Northern New York Newspapers
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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York
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Library event to show Emma Flower Taylor’s history


You are cordially invited.

The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library will celebrate Emma Flower Taylor’s 143rd birthday with a tea party from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday with tea, cookies and historical tours. Admission is free.

“Emma Flower Taylor has done so much for the community,” said reference librarian Yvonne F. Reff. “This is a way to bring her gift out the public.”

Mrs. Taylor gave the city money to build the marble library named for her father, a Wall Street millionaire and former New York governor.

“What he liked best about making money was that he could spend it on others,” Mrs. Reff said.

Mrs. Taylor followed suit, giving the library to the community and donating money and blankets to hospitals and shelters.

The event will be the first of its kind at the library. While Mrs. Reff has done tours in the past, a presentation about Emma Flower Taylor will be integrated into the party. She said the library is trying to find ways to let its events revolve around local history.

“The history of the library is so awesome,” she said. “We talked about doing some type of party.”

Mrs. Taylor, who lived from 1870 to 1934, loved to throw parties. When Mrs. Reff and adult librarian Suzie Renzie-Falge read about her history, they thought the birthday party would be a perfect tribute to the woman who gave much to the city.

During the presentation Saturday, when Mrs. Reff will wear a handmade light blue Victorian dress, visitors will learn about Mrs. Taylor’s history.

In addition to losing two children, she divorced her husband after finding out he was a male escort, according to Mrs. Reff.

Then when her husband tried to marry his secretary, he told everyone his wife had died.

“She had a good life, but she wasn’t untouched by sorrow,” Mrs. Reff said.

The library will offer a tour and presentation at 2 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. A craft table will be set up for children to color and cut out paper dolls.

Tea, coffee and cookies will be supplied by DeVito’s Catering. Mrs. Reff said the librarians tasted 15 cookies to make sure the most delicious ones would be available.

“We hope this becomes an annual event,” she said. “It’s to let the people know how much of a gem the library is.”

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