Description of Historic Place
The Ennotville Library is located at 7722 Sixth Line and situated on the northeast side of Nichol Concession 6, in the town of Ennotville, now the Township of Centre Wellington. The one-and-a-half-storey cut stone building was constructed in circa 1850.
The property was designated, for its historic value, by the Township of Centre Wellington, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 2006-074).
The Ennotville Library is significant as it represents the drive and determination of the residents of Nichol Township in establishing, maintaining and preserving their library.
The library was originally founded, in 1847, by early settlers to the Lower Nichol area. Education was important to them; as such, the establishment of a library to enable the exchange of donated books was imperative. The need for a permanent location for the expanding collection became apparent when John Cunningham encountered difficulty in reaching the home, where the books were originally housed. Cunningham took up the task of gathering donations for a permanent library along with another local, John Mutrie. They engaged in a fierce contest to see who could raise the most funds; the winner would have the library built in his town. John Cunningham won by five pounds and it was decided that the library would be built in Ennotville.
The land for the library was donated by John McLaren. A stone-mason, by the name of Henry Penny, was commissioned as the contractor for the project. Throughout the course of its existence, the library has continued to thrive, due in large part to the contributions and efforts of community members. In particular, founder John Cunningham's family have maintained an important role in the library's administration.
Changes to the Provincial Library System, in 1966, mandated the creation of large, regional branches and the closure of smaller libraries. Despite this new direction, the citizens of Ennotville were adamant about keeping their library. A motion was passed for the library to continue, on its own initiative, and that it be renamed the Ennotville Historical Library. Today, it is the only self-supporting library in Ontario. The Ennotville Library, which has also served as a Sunday school, meeting hall, voting station and community centre demonstrates the unselfish and forward-thinking efforts of many dedicated citizens of the Nichol Area.
Sources: Township of Centre Wellington, By-law 2006-074; Township of Nichol, Pillars and Patches along the Pathway: A History of Nichol Township, David M. Beattie.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Ennotville Library include its:
- location in Ennotville
- stone construction with gable over front entrance
- gable roof with stone chimneys at either end
- simple rectangular footprint
- large windows with six-over-six panes
- continued use as a library since ca. 1850, with community support ensuring its preservation and success