If you are walking along Main Street, you might notice a new addition at the Beatty Heritage House. It’s the Little Book House and is now ready for community use.
As you pass the little library, open its doors and glance through the selection of books.
If a book looks intriguing, you can take it home. The next time you pass by, you are welcome to leave a book that you enjoy in its place.
Like any library, the Little Book House wouldn’t be complete without a story.
Surprisingly, the beginnings of little libraries and the Beatty House aren’t so different. Nearly one hundred years apart, two men would establish vibrant centres of community – both using wood and nails. In 1919, Jack Beatty took a risk and built his hardware store in the young prairie town of Rimbey, Alberta.
In 2009, Todd Bol nailed together a small wooden box made from his old garage door in Hudson, Wisconsin. Both projects were destined to flourish.
As Rimbey was establishing itself as a close-knit community, Beatty Hardware became a trusted source of supplies and the latest innovations in building. From its humble beginning of selling wood and nails, Jack’s hardware store supported the growing town for decades.
In Wisconsin, Todd Bol’s “library-on-a-stick,” shaped like a schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, captivated his friends and neighbours. As interest grew, Bol created more unique structures and gave them to his community. A year later, he founded a non-profit organization which promoted neighbourhood sharing through books. The “Little Free Library” movement is now present in over 100 countries.
The Little Book House shares Todd’s slogan of “take a book, leave a book.” Since the collection is created by you, the community, we invite you to share a book with your neighbours.
Like the Little Book House, the Beatty House is ready to be explored. We welcome you to tour the House and discover the stories that have shaped our town.
The Beatty Heritage House Society wishes to thank Duane Adam, who designed, built, and donated the Little Book House. Thanks also to Duane, Jim Anderson, and Ken Stemo for securing it in its place.
Submitted by Georgia Snethun.
I am pleased to join the Beatty Heritage House as the summer program manager. I am available to give tours of the Beatty House on Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The grounds are also available every day for picnicking, visiting with a friend, or just relaxing. I welcome you to the Beatty House and I look forward to meeting members of the community.