When we arrived at the Rosenberg Library yesterday, we had no idea that the day was anything other than plain-old ordinary. However, to much delight, we soon discovered that we’d be celebrating the birthday of the man who made our lovely library possible — Henry Rosenberg.
Even though he’s been gone since 1893, it is because of his generosity that my Nixi is able to enjoy such a wonderful place as Rosenberg Library. I’m so happy that my daughter loves books and reading so-very much. When it’s library day, Nixi is always jumping (literally) for joy. I look back on my own childhood, and I wish I had been able to know the joy of visiting our local library. But, alas, it was not to be in my early years. Let’s just say I’m a late bloomer to frequenting the library and learning the vast resources available there.
The celebration of Henry Rosenberg yesterday piqued my curiosities about the man behind such a wondrous place; free to all…loved by so many. After further research, I learned that he had moved here to Galveston Island from his hometown of Bilten, Switzerland, when he was just a lad of nineteen years. Quickly finding success as a dry goods merchant, Mr. Rosenberg worked his way up to purchasing the dry goods business within three years, and set-about growing it into the largest dry goods business in Texas. Between 1851 and May 12th 1893 — passing at the age of 69 — Henry Rosenberg contributed thousands upon thousands of dollars to the growth of Galveston Island. In his Will, he left $400,000.00 towards the organization and endowment of what is today the Rosenberg Library.
When I stop to consider how much four-hundred-thousand dollars was back then, and how much it is today, I can’t help but be inspired by Henry Rosenberg’s generosity. It makes me realize what I could do to help out my community more and be a better help to to those around me — both near and far.
Celebrating the life of such a generous spirit, and singing him Happy Birthday to the theme of Curious George, along with the wonderful staff at Rosenberg Library yesterday, was a time we won’t soon forget. My Nixi received a gold medal for reading, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. She has come so far this past year with her reading. And her love of reading, and the fun times we’ve had at Rosenberg Library, I know must be contributed to one of the most enjoyable free things to do on Galveston Island.
I wanted to share the snaps we took of yesterday’s fun. I hope it inspires you to visit your local library, and see what you might learn about the founder and staff-members who are always there to help. Such simple pleasures in life are utterly priceless!