LIBRARY HISTORY

Created in September 1915 by The Fort Valley Library Association, The Thomas Public Library was established from a collection of materials donated by Dr. and Mrs. Edward Gray (Lula) Thomas. Byron Public Library was established in 1936 with a donation of books from The Thomas Public Library.

In 1971, Peach Public Libraries was formed with Thomas Public Library as the headquarters library and Byron Public Library as a branch library.

Locations of Thomas Public Library

  • Evans Building (corner of Main Street and Camellia Blvd.): 1915 to 1936
  • Peach County Courthouse annex facing Central Avenue: 1936 to 1969 (destroyed by fire in December 1969)
  • Vacant residence on Central Avenue: 1969 to 1972
  • Persons and Miller Street: 1972 to 1998
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Drive: 1998 to present

Locations of Byron Public Library

  • Wooden building (former post office and telephone exchange) next to Dr. Kay’s office: 1930 to 1936
  • Dupree’s Store (Main Street): 1936 to 1939
  • Byron Public Schools: 1939 to 1944
  • Old City Jail: 1944 to 1956
  • Downtown Store: 1956 to 1975
  • Byron City Complex: 1975 to 1985
  • Church Street: 1985 to present (expanded in 1997)

Below are some newspaper articles and other items related to the history of Peach Public Libraries, Thomas Public Library and Byron Public Library.

  • “Fire Destroys Thomas Library, Part of Peach County”, The Leader-Tribune, December 11, 1969
  • “Another Picture of Fire Damage”, The Leader-Tribune, date unknown
    • Fire photo 1 – courtesy of James Khoury
    • Fire photo 2 – courtesy of James Khoury
  • excerpt from “Fort Valley – Its Century of Progress” by Thelma Wilson. Reprinted from “The Georgia Review”, Volume XII, Number 3, Fall 1958.
  • “Public Library Hopes to Expand”, The Leader-Tribune, July 29, 1982
  • “Library Breaks Ground”, photo by Carla Hill, The Leader-Tribune, February 16, 1984
  • “Remolded Library Nears Completion”, by Larry D. Wilder, The Macon Telegraph and News, November 21, 1984
  • “Flemm celebrated library expansion with varied performance January 4”, by Cornelia B. Nichols, The Leader-Tribune, January 1985
  • “Library to celebrate expansion” by Jimmy Smith, The Leader-Tribune, January 1985
  • “New Library will be built on former Woolfolk site” by Audrey Y. Williams, The Macon Telegraph, March 9, 1995
  • “History of Peach County Public Libraries”, by Billy Powell, The Leader-Tribune, November 2004
  • Photo inside Thomas Public Library, courthouse location – courtesy of James Khoury