Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! This year, our original 1912 building will celebrate 110 years in the Rochelle Community. The original building has stood the test of time.

It is a strong brick building with a beautiful terra cotta tile roof. The shelving in the inside, bay windows and fireplace are timeless. We have been fortunate to keep many of the 1912 pieces of furniture.

When the library turned 100 in 2012, I started to investigate all of the current events that would have been taking place during that year. When we did tours, we talked about what adults would have been reading about in the news throughout that time. We discovered that the Rochelle community might have been reading about the Titanic disaster, learning about DeKalb Ag, a new agriculture company and eating Life Savers and Oreo cookies.

Oreo Cookies - “Oreos, a sandwich cookie consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet crème filling in between, bring joy all around the world for over 100 years. Here is a fun fact: Oreo has become the best-selling cookie of the 20th century since its introduction in 1912 (as Oreo Biscuit) with more than 491 billion Oreo cookies sold to date worldwide. The United States, China, Venezuela, Canada, and Indonesia are the top five countries in terms of sales.” (https://www.biscuitpeople.com/magazine/post/the-short-history-of-oreo-cookies)

Life Savers - “In 1912, chocolate manufacturer Clarence Crane of Cleveland, Ohio invented Life Savers. They were conceived as a “summer candy” that could withstand heat better than chocolate. Since the mints looked like miniature life preservers, Crane called them Life Savers.” (https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-life-savers-candy-4076664).

DeKalb Ag-“According to the historical marker, DeKalb's roots date back to 1912, when a group of farmers and bankers formed the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association. In 1917, the DeKalb County Agricultural Association was formed. DeKalb's original headquarters was located on Fifth Street in DeKalb.” (https://www.shawlocal.com/2018/09/11/dekalb-ag-historical-marker-unveiled/agp5buv/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20historical%20marker,on%20Fifth%20Street%20in%20DeKalb).  

Titanic - “The RMS Titanic, a luxury steamship, sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic after sideswiping an iceberg during its maiden voyage. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 lost their lives in the disaster.” (https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/titanic).

Think about what was happening in Rochelle 110 years ago. Many things were changing and a new library was being built. We were a lucky community to be chosen for this great honor.We are looking forward to our 110th Birthday and a great 2022. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Sarah Flanagan is the director of the Flagg-Rochelle. Public Library District.


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