Thompson-Hickman Memorial Building
Virginia City born, William Boyce Thompson, began construction on the Thompson-Hickman Memorial Building in 1918. The structure was completed in 1922.
William Boyce Thompson was born on May 13, 1869, in the Thompson House, which can be seen on the right-hand side of this photo, next to the library building.
After working as a miner in Montana, WB Thompson made his mark on Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, purchasing and forming mining companies across the west. A self-made millionaire, WB Thompson did a lot of philanthropy work during his lifetime, working for the American Red Cross in Russia, founding the Boyce Thompson Institute in New York, creating the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona, and building countless libraries across the western United States. In 1918, he decided to build a library and museum in his hometown of Virginia City, Montana. He named it the Thompson-Hickman Memorial Building, in honor of his father, William Thompson, and his wife's father, Richard Hickman, who were both prominent businessmen in Virginia City during their lifetimes. Once completed, WB Thompson willed the building and the surrounding properties to Madison County, with the stipulation that the building continue to function as a library, or the ownership of the properties will revert back to his family heirs. Due to WB Thompson's generous gift, the Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library has had a permanent home for the last 100 years.
In 2015, an addition was built onto the original structure to accommodate the growing needs of the library. The original bathroom was removed and the bathroom window was turned into a passageway to the new addition. After the addition was completed, the original library space, which had seen some redecoration in its lifetime (including yellow carpeting), was renovated to more closely reflect its original appearance and function. The space is now the quiet reading room, offering four leather chairs, facing the original fireplaces, which have been outfitted with gas inserts.
The library addition contains a Community Room with kitchenette, which is used for the library sponsored Yoga and Pilates classes, Movie Nights, Story & Craft Times, the Summer Reading Program, and can be used as a community meeting space by local organizations (call to make a reservation).
Six public computers, Wi-Fi access, printing, copying, scanning, faxing, shredding, and laminating are also available in the new addition.
The children's area has picture books, baby books, beginning reader books, chapter books, a large non-fiction collection, children's DVDs, two children's AWE computers, puppets, costumes, stuffed animals, building blocks and lots of other toys.
The library addition is also home to the Dick Pace Archives. The new archives room is climate controlled to help preserve the archival materials for years to come. The collection contains old newspapers, old photographs, and old books from the founding years of Virginia City. To research in the archives, please call and make an appointment to meet with our Archivist.
We also offer a large DVD collection which contains popular movies, TV series sets, westerns, horrors, classics, musicals, documentaries, children's DVDs, and New Releases!
Drop in for cookies, coffee, and conversation!
We also offer hot cocoa, hot apple cider, and hot tea!