TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1400 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
FORUM
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
 Texas : Architecture :

THE YOAKUM LIBRARY


by

Roman A. Clef

Yoakum library - historic preservation

It's not likely you'd drive to Yoakum to check out books. Even if they let you, It's even less likely you'd make the return trip, which is why they didn't let you have them in the first place.

But forget books, because our interest in the Yoakum Library is the building in which it's housed. It's the old City Electrical Plant, built in 1931, and saved from demolition by wise and thinking Yoakumites.

It's a charming building, with a matching librarian. Virginia Ferrell will celebrate her 25th Anniversary with the Yoakum Library in May of this year.

The structure reminds us of Charlie Chaplin's workplace in Modern Times, but here there's no danger of getting caught up in pre-OSHA machinery. There's lots of brick, though, and industrial gray painted steel, mostly in the form of huge girders and cross beams. If your visit finds them closed, you can view the interior through the front door.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has a plaque from the Texas Historic Commission as well. It has received the Downtown Association's Award for Best Adaptive Use of an Existing Structure (1991), and now it has even been recognized by us.

The 1930's Industrial Architecture included lots of skylights, and this one runs the entire length of the building. The horizontal crane now sits immobile over the children's section, dangling a good 2 tons of chain, much to the delight of young readers, who no doubt dream of it coming loose and crushing someone they don't like.

Ms. Ferrell oversees a photo library of the restoration, and several framed vintage photos show the old power generators in place. Some of the photos are fading, however, because of that damn skylight. Bigger was better in 1931, and the behemoth generators probably generated enough power to light every 40 watt bulb in town and still have enough left over for the toaster in the mayor's office.

The Yoakum Library is named after Carl and Mary Welhausen, local philanthropists who not only gave the lion's share of donations, but donated the very book we were in search of. We have a feeling there were many more.

Ms. Ferrell gave us directions to other Yoakum sites, drawing maps on the back on old card-catalog-cards. This reutilization of discarded paper reminds us that librarians were recycling before recycling became chic ("cool" for our younger readers).

The Library is located just southeast of downtown on Front Street. Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 to 6:00. 361-293-5001

See
Cuero and DeWitt County >

Yoakum Area Hotels - Book Your Hotel Here & Save
Hallettsville Hotels >

 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | State Parks | Rivers | Lakes | Drives | Maps | LODGING

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS
TEXAS HOTELS | Hotels | Cars | Air | Cruises | USA


Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Links
Contributors | Staff | About Us | Contact TE |
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
HOME
Website Content Copyright 1998-2006. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: October 24, 2006