Round Mountain Public Library
Manhattan Public Library

Round Mountain Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Manhattan Hours
Wednesday, Friday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sunday - Tuesday: Closed

A History of the Manhattan Public Library

In May of 1912 a notice of school election was printed in the Post. “Is hereby given to electors and tax payers that a special election will be held in the Manhattan School District No. 1, Nye County, Nevada on Monday June 2, 1912 for the purpose of voting school bonds to build and equip a permanent three-room school house in the district."

On Saturday June 22, 1912, this announcement “School election unanimous!” went on to say voters on June 17, 1912 decided to have a new schoolhouse by a vote of 137 to nothing. It was the most decisive election held in Nye County to date.

The building was erected in late 1912 and finished in August of 1913. The new school opened on Tuesday September 2, 1913. It served as a school from 1912-1955. In 1987 it began its service as a Library for the town of Manhattan.

A resident of Manhattan, Walt Daniels, had a dream of turning one of the classrooms into a museum showcasing mining and the pioneer life style associated with the early mining camps. He pursued his dream until his death in 1999.

In 2003 the Smoky Valley Library District took up Mr. Daniels dream. Nye County turned over the building to the district and Bob Bottom donated the land it was set on. The district then actively started pursuing grants. May 2004 the district was awarded a $75,000.00 grant from the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs.

The estimated cost to restore the building was $150,000.00. Work started in the fall of 2004, a retaining wall, new concrete foundation and repairs to the roof were scheduled to be finished by the first quarter of 2005.

The Manhattan schoolhouse now serves as a public library, a small museum and a community room for the Manhattan patrons. The Manhattan schoolhouse has many outstanding features, one being the interiors pressed tin ceiling, one of only two such examples of period architecture left in Nevada.

If you have an interest in visiting this historic building it is located at #7 Mineral Street in beautiful Manhattan, Nevada.

Facts About the Schoolhouse

  • In 1911, the number of children enrolled in Manhattan’s schools had grown to sixty-five, and they were attending school in the Palace Building, one of the community’s largest structures.
  • In 1912, the local school board decided it was time to build a new school house, and it asked the citizens of Manhattan to support its decision in a special election.
  • On Monday, June 17, 1912, the voters of Manhattan unanimously passed the school board’s bond proposal. The Manhattan Post, pleased with the election’s outcome, announced the vote was “137 to nothing” and noted the election was “the most decisive….ever held in Nye county.”
  • On September 7, 1912, the Manhattan Post declared the First National Bank of Plainville, Ohio had purchased the bonds at their premium value, paying $5,026.00 for them.
  • February 1913, the school board awarded the construction contract to a local contractor and builder named Angus McDonald.
  • On August 19, 1913, the citizens of Manhattan rallied for the school once again. A school benefit dance and card party were held to buy a new piano and additional classroom furniture for the schoolhouse.
  • On November 13, 1913, another benefit for the school was held. This time the event was held at the Bronx Theatre, and it featured “a program of fourteen numbers.”
  • September 2, 1913, the new schoolhouse opened it’s doors with Professor Berryessa and Miss Ida Fischer as its teachers.
  • In the 1930s the number of students that attended the Manhattan school began to dwindle. The school house remained a vital part of the Manhattan way of life.
  • Also in the 1930s the school’s facilities were improved by the introduction of a “fly proof privy.”
  • In the 1940s the Manhattan School continued to educate Manhattan’s children. During this time it’s -student body was enhanced by the attendance of several Native American children.
  • However by 1955, that number had fallen to three students and the school was forced to close its doors. It began to appear as though the Manhattan School was at the end of its distinguished career.
  • The old schoolhouse, like the town of Manhattan, would then be given a second lease on life during the boom of 1980s, when Nye County reopened the structure and began to use it as a community library.
  • In 2002, Nye County transferred ownership of the schoolhouse and much of the surrounding land to the Smoky Valley Library District.
  • In July 2005 the restoration project on the building began.
  • Today the building is used as a museum, community cultural center, and library.