BY VIVIAN TAYLOR
By the late 19th and early 20th century, Georgiana was a bustling metropolis with thriving businesses and many elements that beckoned country folk to visit and possibly stay.
A railroad town from the beginning, many influential people are attributed with having been a vital part of the town’s growth and success.
A myriad of characters played a part in the history of Georgiana, but few measure up to the impact that Thaddeus Luther Rose “Thad” made on this small south Alabama town.
Rose lived in Georgiana from 1880 until his death in 1934. During this span of time, he could very well be described as Georgiana’s Renaissance Man.
He loved our little town, and his interests and professions were comprehensive.
After traveling abroad in 1891, he gave informative lectures on his explorations and emphasized the importance of education. He was also a great leader, author, and teacher.
A dynamic businessman, he can be credited to building many of the structures that line the railroad tracks.
He was an L&N Railroad employee for many years and was one of Georgiana’s most prominent businessmen, civic leaders, and philanthropists. He even served as Mayor and under his leadership, the town thrived!
The Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman has been in existence since 1923 with the sole purpose of serving the community.
In 1927, the club was in search of a project that would have an impact on the community and be beneficial for all ages.
The inspirational idea of a library was born, and donations of books were supplied by local residents as well as by Mr. Rose.
Rose very generously gave the library use of his building next to (at that time) Bryan Drug Company.
The library made its opening début on Nov. 3, 1927, with Mr. Rose speaking on “The Advantages of a Library”.
This was officially the first public library in Butler County and has been under the ownership and management of The Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman since that day.
Over the course of the past 96 years, the club has been instrumental in keeping the library open, even though it has been housed in various locations within the city.
In June of 2018, under the leadership and direction of then President Lisa Lowe, the Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman began a library revitalization project.
The first strategy was to acquire a building conducive for a library. The city of Georgiana graciously donated a building in a great location with adequate indoor space to expand and build upon the current book inventory.
In addition to all genres of books and an updated children’s section, it also has a historical room that houses the Butler County News newspapers dating back to 1911, along with various history books and information about Butler and surrounding counties.
Currently, they are in the process of digitizing the newspapers to prevent age related disintegration.
The library is located at 337 Ebenezer Road, Georgiana, Alabama 36033, directly behind Trustmark Bank.
The Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman encourages everyone to take advantage of this valuable resource and take an opportunity to check books out of the oldest library in Butler County.