|Ripon, Wisconsin Historical Images|
401 Watson Street - Downtown Ripon
In early 1902, Richard Hughes, the president and chief fundraiser for Ripon College, traveled East to ask philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for his support for the development of a library. To his dismay, he returned to Ripon empty-handed. That very April, however, as a result of his visit, Carnegie offered the City of Ripon $10,000 to help build the community facility.
The City of Ripon accepted the gift and chose the old Robert Lyle Livery Barn lot as the site for the new Ripon Public Library. Construction began in September 1904 with the agreement that the move-in date would be the following fall. The library operated in this location until 1973. After that, the building housed Pearl's House of Fashion, a women's clothing store, and later Accurate Controls, an integrated security and communications business.
In 2005, a generous donor acquired the building for Ripon College. A gift from college alumni Don and Marilyn Anderson made it possible to further renovate the building. The President, Vice President and Dean of Faculty were relocated into the building in spring 2006, creating a physical link between downtown Ripon and the College.
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