Emeline Patrick Vaughn provided the funds to build the Vaughn Library in her husband’s memory after his death in 1886. Samuel Stuart Vaughn was one of the first Yankees to settle near Lake Superior. He owned and operated several business’ in the area and laid out Vaughn’s Subdivision in Ashland.
Emeline was astute enough to provide for the library with money from the F.J. Pool Company on the first floor (the library was located on the second floor) and offices on the third floor of the building. Thanks to this arrangement Ashland’s library paid for itself until the Depression of the 1930s. At that time although the building was still owned by the Vaughn Library Foundation, $6,620 in operating expenses began to be paid for by the City of Ashland.
In 1937, the library moved to the ground floor when Pool’s closed and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) moved into the second floor area. The appropriation remained the same for years until finally in 1995 the city provided $14,145 to hire a full time librarian.
Historical Photo of Library InteriorWhen the building fell into serious disrepair in the 1980s, the City hired an architectural firm to examine the library itself: other possible sites at which the library could be located, and possible sites and costs for building a new building. The Council put the matter to a vote in 1982 and citizens chose to renovate the first and second floors of this building at a cost of $500,000. The basement was later remodeled with in-house employees and the third floor remodeled later by wee crews.