Orosi, Tulare County

San Joaquin Valley/South area, Central Valley region

Orosi/Cutler Branch Library
12646 Avenue 416
Orosi, CA 93647

opened 1921
Orosi Branch Library from 1921-1978
Orosi Cutler Branch Library 1978-present
currently a public library

grant amount: $3,000
architectural style: Bungalow/Craftsman
architect: Ernest J. Kump

The last Carnegie library to be completed in California was built as the Orosi Branch Library but now serves both Orosi and Cutler in northern Tulare County near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It is one of only three frame California Carnegies, and one of only three remaining of the Craftsman style, the others being Yolo and Riverbank. Random stone work of the exterior chimneys and basement, and interior chimneys and fireplaces, distinguish the small library. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The small farming community of Orosi was founded in 1888 but its first library dates from 1910 when Tulare County initiated its county library system. Its several locations included Ryan's Cyclery and the John Klika residence; photographs of the latter are sometimes assumed to be the Carnegie. The county obtained a $3000 Carnegie grant in 1917 and pledged the required tax support. The women of Orosi raised an additional $2000 for the building, designed by Ernest Kump, but construction was postponed until after the war. In nearby Cutler, the small branch library was housed in a variety of locations including stores until it united with Orosi in 1978.