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Biloxiís oldest library to be
relocated, restored
The following is an article that appeared in the
October 24, 1973 edition of the Daily Herald.

(Click on the image on the right to view a larger image)

Biloxiís oldest library to be
relocated, restored

Mississippiís first public library, the old Biloxi library, is about to be relocated and restored to become a part of the present city library.

Biloxiís city council has given approval for the maintenance department to begin the relocation. The building will be moved to the present parking area of the cityís Lameuse street library.

Also known as the Creole Cottage, believed to be the oldest free library in the state, the building was donated to the city of Biloxi by Dr. Harry Schmidt Sr.

It was built in the mid-1860s, with the King Daughters establishing the library there in 1898 with a total of 100 books. The building has recently been surveyed by the Department of Archives and History for its nomination in the National Register for Historical Buildings.

Longtime librarian Mollie Rodenberg, for whose family Rodenberg Avenue in Biloxi is named, also taught private classes in the building. It is additionally believed to be the first private school in Mississippi.

Biloxiís maintenance department has already removed the addition from the rear, which was the classroom, as well as bracing the structure for relocation. The front porch has also been torn off.

Architect John Collins is directing all activities concerning the preservation and restoration of the historical building.

Collins and Glen Swetman of the Peoples Bank are heading a fund-raising effort to cover moving and restoration expense.

Parking for the present city library on Lameuse will be moved to back of the library.

  Original Newspaper article - Click to view full size image, 254k