Carnegie Library – Home of Edmonds Historical Museum
History of the Carnegie Library Building:
The Edmonds library became an institution of the city government in 1909 and the Rev. John W.H. Lockwood became its librarian with an appropriation of $5 per month for the purchase of books. He saw the need for a permanent space and communicated with Andrew Carnegie respecting a city library building and in November 1909, he received a favorable reply. The city went on accept a gift of $5,000 towards the construction of a city library; H.B. Ward & Company was rewarded the contract at a price of $7,483.30.
Edmonds’ Carnegie Library opened February 17th, 1911, becoming the 19th Carnegie Library in Washington State. The upper floor housed the library, and the lower floor housed the city offices, council chambers and jail. For many years this building served the literary and community needs of Edmonds. However, in 1962, to accommodate the rapid population growth and need for a larger City Hall and library, these functions were moved from the Carnegie building to the Edmonds Civic Center; Parks and Recreation would remain the building for another decade.
With the assistance of the newly formed Edmonds-South Snohomish County Historical Society, the Carnegie Library building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 1973.
Today, the upper level features rotating exhibits, while the lower level highlights the early history of Edmonds and South Snohomish County. Over 4,500 visitors from around the world enter the doors of the building, now beautifully restored and maintained by the same devoted organization that brought it back to life more than 45 years ago.