Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Reason Why... One of them anyway.

The Depot...why is the Historic Monroe Train Depot part of our South Benton Library Project? Why would we use it, when it looks like it is falling apart? There it sits, on the corner of HWY 99W and Ash St. in Monroe. It looks pretty lonely out there and in fact it looks a tad bit more decrepit than it did 4 years ago when we moved it to it's new home.

What a day that was! Do you remember? It was an early March morning, a little overcast and dark. But something remarkable was happening in Monroe! The Depot was being moved and in the process, it was given a reprieve from destruction. It was really a leap of faith for our group, the South Benton Library Project, to have the Depot moved. We didn't yet own the property where it was being moved, we didn't yet have any funds to pay for the move. We didn't even have a plan of how the Depot would be incorporated into the new library design. But we had a vision of what we didn't want to happen; the destruction of a landmark. The building was historic and a part of our South Benton history. The saving of it just fell into our laps. And yet, somehow it fit right into our plans.

I keep thinking about the Monroe train's arrival in town each day so many years ago. About the people meeting their families at the depot, about coming home, and about leaving for other places. Coming to the train depot back then was a destination and a departure place. By saving the Historic Monroe Train Depot and using it for our Community Library we will keep it's original use somewhat intact. This is what I mean: people coming to the library today come for many reasons and some are the same original reasons that they came to the Depot many years ago. They come today to meet people-haven't you "met" the characters in your favorite books at the library? Also, for many it is a home place-most of our town's kids have been raised coming to the library and are perfectly at home here. Most of these kids will grow up, have children of their own and bring them to the Monroe Library. And by checking out many of our books and material people can, in essence, depart for other places-even if it is only in their mind.

The Historic Monroe Train Depot will be incorporated into the new Monroe Community Library and once again it will take it's place in a town where people meet, gather and grow. What a welcoming place to be and a wonderful reason why.

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