On July 21, 1900, Major Josiah Pierce Jr., son-in-law of Mrs. Dahlgren of South Mountain House, organized the Republican Club of Boonsboro. He felt that the town should have a club, which, in addition to a political agenda, should have daily newspapers, periodicals and a library to add to the life of the community.  The Club bought bookshelves and Major Pierce contributed the furniture and over 500 books to complete the clubroom which was housed in “Shafer’s Hall” (possibly above Shafer’s bicycle store on North Main Street).  At the first meeting of the Club, it was agreed that “the Ladies” could use the room between 9 a.m. and noon. Thus was born the first place in the town of Boonsboro where books and periodicals were made available for the townspeople to read at no cost. (A reading room opened on April 19, 1860, in the newspaper office, according to a report in the Boonsboro Odd Fellow, but it was a for a fee of $3 per year.)  From: Western Maryland’s Historical Library

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