By Cynthia Mines
Special to the News
As part of efforts to renovate the last Carnegie Library built in Kansas, a fundraiser at the Rex Russell’s Auto Museum south of Salina is slated for Saturday, Nov. 18.
The open house and prime rib dinner to benefit the Canton library will feature 94 rare automobiles, including one of only seven 1937 Lincoln Cabriolet limousines whose most famous passenger was President Franklin Roosevelt. The car was handcrafted by Brunn & Co. of Buffalo, N.Y., a famous coach-building company.
Other cars on display include a 1911 Mercury, the last of its kind, built for use in the Chicago stockyards, a 1936 Cord sedan and a 1916 Metz.
Russell will be on hand to tell attendees the stories behind the prized possessions he began collecting two decades ago.
The cost is $50 and reservations are needed. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with food served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum is located in Mentor, which is 10 miles south of Salina at Kansas Exit 86 off I-135.
For reservations or more information, email Jkcrwitt@aol.com or call 214-679-9018.
Funds raised will go toward the $400,000 needed to ensure the future of Canton’s library. The funds will be used to improve handicapped accessibility, address fire codes, flood proof the basement, and add central heating and air conditioning. Renovations also will include a small addition to the east side.
The Canton Library was started by the 12 women in the Canton Literary Study Club in 1909 when they started a small library at city hall. They applied to the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for funds to build a library in 1915, but because of World War I the library was not completed until 1921. It is considered the last public library built with Carnegie funds.
The library offers an online catalog, adult book club and Carnegie Kids Club as well as computer and internet services. The library has recently added a preschool story time on the second and fourth Thursdays at 10 a.m. and an adult craft time on the third Thursday at 10 a.m. The library is open Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday.
Donations also may be made through the McPherson County Community Foundation by going to cantoncarnegie.org.