Corning

Corning, Tehama County

Sacramento Valley area, Shasta Cascade region

Corning Business Suites
618 Fourth Street
Corning, CA 96021

opened 1915
Corning Carnegie Library 1915-1974
currently a private office

grant amount: $10,000
architectural style: Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival
architect: Clarence L. Stiles


Scatterville, Farmville, and Riceville were predecessors of the small river town in the upper Sacramento Valley which moved eastward to meet the railroad and was renamed Corning, in accordance with the custom of naming towns after railroad personnel. Just a few blocks from the railroad tracks, the old Carnegie library at the corner of Fourth and Yolo streets reflects the Mission style of other older downtown buildings.

The Corning library benefited from another East Coast philanthropist in addition to Andrew Carnegie: Sarah Bennett of Nyack, NY, a financial supporter of the Maywood Colony. Colony promoters had aggressively sold orchard plots to settlers from the east and Corning soon accommodated its own blend of establishment eastern and newer western cultures. In 1898 Maywood Colony women formed a Women's Club, received book donations from Colony investors in the East, and in 1903 opened a library to the public which occupied a series of temporary quarters. Carnegie funding was sought and $10,000 was granted in 1913. Clarence Stiles designed the building; Yanish, Briggs and Walters were the builders. Meanwhile, Maywood Colony investor Sarah Bennett had died in 1900 but not until her estate was settled in 1921 did Corning learn that she had left $25,000 for a building and other library needs. The interest has since enhanced library operations, and Corning negotiated control of its trust funds when it joined the Tehama County library system. After a new library was constructed, the Carnegie building was sold and has since housed a variety of private enterprises.