To provide, through the use of traditional & emerging technologies, materials and services for community residents of all ages for LIFE: Literacy, Information, Fun & Enrichment. We especially recognize our responsibility to serve as a place to discover the joy of reading and value of libraries. We strive to serve our community with joy and dedication and to provide programming, books, and technology to everyone, regardless of income.
The Bowlby Home was built at the turn of the century (c. 1900 - 1905) and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Carhart H. Bowlby. it is typical of many of the houses constructed during this period and “eclectic” is the word most often used to describe this style. Mr. Rinehart, the contractor, frequently used Gray limestone, which was locally quarried. The interesting exterior features are the second story paladin windows, balcony and balustrades, the third story dormer windows and the stained glass windows which face south and west.
Carhart H. Bowlby (1855-1957) was originally from Wayne Township in Greene County. he married Eva K. Kendall (1864-1957) of Jefferson. Mr. Bowlby, a banker, was also involved in gas oil, cattle, an sheep ranching. He owned and operated a tin mill in West Waynesburg and founded Universal Cyclops Steel. Mrs. Bowlby was active in local civic organizations and is remembered as a talented pianist.
The interior of the building reflects the individualistic tastes of the Bowlbys and their need for a comfortable and inviting home. It is believed that the local craftsmen installed the oak flooring and woodwork. The handcrafted cherry mantle and tiled mantles are fine examples of turn of the century decor. The large stained glass window above the staircase leading to the second floor is said to be one of the Art Nouveau style and was done by a Pittsburgh artisan.
Bowlby Public Library began in 1943 as the Nellie Donley Children’s Library and was located at the First Methodist Church on Richhill Street, then moved to the second floor rooms over the First Federal Savings and Loan on High Street. In 1957, Mrs. Bowlby Willed to the Children’s Library Association the house and grounds on West Street to be used for the children’s library. In 1958 the library moved to the Bowlby Home. In 1967, service was expanded to include adult materials and it became known as the Eva K. Bowlby Public Library in honor of its benefactress. In April of 1986, construction of an addition to the original Bowlby Structure was started. Construction and the move from the original quarters to the new were completed the following year. An open house on May 2, 1987 marked the formal occupation of the new addition.