Founded in 1889, the Harrisburg Public Library became a national model of 19th Century efforts to bring the world's information to community residents, a role that continues today. Its first home was at 125 Locust Street in a building erected by James McCormick, Jr., which still stands. McCormick lived around the corner at 101 N. Front Street, just across Walnut Street from the side yard garden of the Haldeman Mansion at 27 n. Front Street. It was here that Jacob Haldeman's daughter, Sara Haldeman Haly, would continue to reside until her death in 1895. the Haldeman mansion had been erected circa 1810 and served as the residence of Governor John Andrew Shultz from 1823 to 1829. Like the McCormick's, the Haldemans were an old Harrisburg family involved in the transportation, banking and manufacturing industries. In 1900, the executors of Sara Haldeman Haly's estate donated the side yard garden of her home to the Library. Thereon, the present library building was constructed in 1914. Limestone in construction and Georgian Revival in style, the building continued to serve as the Harrisburg Public Library until 1976 when it evolved into the Dauphin County Library system, with branches now situated across the county.
1900 view of the Haldeman Haly Residence's side yard garden on Front Street at Walnut Street where the Harrisburg Public Library would be erected in 1914.
1915 postcard showing the Library shortly after construction.