South Carolina is home to 14 Carnegie libraries, or libraries built with funds from the Carnegie Foundation. The organization was formed in 1883 by business magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and helped to establish libraries all over the world. From 1883 through 1929, 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built and made available to the public – 1,689 in the United States alone. This library in Honea Path opened in 1908 and is one of two Carnegie libraries built in Anderson County. The other currently houses the Anderson County Arts Center in Anderson.
In 1907 the Honea Path Library Association was formed. Many libraries began as societies or clubs as a way to collect books and eventually make them available to the public. Local teacher Jennie Erwin became an active advocate for the construction of a library in town and pushed for a Carnegie grant to realize her vision.
With the support of then-mayor John Humbert and Dr. John Wright, Erwin was successful in obtaining the funds for a library. At the time Honea Path was the smallest town in the United States to house a Carnegie library. The library was renamed for Erwin in 1958 when it became part of the Anderson County library system.
The Jennie Erwin Library is one of five South Carolina Carnegie libraries still in use as a library.
More Pictures of the Jennie Erwin Library