NOTE from Director Sherry Scheline
The last two days have been very difficult. Our hearts are broken by the total destruction of Watkins Pharmacy. I, like so many locals grew up with the local corner pharmacy being part of our lives. When I was little it was called Wheelers Pharmacy and not only was it a great pharmacy, but a wonderful little gift store. We lived in Wyoming for about 13 years and every visit out to visit my grandparents we got to stop at Wheelers and get a birthday doll.
I had one for every year. My grandmother faithfully purchased them for us every visit from Wheelers. McCall Drug started carrying them, but my Grandma Winnie always told us tradition was important. We got to make the trek down to Wheelers and get our porcelain birthday dolls and then we would get a milkshake or other special treat. As, I grew I no longer had them on display in my home, but refused to part with them. I boxed them up and had them stored in our family barn.
The loss of the barn from the fire was so painful, but the memories contained inside was the true hurt. The memories of the porcelain dolls and the trips to Wheelers Pharmacy. The journeys to Cascade with Grandma as we made a day just us. The items that we hold so dear, because they bring us to a place of warmth and happiness.
The fire at Watkins brought a sadness to our community. The loss of a historic icon, the loss of a community space, the loss of our only pharmacy, the loss of that place that held so many memories.
As we are enduring that sting, we take a further hit by learning that the Library was damaged.
The City of Cascade was on it very promptly. Today, a team of experts assembled and began figuring out our situation.
A few things…
- Did books get burned? We did not have any books burn. This was a rumor. (Insert all the book burning jokes you would like) There was no “fire” in the building; only water and smoke.
- Were the books damaged? Yes, ALL of our books were water damaged. Some were to just to different degrees. The professionals will access each book and determine prior to putting it back on the shelf. We are not only accessing the water damage, but also smoke damage. The smoke damage can be toxic. Each and every item at the Library will be cleaned and free of toxins before public use.
- Will we have to throw away some books? Yes, we will have some that will not survive. We however are making every effort to protect the books.
- What about WiFi? We are working on that. We will have a more definite answer by Monday. In the meantime, both McCall and Donnelly Libraries are willing to help out.
- What about copies? We know it is tax season. We have set up a temporary “pop-up Library” at the Friends Bookstore. You can stop in buy a book and have a copy made. Because we do not have internet YET we cannot help with other printing needs, but copies we will be able to help out shortly.
- When are we reopening? 6 weeks is what the Trustees agreed to yesterday. They will meet again on Tuesday and we will notify everyone if there is a change.
- What about your employees? Donnelly Library has offered employment to all of them during the interim. We will have several shifts filled at the bookstore as we set up our little pop-up library.
- Are you going to have programs? Currently all programs are cancelled, except KReady! WHAT??? YES KReady will be hosted in Donnelly the next few Fridays. Bundle up it will be outside. In March we will come on stronger than ever and be the best Library you can imagine.
- Is everything getting redone? YES. We are super proud of the paint job and the work that we have accomplished recently. Everything will need painted.
- What about the mural? This is the greatest heartache for me. Soon, just like my porcelain dolls the mural will be a memory we store. It has been determined that the wall will need to be fixed. I will photograph it nicely and hopefully in the near future we can have another mural painted. We still have a Library and that is the important part.
Last, can I volunteer? The answer is no. We have to let the professionals handle it. When the building is handed back over to us, we would love your helping hands. The next few weeks though we need to just let them work. You can help by donating financially to the Friends of The Cascade Library.
Friends of Cascade Library
P.O. Box 10
Cascade, ID 83611
That is the best update I can give at this time. Take this time and hold the memories of Watkins dear to your heart. Help your neighbors. Check in and make sure they have their medication filled, ask if they need to grab a coffee, and share your memories of our favorite local pharmacy and last get yourself prepared because when we open back up in 6 weeks we are going to be better than we were before. We will come back strong.
Feel free to message me with any questions [email protected]
Cascade Public Library Director
For links to learn about the fire click here: