A stained-glass window in the Ladies Library Building commemorating James Fenimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans.
I’ve got a program coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m providing a talk on Butterfly Gardens to the Ladies Library Association. I’ve been going through my own photos and am so grateful that the Robin at Robin’s Nesting Place was kind enough to give permission in using some of hers. I have plenty of pictures of flowers but find butterflies timid near a camera. Robin is an awsome photographer and has beautiful pictures of the little creatures.
The Ladies Library Association is a women’s organization, a branch of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. When visiting the group there is a feeling of being a part of another era. The ladies have teas, bring in speakers for short programs and raise money for various charitible organizations, concentrating on helping women and children. They are mostly of an older generation, reminding me of the stage play Music Man where the ladies society provide a tableau at the ice cream social….“One Grecian urn! Two Grecian urns!”
The Association began as a reading club in 1844, then organized as the Ladies Library Association in 1852 by the one and only Lucinda Stone. Lucinda Stone is famous as one of the leading organizers advocating the suffrage and abolitionist movements. She was friends with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and was instrumental in getting women accepted into college during a period of history where women were not allowed to pursue higher education.
The Ladies Library Association was the first women’s club in Michigan and the third in the United States. In 1879, a gothic building was erected for the group, providing the organization and general public the use of a lending library, a stage for programs and theatricals and meeting rooms.
The Ladies Library Association building in the early days.
The building today. You can see how the city has closed in.
My favorite part of the exterior – A gargoyle downspout.
Sometime, I’d love to get in and take photos of the interior which still has the flavor of the period.
I’ll talk more about the actual program in another post.