As a relative newcomer to the library, I’ve been focusing on library history for the past few months, and the name Maurice (Maurie) Clark continues to come up as an individual who played a stellar role in making our library what it is today.

I’m told he also played a significant role in making our town what it is today.

As many “locals” know, our library dates back to 1927, when a group of year-rounders formed the “Cannon Beach Civic Club,” which was dedicated to the betterment of Cannon Beach as a whole. It was unanimously decided that a local library would benefit a then much smaller community. The rest is history! As the library evolved from three shelves to many shelves of books over the years, a larger space became obviously necessary, and in 1973, thanks to the contributions of countless people, ground was broken to begin construction of a new library building. The official “ribbon cutting” occurred 2.5 years later.

Back in the 1990s, longtime local resident Molly Edison, who was president of the Library Club at that time, worked at the Ladies Convalescent Home in Portland with Mary Clark, Maurie’s wife. The addition of a children’s room in the library was being discussed. Molly and her then-husband Dan Schausten put their heads together with the Clarks about grant writing and funding. According to Molly, Mr. Clark was a very humble gentleman who declined any publicity about his significant role in the addition of the children’s room. His only request was that a well-established cherry tree growing on the site be moved to another location.

Thanks to the late Maurie Clark and all the many others whose donations of time and funds have contributed to what the Cannon Beach Library is today!

In other news, anyone who read the Jan. 2 edition of the Gazette probably noticed Erick Bengel’s article about the repair and relocation of the Sroufe Memorial Fountain, which soon will be situated on Cannon Beach Library property. The fountain, which is decorated with a bronze oyster shell and other types of shells, was built and dedicated to longtime Cannon Beach resident James Harley Sroufe shortly after his death in 1964. The fountain was set up in Cannon Beach City Park, which Mr. Sroufe played a large role in creating. For a while the fountain stood near the Christian Conference Center.

The project to move the fountain to the library is to be funded from the Public Art Committee budget. It is hoped the relocation will take place this year before tourist season.

The Cannon Beach Library membership meeting and brunch will begin at 10 a.m. Feb. 4. The February theme will be “Happy 88th birthday to the library!” Melodie Chenevert will speak on “The Lost Art of Nursing.” Come join us!

“The World of Haystack Rock” lecture will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in the library. Speaker Cameron La Follette will discuss “Land, Forest, Waters: Activism to Protect the Oregon Coast.” La Follette is executive director of Oregon Coast Alliance.

Northwest author Holly Lorincz will be the Northwest Author Series guest at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 in the library. Her debut novel is Smart Mouth: A Novel, for which she was awarded the 2014 Bronze IPPY prize (Independent Publisher Book Award). It tells the story of a new teacher’s struggles at a rural, underfunded coastal town high school. The teacher battles self-identity and shyness and must learn to open her “smart mouth” and let her voice fly.

Finally, Cannon Beach Reads will be reading and discussing Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s well-known novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 in the library. As always, the library will have one copy of the book available for checkout, and additional copies will be on sale at Cannon Beach Company. New members welcome!


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