by Jennifer Harden
For nearly 130 years the Hoyt Library, a gift to the city of East Saginaw by Jesse Hoyt, has been a cornerstone of the community, growing and changing with the city and adapting to the needs of Saginaw residents. The library opened in 1890, has been carefully preserved and remains a sign of the strength, endurance, and vision of the people of Saginaw.
A major roofing project at Hoyt Library is underway and is scheduled to wrap up before winter. The 128-year-old slate roof is being replaced to the tune of $1.2 million. Maria McCarville, Director of the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Pamela Clark, Public Libraries of Saginaw Board President, and Ann Schneider Branch, Public Libraries of Saginaw Board Vice President have been working hard to secure funding that will ensure the future integrity of the Hoyt Library. “The project could not be put off any longer, so we are moving forward,” explained Maria McCarville.
The roofing portion of the project is just one of several phases, which will ultimately include limestone and sandstone repair, as well as interior repairs to plaster. Beyer Roofing is working on the roofing project, which is being managed by WTA Architects. Due to the historical nature of Hoyt Library, historically accurate materials must be used in the renovation. The entire project, including roofing, structural, and interior renovations, will cost approximately $5 million dollars and should be completed in time for Hoyt’s 130th Anniversary in November 2020. “This project has taken a lot of planning. It will ensure the future of Hoyt Library for years to come,” explained McCarville.
As part of Hoyt’s fundraising effort, a documentary about the history of Hoyt Library was produced. The full-length 22-minute video, entitled Hoyt Library: Remembering the Past . . . Envisioning the Future, is available for purchase at all branches of the Public Libraries of Saginaw.
The video contains many photos from Hoyt Library’s archive. Produced by Al and David Eicher of Program Source International, the video is a compilation of research and interviews that took place over the course of months. “Al and David worked closely with our Local History and Genealogy Department to procure photos, information, and stories. Many of the photos presented in the video are photos that the public has never seen before,” explained Harden. Covering the building of Hoyt through its additions and renovations, the video ends with the anticipated future of the library. “This video was a labor of love for all involved,” Harden stated.
All proceeds from the video will go directly to the Hoyt Trust. You may also consider donating to the Hoyt Trust to support our renovation efforts through our website. Visit www.saginawlibrary.org and click on the “Donate Now” button. You can also mail a check to Hoyt Trust, 505 Janes, Saginaw, MI 48607. The only way to purchase the video; however, is at one of our library branches. Questions? Call the Hoyt Library Business Office at 989-755-9833.
As part of the renovation process, Hoyt Library will temporarily close from December 17, 2018 through January 13, 2019. This closure comes as concerns for safety grow and parts of the collection become inaccessible.
The Hoyt Public Library of Saginaw was a gift to the city of Saginaw (then East Saginaw) by one of its most prominent citizens – Jesse Hoyt. While Jesse Hoyt of New York was never a permanent resident of this city that he influenced so profoundly, few people did more to promote its creation and growth.
Featuring a design by prominent architect H.H. Richardson and adapted by public library pioneer William Frederick Poole, Hoyt Public Library was opened to the public on November 1, 1890. Miss Harriet Ames, one of the most talented and competent librarians in the country, was tasked with the acquisition and cataloging of books for the new library.
The Hoyt Library has served the Saginaw Community for well over a century. In addition to providing the reference services it was originally designed for, the library has been a cornerstone of the community, growing and changing with the City and adapting to the needs of Saginaw Residents. Today, the library boasts an award-winning local history and genealogy collection that serves to preserve the rich history of our community along with all of the services and programs you’d expect from a modern library.
The stunning architecture of this important library building has been preserved and the Hoyt Library continues to stand as a landmark - a visible sign of the strength, endurance, and vision of the people of Saginaw.
The Historical Society of Michigan presents the State History Awards every year to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation, and promotion of state and local history. The awards are the highest recognition presented by the Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s official historical society and oldest cultural organization. On September 22, 2017 the Local History and Genealogy Collection at Hoyt Library was presented the 2017 State History Award for Institutions.
Hoyt Library has served the Saginaw Community for nearly 127 years since it first opened its doors in November of 1890. The Library is a part of Saginaw History, and, as such, makes it a priority to preserve that history. Preservation, however, is not enough. In the true fashion of public libraries, Hoyt Library holds as its main goal to share resources with the community, and in this modern era, the world.
The Local History and Genealogy department at Hoyt Library was created as a central repository and Saginaw local history library in 1960. Since that time, it has become one of the premier local history collections in the Midwest. The department serves students, specialists, and amateur historians and genealogists with an array of materials in the fields of genealogy, Saginaw history, and the history of Michigan. Collections feature many unique and valuable resources on the history of Saginaw, the Saginaw Valley, and the people and families who settled the region.
For a listing of collections and resources available, visit: www.saginawlibrary.org or call Hoyt Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department directly at 989-755-9827.