Welcome to the Ritzville City library, home of the A. Kendrick Photo Collection
and other bits of history about the Big Bend region of Eastern Washington state.
Located 54 miles west of Spokane off of Interstate 90, the library is at the center
of one of the most productive dry land wheat producing areas in the Pacific Northwest.
It was in 1902 that Daniel Buchanan, local farmer and prominent politician,
donated over 550 volumes of his personal library to the City of Ritzville to be
"used as a nucleus of a public library...free, under the usual library restrictions,
to all residents of Adams County, Washington." Interestingly enough, the first
reading room and "library" was located over a local merchants store. Slowly but
surely furniture was purchased by the Manhattan Club for $400.00 and the first
librarian, Mr. G. Reicher was hired for $35.00 per month. Later, donations were sought for a permanent library
structure; $10,500 came from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation giving Ritzville the
means to construct a full-fledged library.
By 1907, a mere five years after Buchananís original donation, the cornerstone of
the present library was being laid by the Grand Lodge of the Masons, drawing the
locals and out-of-town dignitaries, including Gov. Mead. Today the building on the
outside remains pretty much the same, while a restoration project is underway to
restore the interior of the library to its stately appearance of the early part of
So if you're ever passing through this part of the Northwest, donít hesitate to
come off the Interstate to historic downtown Ritzville and visit Ritzvilleís own
Carnegie library. If you canít make the trip, be sure to browse the historic photo
collection and check out the links to other libraries and archives. Future collections
and possibly some regional art work depicting Native Americans and life on the farm
are just a few things weíre working on, so donít forget to check in on us every now