Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Harbaugh-Thomas Library in Biglerville

Front of the Library on York Street, taken from the corner of Penn Street

Marion Harbaugh and her sister Jean Thomas had ambitions far beyond shop keeping at their Country Store in Biglerville. They undertook the incredible task of planning the $4 Million Harbaugh-Thomas Memorial Library, a structure that includes elements from the classical designs of Mt. Vernon and Franklin Roosevelt's Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York and is complete with a golden weathervane atop the cupola.
This public building is a fitting legacy for a family that traces its roots in Biglerville to the sisters' great-great uncle Henry Hartzell, described by Gettysburg College's Professor Emeritus of History Charles H. Glatfelter as "one of the founders of Biglerville. Taken inside the entrance-note: the painting on display is by Jean Thomas Taken from inside the back entrance by the parking lot looking straight ahead

The Harbaugh~Thomas Library opened for business on Monday, August 20, 2007 at 12:00 PM.
The new library greatly increases the system's ability to provide service to the public. It offers five public access internet computers and wireless internet access.
Also available are two meeting rooms on the first floor. The larger meeting room is able to hold 70 people comfortably for a meeting or workshop. The other meeting room will nicely hold a dozen or so for a board meeting.
The library has its own colonial reading garden and is host to an antique sled collection.

The most impressive items in the new library are a pair of candelabras, mantel cloth and clock given to President Eisenhower and his wife by the people of France. The Eisenhowers later presented the items to Harbaugh’s family as a gift. All four pieces sit atop one of the library’s mantels in a glass case.

Marian Thomas Harbaugh and Jean Thomas saw the impact that a library can have on a community and the life long aspirations of its residents. This gift will continue to change people’s lives for years to come.
The Harbaugh Thomas Library, located at 59 West York Street, Biglerville is a wonderful example of how communities can come together and make things happen.

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