The Old Dora Library Today

by Rick Watson
Someone asked me the other day about the old Dora Library and if I had seen it in my trips down memory lane. I had to admit that I had completely forgotten about the library. So on my Saturday excursion, Buddy the Wonder Dog and I went down and weaved our way through the maze of underbrush and to my amazement, the library is still standing. Well, that might be a bit of a stretch, the roof and floor and some of the back wall is gone, but much of the structure is intact. The old rock fireplace looked as if it was ready to be fired up.

The Old Dora Library, 2005

I began to wonder, just who owns that old building? I called George Sides, the Mayor of Dora and he was not sure.

I called the Walker County Courthouse and they said I’d have to come out there and show them where the place was located. So one of my next excursions will be there. I might have to carry Buddy inside my backpack because they probably take a dim view of canines in the courthouse.

You all might think I’m crazy, but I was wondering if we could save the old Library? What would it take? What if the old building is available and could be purchased for a song? Do we know anyone with the skills that help revive that old building? What could we do with it once it was restored? It’s too small and isolated to be of much use as a library, but it struck me as Buddy and I were sitting on the hearth that it was really peaceful there.

Old Dora Bank, 2005

Maybe it could be turned into a meditation room or a reading room. Maybe we could turn it into the World’s smallest museum. In the winter we could build a fire on cold days and listen to the crackle of burning hickory.

I then got to thinking about the rest of Old Dora. I know that it is isolated and could probably never thrive like it once did, but maybe people could buy up what’s left and rebuild what has since fallen in and turn it into an area where artists paint and musicians practice….a place that comes alive once a month with a Trade Day that has main street filled with multi-colored tents, with street vendors selling arts, crafts, antiques and flea market stuff… with music that fills the air and street performers, kids with balloons, and face painters, and people who do card tricks. And the people who have long since moved away, will plan their vacations around one of the Trade Days and come home to see us all.

Old walkthrough tunnel in Old Dora, 2005

The little walk through tunnel would be spick and span and we could all walk through it and scream our heads off just to here the echo. Who was it that once said “if you’re going to dream, dream big”?

Dora Library Update

I’ve got good news and bad news about the Old Dora Library property. I went to the Walker County courthouse and found out who owns the property and it is for sale, but the bad news is; it belongs to someone who owns several other properties in Old Dora and he wants a lot of money for them. I asked if he would consider selling that one small property, but he wasn’t interested… it’s all or nothing. Barring a miracle, we will all have to be content to dream.

I had another goofy idea… what if I write an email asking for people to consider donating one dollar to help make our dream come true. One dollar to be a part of a miracle. I would then encourage everyone who receives the email to forward it to five close friends who also believe in miracles with instructions for them to forward it to five of their friends and so on. I know it’s a long shot, but if we can capture in words the spirit of our little town maybe we could make something remarkable happen. If we are unable to raise enough money, we’d need to make sure that it would be ok with the donors for us to donate the money to a charity of some kind.
A few years ago, I worked as the president of the Telephone Pioneers, a group of volunteers that raise money for charity and other projects. learned that words can be very powerful. If you can find words to touch the heart, you accomplish great things. I’m willing to try. So, you’ll be receiving an email from me in a few days and you have the choice of deleting it and telling everyone that I’ve been sitting a little too close to the television, or you can think of five friends who want to be a part of something remarkable.

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