Library of Hattiesburg
By the early part of the 20th century Hattiesburg still had no public library. In 1927, members of the American Legion formed a committee with the goal of creating support for a new library. By June 28, 1928, support had grown, and the city approved a bond for $75,000 to construct a new library on Hemphill Street near the intersection with Forrest Street. But due to "dissatisfaction over the site" voters approved an additional $25,000 bond on February 19, 1929, in order to buy a different lot of land, the former site of First Presbyterian Church on Main Street (who had just moved into their new building farther north on Main Street), for $30,000. Construction of the new library cost an additional $53,000.
On May 22, 1930, the Hattiesburg Municipal Library held a dedication ceremony. The library stayed in that building until the mid 1990s when it moved into its current building on Hardy Street. Today the building is known as the Hattiesburg Cultural Center, and also houses the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society Museum.
The current library was built in the mid 1990s.
The Spirit that Builds
The Spirit that Builds is a circular mural hanging from ceiling in the library depicting the history of Hattiesburg. It measures approximately 167 feet in circumference and 10 feet in height. The mural is constructed of sandblasted stainless steel. It took artist William Baggett three years to paint. It was completed on July 4, 1995.
- "Allen Carter Post Gains Permanent Memorial in Legion-Sponsored Library", Hattiesburg American, May 21, 1930
- "Nearly $85,000 Already Spent on Institution", Hattiesburg American, May 21, 1930
- "Dedication Ceremonies to Draw Crowds", Hattiesburg American, May 21, 1930
- "The Mural", flyer available at the library