About Gresham Carnegie Library

In 1903, the back room of the Gresham Post Office served as Gresham’s first public reading room.

Gresham Historical Society_Carnegie Library

By 1908, the library collection reached approximately 400 volumes, and the Gresham community began fundraising for the construction of a community library.

The property at the corner of North Main Avenue and Fourth Street in Gresham was purchased for $1900.

The Andrew Carnegie Foundation—which at the time was building libraries in small communities across the country—chose Gresham as the site to build. With financial support from the Library Association of Portland, the Gresham community raised approximately half of the necessary funds to construct the building.

Gresham Historical Society_Library under construction - 1912Due to this monetary contribution, the Gresham Library Association was able to choose the architect for the project. The association chose Folger Johnson to design the building.

This autonomous choice in architect is the reason why Gresham’s Carnegie Library is so unique, acclaimed as one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in the Portland Metropolitan area.

Construction began in 1912, and the building was dedicated and opened in 1913.

The Gresham Carnegie Library held the Gresham Branch Library from 1913 to 1989, when the library began to relocate to its current home on NW Miller Avenue in Historic Downtown Gresham.

In 1990, the Gresham Historical Society purchased the building and with community support, funded the most extensive renovation project in the buildings history, restoring the building to its former glory. The Gresham Carnegie Library is now on the National Register of Historic Places and will be protected for generations to come.

Gresham Historical Society_Building_01

Explore the Library
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Current Exhibits
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We expect the Museum to be closed for several months, at least through October, as repairs due to the fire are completed. Indoor events at the Museum have been canceled for the next two months, at the least. While the weather is good, we will participate in outdoor events such as Third Thursday, and we will be setting up a booth at the Farmers Market on Saturdays. Volunteers are needed to staff these events. 

The Gresham Historical Society is a non-profit organization that is funded by memberships, grants, and fundraising events. To help with renovations from the fire and to make the building a safe place to store our collections, we have established the Gresham Historical Society Fire Account at the Gresham branch of Riverview Community Bank at 225 NE Burnside Rd. Donations can also be sent to PO Box 65, Gresham, OR 97030, or online at greshamhistorical.org.

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