UPDATE: Marian Fell Library now under Fellsmere’s protection

By Debbie Carson, Online Editor

FELLSMERE — Fellsmere city leaders unanimously approved plans to take over the Marian Fell Library at their city council meeting Thursday evening. The vote came after more than two months of discussions between the city and the Indian River County Historical Society.

The historical group decided to sign over the Marian Fell Library, 63 N. Cypress Street, to the City of Fellsmere after funding dried up to keep the library functioning.

The city will inherit the costs of maintenance, insurance and operation, for which the society is currently responsible – a cost of about $35,000, according to what the Historical Society had been paying.

Funding is expected to come, in part if not all, from monies through the Community Redevelopment Agency.The library has been “a great joy for us to have,” Indian River County Historical Society President Arlene Fletcher said in August, “but it’s a great expense to have.”

City Manager Jason Nunemaker had met with the Indian River County Historical Society in to address any concerns the members had about transferring the historic building to the city and to work out an agreement between the city and the organization.

Fletcher had hoped to get the agreement hammered out by the end of August, but members of the historical society needed more time to have questions answered.

They want to make sure that the materials currently stored at the library remain at the library and be catalogued. The library would serve as a place to learn about Fellsmere history as both a library and a museum.

The Marian Fell Library will still rely on volunteers to run the library and offer programs for children as it currently does under the Indian River County Historical Society’s ownership. Those wishing to volunteer would be asked to contact the City of Fellsmere instead of the organization – provided the city approves the agreement.The Marian Fell Library was built in 1915 and was so named in recognition of Marian Fell, a daughter of city founder E. Nelson Fell. In 1996, the library was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the decades, the library has been used as a place for lectures, recitals, meetings, and most recently as a place for tutoring young students.

Related Articles

Comments are closed.