Published DateLACONIA — A Gale to Goss Library Walk Saturday morning at 10 a.m. will celebrate Laconia's public reading spaces and offer participants an opportunity to see some of the city's history along the way.
Both the Laconia Public Library, where the walk begins, and the Goss Reading Room, where it ends, were gifts to the city and opened only four years apart.
The Laconia Public Library was a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte Gale, who died in 1894 and left most of his fortune to the city of Laconia, with the provision that a library and city park be built with it.. The former John C. Moulton house was purchased as a site and work started on the Romanesque Revival style building in 1901. It was completed and opened to the public in 1903.
The Goss Reading Room was built following the 1903 Lakeport fire, which destroyed over 100 homes and left 500 people homeless. Among those whose home was destroyed was that of Dr. Ossian Wilbur Goss. He died shortly after the fire but had prepared a plan for the site of his former Elm Street home which his will described as ''the homestead house to be erected'' and was given to city of Laconia as ''the Ossian Wilbur Goss Reading Rooms.''
The walk with start at the Laconia Public Library and proceed along the WOW Trail to Lakeport Square, then move northwest on Elm Street.
Participants will see the Messer Street crossing where an 1897 wreck involving a horse drawn buggy and a train, resulting in the death of two people, led to the creation seven months later of Laconia's first hospital, the Laconia Cottage Hospital on Court Street,
They will also see the former Lakeport mills which once were the center of a world-wide knitting machine manufacturing and visit the Lakeport Railroad Station museum, where machinery which once was manufactured in Lakeport can be seen.
Randy Brough, library director, says that the walk is sponsored by the library in partnership with the WOW Trail, the Laconia Historical and Museum Society and the Laconia School District's Project EXTRA.
Each youth who participates in the walk will receive some of Laconia Middle School's TWIST program's original WOW Trail Mix, a free raffle ticket for a chance to win a Kindle reader and a 10 books for $10 reading log from TD Bank North.
The event will also see the unveiling of Laconia Middle School's mascot, as well as four reading stations along the WOW trail with special guest readers.
Once walkers reach the Goss Reading Room they will receive a drink and a free book and will finish out the morning with a ride back to the Laconia Public Library on Molly the Trolley.
Regina Theberge, administrative assistant for the Laconia School District's Project EXTRA program, and Randy Brough, Laconia City Library librarian, plan for the Gale to Goss Library Walk which will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. Participants will have an opportunity to win a Kindle. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)