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Allegany County
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Anna Lyons

Anna Lyons Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


In the 1830s a gentleman, who had just survived an exhausting visit to his sister who lived in Cumberland, wrote, “I believe you think of nothing else in Cumberland but parties and frolicking. When do you find time for housekeeping and making butter?” His affluent sister, Anna Lyons, would along with others later busy herself raising funds for the county’s first public library, which in 1838 after acquiring 300 books took the name, “Mechanics Circulating Library”. The library made, at a very reasonable rental, novels, biographies, and histories available to the public.

An act for the incorporation of the Mechanics Circulating Library Society of Cumberland passed the Maryland General Assembly in 1840. Archives of Maryland Online


Text - Albert Feldstein, Stegmaier, Dean, Kershaw and Wiseman

From Allegany County – A History, Stegmaier, Dean, Kershaw and Wiseman, Allegany County Commissioners, 1976.

The illustration is of the Cumberland Free Public Library relocated to this Washington Street building in 1934. It had originally been constructed as the Allegany County Academy during the years 1849-1850. In 1960 the name was officially changed to the Allegany County Public Library.

The postcard is from the collection of Albert and Angela Feldstein.

Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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