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A promise kept: Prendergast Library built to honor a son taken too soon

The lovely Jamestown building was completed in 1891.

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — About 200 years ago Jamestown was named after James Prendergast, a property owner and business man. He had a grandson with the same name, and though the younger James passed away at 31, he still made an impact on the region.

James wanted to build a library before his early death, and his parents honored his wish, organizing the locals. It was a community effort, and the library opened in December on December 1 in 1891.

It took a 100 people several years to build this impressive structure. Sandstone from Medina, over 100 miles away was used. The lovely building is near the center of the city, and it immediately became a favorite gathering place for Jamestown,.

At the time of their opening they had 8,000 books, and now they boast of over 130,000 books in the collection.

They have a busy calendar with programs for people of all ages.

The website is www.prendergastlibrary.org.

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