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Historic African-American library vandalized in N.C.

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    MILL SPRING, N.C. (WLOS) — The tiny Stony Knoll Library is packed with history. But, a little over a week ago, the granddaughter of the woman who founded it discovered the front door kicked in, many of the beloved books on the floor and one of the windows broken.

Della Jackson founded Stony Knoll Library in Mill Spring in 1937.

“Even though we were poor, she made us feel rich. She made us feel like we could do anything,” Jackson’s granddaughter Sandra Forney said.

But Forney’s confidence was shaken after the library was broken into last week.

“It seems totally unnecessary, because there’s nothing of value, other than the books, in here. Unless you’re a book enthusiast, you won’t know where to start,” Forney said.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office staff attorney and public information officer J.J. Sauve said the vandalism does not appear to be racially motivated, more likely someone in search for something, likely copper wires.

“It’s more consistent, like I said, with pillaging more than any sort of intentional vandalism based on any race or bias issue,” Sauve said.

He said break-ins of some of the older, unattended buildings in Polk County are common.

“Maybe young people that didn’t have anything to do,” Forney suggested.

Forney said the library has not been used for nearly 30 years.

Local librarian Susannah Hogan helped Forney cleanup after the vandalism.

Now, the two have big dreams for the tiny library.

“I was in to just restoring it, but she said, ‘You can do so much more.’ I wanted it as a museum, but she said you can still use it and have tours and have a story place and so much more,” Forney said.

“We would love to have a Black History Tour of Polk County,” Hogan said. “There are several sites that are important and eventually bring school groups through.”

Anyone with any information on the break in is urged to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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