Mayville Public Library raises $21,000 for repairs on historic building

The project to replace the mortar between the bricks is estimated to cost $57,240, and $21,000 has been raised since September.

Mayville Public Library.jpg
The library is raising money for tuckpointing to replace the mortar between the bricks on the outside of the building.
Contributed / Mayville Public Library
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MAYVILLE, N.D. — A fundraising effort for building repairs at the Mayville Public Library has raised $21,000 and counting. Library director Margaret Rice gives all the credit to the community.

“It’s a small city with a big heart,” said Rice.

The library is raising money for tuckpointing to replace the mortar between the bricks on the outside of the building. The project is estimated to cost $57,240, and fundraising started in September.

The library was built in 1900 and funded by bonanza farmers and brothers E.B. and J.L. Grandin. “A Saga of Two Cities,” a 1981 book about the history of Mayville-Portland, says the library cost $7,000 to build, and another $3,300 to fill with books. For the nearly 122 years the library has been standing, the building has been a community gathering place.

“The library has been important to many people,” said Rice. “A lot of people came here for story hour and book signings. Over the years we’ve had many photos displayed.”


And the library is still active. This spring, a book signing with multiple local authors is planned, and this summer will be the 17th year of an annual amateur photography show. The library also has book sales twice a year, to both make room for new books and raise money for the library. The next book sale will be from Feb.15-25.

“It’s everything you can put in a bag for $5. It’s called ‘Love Your Library Book Sale,’” said Rice.

Terry Bachmeier of Mesa, Arizona, is a regular donor to the library and, according to Rice, has been a driving force in the most recent round of fundraising. Though he no longer lives in the community, he has fond memories of the library.

“It’s where I got my start, and I’ve done well so I’m very happy to give back,” said Bachmeier.

Students in the May-Port CG chapter of Future Business Leaders of America also have joined the fundraising efforts. FBLA advisers David Torgeson and Cindy Strand were approached by an anonymous donor who said they would match up to $5,000 raised by students in the organization. Torgeson said leaders in the organization took the idea and ran with it. Like the rest of the community, students appreciate what the library adds to the town.

“Maybe they went to story hour there, and if you’ve met Margaret, you remember her,” Torgeson said. “The kids know her well and I think there have been a lot of positive events that they’ve had there and memories from when they were young.”

Two leaders and one member of FBLA are leading the project. They set up a page on the website Go Fund Me, which raised $1,500 in the first 24 hours after going live on Friday afternoon. The students also have organized a potato feed in conjunction with a double header basketball game against Hatton-Northwood on Saturday, Jan. 22.

“Hatton is also in Traill County, so it’s kind of a nice way to involve the county within it as well,” said Strand.


All proceeds from baked potatoes sold and any other free will donations collected at the games will be donated to the library.

“Cindy and I both have the conversation with the kids that in the grand scheme of things, the entire project is $60,000, and we’re doing a fraction of it, but if we were to raise $5,000 and get matched $5,000, that’s a sixth of the funding,” said Torgeson.

But, the students’ effort has the potential to be even more impactful. Torgeson said with the success that the fundraiser by FBLA has seen so far, the anonymous donor has offered to match up to $10,000 if the original $5,000 is matched.

Anyone interested in donating to the Mayville Public Library can donate online on the FBLA’s “Help Preserve the Mayville Public Library” Go Fund Me Page or in person at the potato feeds at the basketball games at noon on Jan. 22. Checks made payable to the Mayville Public Library can be mailed directly to the library at 52 Center Ave. N., Mayville, N.D., 58257.

Related Topics: MAYVILLE
Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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