The Yuba County Library is one of the oldest
continuously operating public libraries west of the Mississippi.
It was originally organized by the Young
Men's Literary and Scientific Association, in 1855, as the Marysville Library.
The main objective of the Association was
to gather materials together and maintain a reading room where its members could
come together socially and improve their mental state.
The first books purchased by the
Association were bought in
and shipped around the Horn.
Donations of books, magazines, pamphlets
and maps were made by members and associates to stock the reading room before
the shipment arrived.
make the library available to all citizens of Marysville, the Association deeded
the collection to the city of Marysville
on December 15, 1858.
A room on the second floor of the City
Hall was assigned for the use as a library.
1861 the Library was moved to the second floor of the new Masonic Hall.
Ten years later it was moved again, back
to City Hall.
This was done to take advantage of the
free heating being supplied to the city at that location.
that the Marysville City Library was having difficulty maintaining a permanent
location, mining magnate John Q. Packard resolved to provide a building.
Mr. Packard was a pioneer merchant in
Marysville, and a charter member of the Marysville City Library.
In October 1900, Packard deeded to the
City property on the corner of Fourth and C Streets.
In 1905 he employed William Curtlett as
architect and R. Dewar as contractor for the construction of a Library building.
Library building was completed on March 14, 1906, and opened to the public on
October 12, 1906.
This new, larger library had several
The ground floor was set up to include a smoking
room, to be open every day.
The first floor was the main reading room
containing the book collection, the Librarian's office, a work area, and a
A mezzanine overlooked the first floor,
and housed the Poppy Room.
In 1910, the Poppy Room was used to house
pioneer relics, photographs, diaries and manuscripts dealing with the history of
On the top floor was a hallway and
1955, in preparation for the opening of the new Mary
the pioneer relics, diaries and most of the paintings were removed from the
Poppy Room and given to the Museum.
In 1972, citizens of
petitioned the Board of Supervisors for county-wide library service.
the support of both the City of Marysville
and the Board of Supervisors, the City Library became the Yuba County Library on
July 1, 1972.
were also put in motion to either remodel the existing Library building or to
construct a new building at that time.
The main reasons behind the project were the fact that the building was behind
in the building codes and had no access for those with physical disabilities.
After deliberation, it was decided to build a new Library.
The redevelopment area at Second and C Streets was chosen.
The construction was funded by the Library Services Act,
Yuba County, the City of Marysville, and the United States Office of
Education. The new Library was opened to
the public in June 1977.
The collection held in the Poppy Room was given
its own room in the new building.
The room was officially dedicated as the
Kathryn Ann Lamon Memorial History Room, but California Room became its'
unofficial, popular name shortly after opening.
Because "California Room" does not adequately describe the scope of the
collection, staff have begun referring to the collection as the "Local History
Archives", housed in the Lamon Room.
Photograph of Yuba County Library, from parking lot
drawing of Marysville
Photograph of Marysville City Hall
Photograph of Marysville Masonic Hall
Photograph of the Packard Library
Photograph of the Marysville City Library, Packard building
Photograph of Yuba County Library, from C Street
Photograph of the Local History Archives, across the garden
(All photographs property of Local History Archives, Yuba County Library)