reference Wing, which he provided for, again with borrowed funds in 1906. Upon his death bed in Redlands in December of 1912, clear of mind and determined of purpose, Albert requested Daniel to build a children's wing. Even though, true to the philosophy of dying poor--Albert had given Daniel all of Mohonk and his investments in 1911--Daniel nevertheless honored the request.
The disastrous freeze of January 1913 surely impacted Daniel's finances and then the economic problems of World War I made it impossible for him to honor Albert's wishes. By 1920, Daniel accumulated the funding and sent it to the Board of Trustees for a new Children's Wing.
The twin concepts of libraries and parks permeated the generosity of many philanthropists. The greatest benefactor for libraries was Andrew Carnegie. In Redlands we are fortunate to celebrate this coming April 25 at 10:00 in the morning with the same 1898 music (courtesy the Redlands Fourth of July Band) and representatives of the Library Board, City Government, the Friends, the staff, and the Smiley family and the public this ongoing educational presence, the A.K. Smiley Public Library. In a large sense the Smiley Library honors a past which continually looks to the future. The prescient, timely, and forward looking works of Albert K. Smiley's dedication address is the most fitting way for me to conclude this paper of commemoration and celebration. The words remain a challenge and still create in the reader a sense of continuing responsibility: A little more than nine years ago I first caught sight of the wonderful mountain-begirt plains upon which the city of Redlands is built. I was so charmed with the exquisite scenery that I immediately joined with my brother in the purchase of a desert claim to a sage-covered hill south-west of town, now known as Canon Crest Park. I have never, for one moment regretted making this my winter home. The exceedingly healthy and invigorating climate, the highly productive soil, fitted to the rapid growth of plants from nearly every quarter of the earth; and the extremely varied and picturesque views to be had from every spot -- plain, or hill-top cannot fail to delight every lover of nature. But, the principal charm of Redlands does not rest in its scenery however superb as that may be, but in the character of its people. I think it would be difficult to find any other town in this country that contains so large a proportion of intelligent, refined, moral and religious people as are to be found here. It is to the enchanting scenery, and the quality of its people that we can attribute the princely civic pride and unison of effort in all attempts to upbuild the city, and advance its highest interests.
I share with you, fellow citizens, in love and admiration of our beautiful town filled with attractive homes, where churches and schools are well sustained; where societies for the promotion of art, literature and science prevail; -- and where all the people put shoulder to shoulder, in every effort, to advance the best interests of the city. Every year of my residence deepens my interest and love for the city and its people, and I have for many years been thinking over what I could do for the home of my adoption. I noticed that there was no place near the town accessible to the public where our citizens, and the many strangers, and health-seekers that come hither could enjoy a quiet walk in the midst of trees, shrubs, and flowers, which flourish in such abundance and variety in this splendid climate. Nearly two and a half years since I began the purchase of lands for a park, and have, with much effort secured from fifteen different parties a suitable tract near the heart of the city, and have planted it with the choicest trees and shrubs that could be procured. This park will, I hope, in years to come adorn the city and bring comfort and health to those who are so fortunate as to settle in our midst.
It is a well-recognized fact that a good library of carefully selected books is a necessary adjunct to the progress of any community in culture, refinement, and general civilization. Some years ago at a time of the greatest financial depression the good citizens of Redlands most freely responded to a call -- made by my brother -- for funds to purchase books as a nucleus to a public library. This library accepted by the city and liberally sustained ever since by appropriation of public funds has proved a great boon to all our citizens. There is just one serious drawback to the complete success of this library. The room in which the books have heretofore been kept, is a rented one and is totally inadequate to the public need. Some time since I determined to supply this need, and to erect a building large enough to meet the wants of the city for many years to come. This house in which we now meet is intended to supply that need, and is thoroughly built in every part, and is as solid as stone, bricks, and oak can make it, and will require but little repair for many years. I have endeavored to make the structure comfortable and attractive, and have added substantial furniture which I deemed suitable and appropriate. It is my earnest hope that in generations to come multitudes of citizens of Redlands will be drawn hither and spend many profitable hours in reading the valuable books and periodicals to be found within these walls.
I have great confidence in the future of Redlands -- I believe that at no distant day some of our generous citizens will found a Museum of Natural historyÄan Art Museum --a conservatory of Music and, also, lift the debt from the Y.M.C.A. Will not all good citizens join hands in a hearty and supreme effort to make Redlands the jewel of the Pacific Coast -- as widely known, in a humble way, for its beneficent institutions, and broad, catholic, public spirit, as is Boston on the Atlantic slope? We must make our city so attractive in every direction as to draw hither the wealth and Christian culture of the East. I am optimistic enough to believe that all these visions will become realities at no distant day.
I hold in my hand two deeds of trust executed by my wife and self conveying to the City of Redlands three tracts of land. The first deed conveys the land on which this building is located. The second deed conveys the land near the Y.M.C.A. buildings, and also a strip lying between Eureka and Grant streets. These is another tract of land lying to the south-west of Grant street that it is my purpose to give to the city at some future time, but I want to hold it for a while to secure proper cultivation of the trees and shrubs. After the transfer of these deeds, I may ask the city to allow me to complete the decoration of the grounds during the ensuing year.
I now, have the great pleasure of delivering to you -- the Mayor of the City of Remands -- these two deeds, and the keys of the library building, trusting that the present city government and its successors for all time, will see to it that the buildings and the furniture, and the park grounds are faithfully and liberally sustained.
It is my hope and confident expectation that this park and building may prove in the good providence of God, a blessing and an inspiration to the inhabitants of this fair city for untold generations.