|Front page of the Warren Library Loan newspaper, April 21, 1884.|
A local newspaper, the Warren Sunday Mirror, volunteered its press for the purpose of publishing a short-run paper, the Warren Library Loan, which was printed each afternoon from April 21st through 26th. Sold in Warren and surrounding villages, it recapped the previous days events and advertised upcoming ones. It also announced out-of-towners who were arriving at local hotels, thus enabling old acquaintances to reconnect. The Warren Library Loan also included information about local stores, many of whom were holding special sales to entice visitors. For instance, Theodore Messner's was offering free majolica pitchers to its first 100 visitors, and a prize for anyone who bought a pound of premium coffee.
For a town that boasted fewer than 3,000 citizens at the time, the number and variety of happenings were impressive. A group of high-powered residents, formally presided by former Pennsylvania Governor Charles W. Stone, but really run by J. P. Jefferson, C. H. Noyes, Mrs. A. D. Wood, and Anna Sill, formed a special "Loan Committee" to coordinate everything. Others headed up subcommittees for "antiquities," entertainments, pamphlets, refreshments, and other tasks.
One room at the top of the building was reserved for an art exhibition of more than 300 canvasses. In the library proper, there were a variety of exhibits, including civil war relics and industrial machinery. There were also special displays, including an autograph collection, a baby show, and a baby alligator (yes, live!), owned by Mrs. Charles W. Stone. There was even a microscope exhibit, with slides changed during the afternoon and evening, through which many Warren residents likely saw life on the cellular level for the first time.
Each night, different events were scheduled in the building's opera hall, including an "old folks concert" on Tuesday evening, a showing of stereoscopic views on Wednesday, a "musicale" (concert) on Thursday, and a performance of the "Merchant of Venice" on Friday. Cake, ice cream, and other treats were served each day from noon until 10:00 p.m.. There were also full meals served each night, including a "New England Supper" on Tuesday. Being born in Massachusetts, that dinner menu in particular made my mouth water: ham, roast beef, creamed corn, baked beans, cabbage salad, chow-chow, "Saratoga potatoes" (i.e., potato chips), pumpkin and apple pies, doughnuts, and much more. The Philadelphia and Erie Railroad ran a specially-scheduled train to Kane to enable people up to 25 miles away to attend nightly events (to document the above paragraphs, see pg. 1 of each issue of the Warren Library Loan Daily, April 21-26 1884).
|Broadsides advertising Warren's "Library Loan."|