Le Mars Public Library

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The History of the Le Mars Public Library

  • The original Le Mars Public Library was built in 1903 by architect John Werling with funds from industrial-financier Andrew Carnegie. The building was dedicated in 1904 and housed 3,885 books.
  • The Library remained in the Carnegie building until August 1976. At that point, the library relocated to a remodeled Red Owl supermarket purchased by the city in July 1973.
  • It wasn’t until 1986 that the iconic Le Mars Totem Pole was dedicated to the library by the Woodcarvers Association. The totem pole represents the “best of Le Mars” and includes the mascots of Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic, an Iowa corn stalk, a farmer and a white steeple church.
  • Below we have pictures of the original library (left), the Carnegie building (middle), and the Le Mars Totem Pole (right).


Le Mars Public LibraryTotem Pole 2