From its very beginnings, the Cannon Beach Library has been an independent operation created and nurtured by volunteers. In 1927, when there were only about 50 families living in the area, eight women formed an informal Cannon Beach Civic Club to work on improvements such as street lighting, garbage disposal, public restrooms and – most important to us – a Library open to the public.
During the first year, the Library consisted of a few shelves in the back of a local store with books borrowed each week from the Oregon State Library, but in 1928 the Club rented part of a small building and obtained a great many book donations as well.
The Library grew during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s thanks to fund-raising events (such as card parties, street dances, baby contests, and “clam chowder day”). Volunteers not only staffed the Library, but constructed the shelves and tables.
By 1972 enough money had been raised to develop plans for a Library building. The City of Cannon Beach agreed to lease the Library a lot in city center on Hemlock Street for $1 per year. As always, the Library was a community effort. Local lumber yards provided lumber at cost. Local construction companies donated excavation work and building materials. Many people volunteered labor for the roofing and siding. The new Library building was dedicated in September 1976.
A new children’s wing was dedicated in August 1997. The wing was funded through grants from a number of foundations, local businesses, fund raisers and individual donations.