Haywood Bookmobile

HAYWOOD BOOKMOBILE — This 1968 Gerstenslager bookmobile went through four engines before finally being retired in 1986. It had served Haywood County almost 20 years. The interior of the Gerstenslager shows 20 years of use and even had tape on the driver’s seat.

Once again, we called upon the Facebook group Nostalgic Haywood County to share memories of the bookmobile. They responded with enthusiasm:

“I grew up in the Iron Duff community on a county side road (Buck Ridge). The bookmobile only stayed on Iron Duff Road, so I would walk from down in the cove of Buck Ridge over the fields to Aunt Fanny Davis’ house on Iron Duff Road. … Momma could see me until I got to the top of the hill, then she would call Aunt Fanny on the party line and have her watch for me to come down the ridge to her house. The bookmobile stopped in Aunt Fanny’s driveway. As soon as school was out for the summer, I would find out what day the bookmobile was coming and plan my trip to Aunt Fanny’s. Aunt Fanny and I would walk up the driveway and wait for the bookmobile to come. Carefully I picked out my books and put them in a grocery bag for the trip home. Many a long summer day was passed reading those books. Many years later I now live in Aunt Fanny’s house. Too bad the bookmobile doesn’t stop any more.” — Kathy Green

“When I first got married and lived just below Aunt Fanny, I would go to her house to meet the bookmobile.” — Linda Rathbone

“The bookmobile used to come to the end of our road during the summer. As soon as school was out, I was excited to have the bookmobile come. I loved reading, and my mom didn’t always have a vehicle to take me out to town to the library. I would go to the bookmobile and make sure to let them know what I liked to read, and the next trip they always had a stack for me." — Teresa Messer Muse

“My siblings and I loved the bookmobile. We would check out as many books as we wanted. Mother would always pick books she knew we would love but couldn’t read because we were not that far along in our education. She would read a chapter each day, always acting out each part with her voice. Our favorite was Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.” — Yolanda Ferguson

“I loved the bookmobile! I would walk to my friend’s house on Fines Creek … My dad would come pick me and my books up before going to Dayco to work! What wonderful memories!” — Joyce Clark Moore

“I loved the bookmobile. It came to Broyhill Children’s Home in Clyde, and I loved getting on it and just seeing all the books. Instilled the love of reading in me.” — Mindie Mathis

“… It seemed like the bookmobile ladies did their best to bring books they knew we would enjoy. Was taking with someone the other day about the bookmobile, and we bet kids today would like it as much as we did and would provide a break in a lonely day for a senior adult!” — Theresa Phillips

"By the time I was in the third grade, I was an avid reader. The library at Lake Junaluska was one bookcase, so I loved when the bookmobile came. This was 1953." — Ernie Jones

“The bookmobile stopped at the store in Ratcliffe Cove when I was young. I loved the bookmobile, awesome memories!” — Zelva Lee

“I loved the bookmobile. It stopped right in front of our house on Hyder Mountain.” — Phyllis Crawford

“When I visited my grandparents in Buckeye Cove in Canton I loved the bookmobile.” — Margaret Shipman

“We had to walk about ½ mile to get to it (the bookmobile), but we couldn’t wait for it to come.” — Jackie Hall

“I remember being at my grandparent’s house and the bookmobile would stop, and my cousins would get books. I thought that was a really big deal because we lived too close to the library for it to come by our house.” — Elaine Justice Sneed

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