Be quiet no more: It’s time to celebrate a special anniversary for PdC library

By Caitlin Bittner

Get out your biggest can of hair spray and some bright colors to help the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library celebrate its 50th anniversary at its current location.

Before it was the library, the space served as the Artisan Well Park, which for many years was a gathering place for townsfolk and visitors alike. In 1963, the city gave the land to the public library, and with the generous donation of $75,000 from Joseph and Emma Wachute, the new library was built.

Since its opening, the library has continued to serve the Prairie du Chien and surrounding community well. “Everything still works; we get lots of compliments on our library,” said Nancy Ashmore, Director of the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library, who noted that about 49,000 visitors utilize the building yearly.

On Sept. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m., the library will host a hip party for all the cool cats in town. For a sweet treat,the library will provide ice cream and root beer floats, along with some 60s inspired entertainment.
“We are having a 60s theme and music, featuring Norb Aschom as the DJ,” said Ashmore.

In addition, there will be famous 60s games like Twister and a waterballoon toss, not to mention face-painting and a VW bus cutout available for pictures.

While it’s not required, 1960s dress is encouraged. “We wanted to have a fashion show, but there’s no telling how many people will want to come dressed up,” commented Ashmore, who noted that there will still be a prize for the best dressed.

Don’t know what to wear? Go-Go boots, mini dresses, the Peace sign, Tie-Dye, bell-bottom jeans, paisley prints, capris, fringed buck-skin vests and flowing caftans were just a few of the most popular fashion trends. Bright colors and crazy patterns are a must have for any 60s outfit. Common accessories included pillbox hats, headbands, ponchos, moccasins, chain belts and medallion necklaces.

However, if you’re not sold on dressing up, stop by the library and pick up a paper doll outfit to design in proper 60s attire for the day of the event. During the event, a paper doll fashion show will be held to display all the psychedelic designs.

The library doors will also be open the day of the event so people can go in to take a look around.

If you have photos of the library from the 1960s that you’d like to share, the library would appreciate the sharing of history. “Most of the photos we have are from the outside and front of the building. We’re still hoping to run across a few from the inside,” explained Ashmore.

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