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SummaryThe Glen Morris Hotel, also known as Temperance House, was built in 1844 and opened by Robert Shiel. The first General Warehouse offered food, lodging, a bar, a livery stable, and an upstairs dance hall. On January 21, 1875, a Penny Readings Society started where once a month reading and entertainment was provided for a charge of a penny. Alexander Graham Bell was probably their most notable speaker. In 1888 a Mechanics Institute was established. 1
Originally known as the Village Inn, the building had become vacant by 1888. It was rented by the Lee brothers who turned it into a Hotel. In truth the brothers were operating a speakeasy, profiting from the recently instated prohibition in the Township. Unfortunately for them, it appears that their liquor led to a death that implicated them upon investigation. The Lee brothers fled in the dark of night and were never seen again, leaving the building vacant once more. Around this same time, the Penny Readings Society was experiencing a significant drop in attendance, while having a tidy sum of money in savings. Mr. Flemming and Mr. Scott thus applied for a provincial grant to establish a Mechanics' Institute. After the necessary membership and funds had been secured, the decision was made to rent the Bar Room of the vacant hotel, now known as Temperance House. Thus the bar room became a readings and recreation room, with the bar counter itself fused for curling. The Mechanics' Institute continued to function until 1910 when a bylaw was passed, converting it into a Public Library. The land that the Library was on belonged to Mr. Robert Rose, who wished to bequeath it to the community for a library. Unfortunately Mr. Rose passed away before he could fulfill this wish and it was his heir, Miss. Christina McIntosh, who completed the process. By this time, the condition of the library building had deteriorated so in 1919 the old sheds and stables were torn down and in 1922 new shelving was added as well as a new door and a coat of stucco applied over the entire building.
By 1971 lack of space and the poor condition of the main floor and basement culminated in a community renovation effort which was undertaken using a great deal of volunteer labor. The basement was cleaned out and a new floor put in and the library has continued to serve faithfully ever since. 1
The death mentioned above due to the speakeasy was of one Charlie O’Neal, who fell off Dawson’s Bridge in winter while drunk and drowned. He was found frozen in the ice under the bridge in 1888. 1
1844 – Initial Construction of Village Inn
1888 – Speakeasy
The inn was rented by the Lee brothers who turned it into a Hotel and also operated a speakeasy during prohibition in the Township. Unfortunately for them, it appears that their liquor led to a death which implicated them upon investigation. The Lee brothers fled and never returned, leaving the building vacant once more.
1888 – Renamed Temperance House and hosts Mechanics Institute
After the necessary membership and funds had been secured for the Mechanics' Institute chapter, the decision was made to rent the Bar Room of the vacant hotel. Thus the bar room became a readings a recreation room, with the bar counter itself used for curling.
1910 – Mechanics' Institute Becomes Public Library
A bylaw was submitted to the electors converting the Mechanics Institute into a Public Library under Part I of the Public Library Act. At this point the library operated under the honor system, with the librarian only coming in a few times a week.
1917 – Transfer of Ownership
The land that the Library is located on belonged to Mr. Robert Rose, who wished to bequeath them to the community for a library. However he passed away before he could fulfill this wish and it was his heir, Miss. Christina McIntosh, that completed the process.
1919 – Demolitions
By this time, the condition of the library building had deteriorated, so in April the old sheds and stables were torn down at a total cost of $100.
1922 – Further Renovations
A new shelving was added as well as a new door made, and a coat of stucco applied over the entire building for well over $500.
1938 – Library Celebrates Fiftieth Anniversary
1961 – Free Library Association Discussions Begin
1966 – South Central Regional Library System Formed
1971 – Major Renovations
Lack of space and the poor condition of the main floor and basement culminated in a community renovation effort that was undertook using a great deal of volunteer labor. The basement was cleaned out and a new floor installed.
The single-detached rectangular building appears to be of a neo classical style with small-paned windows and a temple-like facade. A single stack chimney is located side-left on the low gable roof of the two storey building. Plain trim surrounds both the hinged 2 sash windows on the lower floor and double hung 2 sash windows are on the upper floor.
- Kaufman, B., Ingall, A., & Rothwell, J. History of the Glen Morris Library. Paris. Unknown Date
- St George Women's Institute. Glen Village History. St. George Woman's Institute, Retrieved 2015
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- Historic Buildings of the County of Brant
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Latitude: 43.2668 Longitude: -80.34967
- Recommended Citation
- Glen Morris Public Library. County of Brant Public Library, Item No. 2015CB005.
- County of Brant Public LibraryEmail
Agency street/mail addressCounty of Brant Public Library (Paris Branch)
12 William Street
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