Walton-DeFuniak Library, 2008
|Location||DeFuniak Springs, Florida|
|Part of||DeFuniak Springs Historic District (#92001048)|
Walton-DeFuniak Library is an historic library located at 3 Circle Drive, in DeFuniak Springs, Walton County, Florida in the United States. Opened in 1887, it is the oldest continuously run library in the state. It is a contributing property in the DeFuniak Springs Historic District.
In 1989, the library was listed in A Guide to Florida's Historic Architecture, published by the University of Florida Press.
There are over 25, 000 volumes available at the Walton-DeFuniak Library.
After the Chautauqua association had their first session in DeFuniak Springs, locals realized there was a need for library resources to support it. Local women raised 580 dollars in 1886-7 to build the library, and land on Lake DeFuniak for an annual rent of 25 cents. The local women who played such a large role in the creation of the library were a part of the Ladies' Aide Society, later called the Ladies' Library Association. The members earned money for books and kept the library opened until 1902, when an official librarian was hired. Alice Fellows became the first salaried librarian of Walton-Defuniak Library from 1896 to 1926. The library opened by the end of 1887. The name was changed in 1975 to the Walton-DeFuniak library. In 1984, a rear section was added which blends architecturally with the original hardware-frame building.
The library was one of two Florida libraries that applied and was awarded a famed and sought after Carnegie grant, but had to decline the offer. Alice Fellows, in a newspaper article stated, "In 1910, W.W. Flourney secured for us the promise of $10,000 Carnegie. The offer was made again six years later, but the city needed other improvements which were considered more essential." The reciprocation of additional funds for the upkeep of the new library was a requirement for the receiving of a Carnegie grant.
The library was named in honor of Captain Frederick de Funiak, as was the village DeFuniak Springs in 1882.
The library is also home to a collection of arms and armor owned originally by Palmer College's Professor Kenneth Bruce. He left the collection to the college in his will. When the college closed in the 1930s, the city became the recipient of the collection, which later gave it to the library. A large number of the weapons are European and from the era of the Crusades. There are also others from the Orient, as well as Kentucky muskets from the 18th century.
- Walton County Historical Markers
- Godown, Jan (2004). Scenic Driving Florida. Falcon. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7627-3482-5.
- Hunt, Bruce (2003). Visiting Small-Town Florida. Florida: Pineapple Press. pp. 7 & 8. ISBN 978-1-56164-278-6.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Walton County, Florida Online - Library
- A Guide to Florida's Historic Architecture, 1989, Gainesville: University of Florida Press, p. 9, ISBN 0-8130-0941-3
- "DeFuniak Springs, FL - Official Website - Walton-DeFuniak Library". www.defuniaksprings.net. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
- Blazek, Ron (1987). "The Library, the Chautauqua, and the Railroads in Defuniak Springs, Florida". The Journal of Library History. JSTOR 25541844.
- Blazek, R. (1987). The library, the Chautauqua, and the railroads in DeFuniak Springs, Flrodia. The Journal of Library History, 22(4), pp. 377-396.
- Walton-DeFuniak Library - City of DeFuniak Springs, Florida