The Trona Branch Library

The Trona Branch of the San Bernardino County Library was and still is an important part of the Trona Community.  In 1918 there was a note in the San Bernardino County records about the county library in Borosolvay being closed due to the Borosolvay plant being closed. It indicated that the books were to be sent to the Trona Branch of the county library.

The July 9, 1938 edition of The Trona Potash, a weekly paper, had a notice that read:

Library Hours
Austin Hall
From 2 to 5 P.M., from 6 to 9
P.M. weekdays. From 2 to 10 P.M.
Sundays and holidays.

I had a hard time remembering the library being in Austin Hall between the pool hall and the men’s restroom on the corner. After my brother Joel jogged my memory I do remember at least one time when mother parked the car in front of it long enough for Joel to run in and return a book.

I don’t know if I was ever inside.  I do remember very well the Library being moved to the Trona Club House about 1948/1950..It seems like it was there for a long time but Joel reminded me that was there for less than a year while the new library building was being built.

I’m guessing that this was at the time that all sorts of remodeling was going on in Austin Hall. The barber shop that was on the Main Street side was moved to Bunkhouse Number 8. I am sure my first haircut took place while it was still in Austin Hall. The space vacated by the barber shop was used to expand the post office and add more mailboxes. That way fewer people had to share mailboxes. We still shared ours with Uncle John. Even when the new post office was built he still had his mail sent to our mailbox.

The General Mercantile Office was moved into the space where the library was. The space it vacated in it’s old location was used to expand the grocery store. If you have a better memory of this than me me feel feel free to correct me.

The library moving to the clubhouse was a big deal for me.  The clubhouse was just across the street from us and the librarian told me that if I could sign my name I could get a library card and check out books.

I had my mother write my name on a piece of paper for me and I kept writing over and over trying to memorize all the letters and the order they were in until I thought I had it right. Then I would take it to my sister or my mother over and over again until the finally told me it right. At least it was right enough to pass the librarians inspection. My sister pointed out to me that both my first and last name had a “V’ in the middle and that both my first and last name began and ended with the same letter. It’s no wonder I wrote in mirror images until I was about ten.

I became the libraries most frequent customer. I was a big help to the librarian. Every day I would go over and sort the children’s books according to size and every day I would go back and they would be messed up again. Finally the librarian had to ask me to cut it out and tried to explain to me the basics of the Dewey Decimal System.

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About David L Stevens

David has been the creator and maintainer of Trona on the Web since 1996. He has been creating websites since the beginning of the World Wide Web. He is not the best person to be the webmaster for a Trona Website but someone needs to do it and Doug Polly isn't with us any longer. David worked in maintenance for the San Bernardino City Schools, retired from Honeywell, worked in IT for a while and is now working as a school bus driver.

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