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Fundraising for Stony Knoll

Go Fund Me page set up after historic library vandalized

MILL SPRING—Mill Spring’s historic library is asking for the public’s help after being vandalized last week.

The Stony Knoll Library, Polk County’s historic black library, formed in 1937, was damaged on June 3 by vandals. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, but no arrests have been made.

The vandalism included broken doors and windows and book shelves. The building was not insured.

A Go Fund Me page has been established with hopes to raise $7,500 to repair and restore the library and community center.

Della Jackson formed the Stony Knoll Library in 1937 at a time when it was the only library locally that black people could use.

Sandra Forney’s family, Jackson’s granddaughter, are the current caretakers of the library.

Books in the library grew from 90 in 1937 to over 20,000 today. Some of the books have historical significance, including a first edition copy of Bright April, which was the first children’s book that addressed the issue of racial prejudice.

The fundraising is being done not just to repair recent damage, but also to upgrade the building and finish paperwork for the center to create a 501(c)(3). Plans are also in the works to get the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and to repair historic volumes.

Future plans are to reopen the library as a museum, community center and historical site along a Polk County History corridor that will include the Nina Simone birthplace in Tryon, the Tryon Theatre, the stave auction block on the courthouse lawn in Columbus, as well as other locations.

To see further information on Stony Knoll or to donate, visit stonyknollsupport on Facebook.