Fostering heritage and maintaining
relevance to the community as a non-profit

In 1890, five Tryon women with a plan to stimulate intellectual and cultural growth in the Foothills, founded The Lanier Club for Ladies, named in honor of Sidney Lanier. Confederate Army private, American poet, and musician, Lanier died in 1881 at 39 while living just outside the city limits. His wife donated two books of his poetry as the first volumes for the group.

Built in 1905, the “Grand Old Lady on the Hill” has been fostering and preserving heritage ever since, while at the same time maintaining relevance and importance to the community as a non-profit organization.

Before 1930, the voices heard were mostly female in greetings, conversations, and presentations. In 1927, for example, Miss Euphemia Holden discussed “What Business Does to a Woman’s Character.”

In 1930, after breaking away from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the renamed Lanier Library Association encouraged men to join. In the first year, Mr. Prentice Luckey compared the values and origins of jewels.

In a then-and-now story of Lanier Library, hoof beats outside gave way to horsepower combustion and B.O.B. (Big On Books) The Giraffe found his way up the hill. To accommodate growth in books and membership, the building expanded through the generosity of members and other benefactors.

The circulation counter was along a forgotten wall that is now the opening into the great hall of fiction. The card catalog would have blocked the present Melrose door. The doorway into the administrative offices used to be a wall with a window.

The downstairs LeDuc Room, once rented to a travel agent, is now the permanent home of the Felburn Nature and Wildlife Collection. A 1967 photo and a more current image prove that today’s warm welcome to dogs and owners has historic precedent.

Lanier Library Tryon NC
Lanier Library Tryon NC 1967 Circulation
Lanier Library Tryon NC Dog in Library 1967
Lanier Library Tryon NC Dogs in library