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Carthage Free Library creates scavenger hunt for centennial

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CARTHAGE — The Carthage Free Library Centennial Scavenger Hunt is under way.

Library public computing center trainer Jamie V. Peck had the idea to let participants search for the library’s statues, which were placed in area businesses as part of the celebration of the library’s 100th anniversary.

“I’ve always been intrigued with the statues and thought it would be fun to integrate them in a scavenger hunt,” Mrs. Peck said.

According to Mrs. Peck’s research, the statues were originally kept at the old Carthage High School on Fulton Street and had been presented to the school by graduating classes and individuals. She said she believes the statues were created by P.P. Caproni & Brother, Boston, Mass.

“This company was in existence from 1892 to 1927,” Mrs. Peck said. “I have been able to identify the Venus de Milo statue out of their 1911 catalog because its product number stamped on it corresponds with the product number in the catalog. I thought that was pretty cool, because it confirms its originality.”

“The company primarily supplied schools, museums and fine art universities with their plaster replications of classical Greek, Roman and Renaissance statues as well as some famous individuals, such as Beethoven and Mozart,” she said. “As far as I know, there are only a few collections of P.P. Caproni statues left in the country. And those collections exist in university museums.”

Nine of the statues have been placed in State Street businesses, along with information about local history that holds the answers to questions in the scavenger hunt brochure.

“We wanted to do something different,” Mrs. Peck said. “We hope to make the community more aware of the history of the library and of the community — to see where we came from and, because of the statues, to gain an appreciation of the arts.”

She said that when people visit the library, they become more attuned to what it has to offer.

Village residents Lyle and Tammy Miller participated in the scavenger hunt and stopped by “the place of business which solves the riddle, ‘What’s black and white and read all over?’”

Mrs. Miller said they learned of the scavenger hunt while she was taking a computer course at the library. The couple decided to combine education with their daily walk.

“We have lived here all our lives but didn’t know the answers to the clues,” Mr. Miller said. He added that it was fun to explore the downtown area and learn about the history of Carthage and the library.

The brochures are available at the library, 412 Budd St., and at the Carthage Republican Tribune office, 237 State St. There is no charge for the event.

Completed forms may be returned to the library, and those with correct answers will be placed in a drawing for an Amazon Kindle. The contest runs until June 16.

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