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Two birthdays at the Carnegie

The dome of the Carnegie Resource Center in Mitchell is adorned on its interior by the mural "Â"Sun and Rain Clouds Over Hills,"Â" by Oscar Howe, a Yanktonai Sioux artist who painted the mural in 1940 as a Works Progress Administration project. (Daily Republic file photo)

The Mitchell Area Historical Society will have a dual party Monday when it celebrates the 25th anniversary of its own founding and the 110th anniversary of the Carnegie Resource Center building at 119 W. Third Ave.

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Historical Society President Lyle Swenson said he's proud of the society's part in preserving the former Carnegie Library.

"It's part of Mitchell history and it's a beautiful structure, well worth preservation," he said.

The library was built in 1903 with a $12,000 grant from steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who financed about 2,500 similar libraries worldwide. The structure was built using jasper quartzite and other quality materials.

The historical society paid the city of Mitchell a dollar for the building in 2006, when the building was vacant and its future was in doubt. Since then, the society has sunk about $200,000 into the handsome structure, paying for windows, a new roof, insulation, interior repairs and modern LED lighting.

"It's all been done using absolutely no tax money," Swenson said. "Everything has been paid for by donations and grants."

Monday, the public is welcome to browse the improvements and to enjoy the following programs:

• 2 p.m.: Open house begins; cake and refreshments will be served, and there will be drawings for door prizes.

• 2:30 p.m.: Ribbon cutting to honor the dedication of the building.

• 3 to 5:30 p.m: A U.S. Postal Service representative will be available to stamp public cards and mail with a commemorative postal cancellation honoring the Carnegie's 110th anniversary.

• 7 p.m.: The Rev. Boyd Blumer will present the program "Circuit Riding Preachers in the early Dakota Territory."

Monday's celebration will emceed by George Bittner and will feature a brief speech by Alice Claggett, who was Mitchell's mayor when the Carnegie was transferred to the historical society.