House Crazy Sarah visited the homeland (Canada) a couple weeks ago and she’s already homesick 🙁
It was a quick visit so she didn’t get to make her usual pilgrimage to St. Joe’s Island, about an hour from her hometown.
St. Joseph Island, Ontario, as it’s officially called, is a large island in the northwestern part of Lake Huron. It is connected to the mainland by a bridge and has a mix of woodlands, farmland, and two adorable hamlets. It has just over 2,000 year round residents and plenty of summer cottagers. It is one of the most idyllic places House Crazy Sarah has ever known and she would like to someday live there.
The main village on St. Joe’s is called Richard’s Landing.
The quaint town has a couple of stores, restaurants, and a beautiful boat marina.
It also has the most enchanting little children’s library, which is what this post is all about.
The Children’s Library of Richard’s Landing is located on the town’s main street in an old island house. It was established way back in 1935.
According to the library’s webpage, “The Children’s Library is the result of the kindness and vision of Mrs. Florence Orrell, a summer resident of the Island who purchased the building and property and donated them to the community for use as a children’s library.”
The Children’s Library serves as a cultural and social meeting spot for residents and visitors and also houses mementos and artifacts gifted from the Island’s residents. Such items include: bear rugs, Chinese wedding dolls, and antique books.
Pictured below, a Victorian-era wedding gown from the Island’s past is on display:
The library is proudly funded exclusively by donations with no government funding at all. Isn’t that amazing?
Programs offered include: after school and summer programs, reading clubs, arts and crafts groups, educational workshops, and author visits/book signings.
The building features antique fir paneled walls, original wood floors, a stone fireplace, and collections of vintage children’s books.
Most of these photos are from The Children’s Library Facebook page, but some of them were taken by House Crazy Sarah when she visited there several years ago with her kidletts.
Upstairs, the kiddos can let their creativity run wild with an arts and crafts center, dress-up area, and puppet show corner.
One can imagine generations of the island’s children having their imaginations fostered here.
There’s also a kid-sized cozy reading corner:
And who’s this little pumpkin in the puppet corner?
That’s House Crazy Sarah’s little girl back when she was a tiny goober! 🙂
House Crazy Sarah also has to include the obligatory winter scene, because even under feet of snow on a cold Canadian winter’s day, The Children’s Library is charming and warm, the very heart of this community.
You can learn more about this special small town island library at the following links:
~ House Crazy Sarah