The Gahnyhsas-Tecarnedoi Campfire Girls of Livonia pledged the first $25 for the founding of the Livonia Public Library in 1916.  In 1917 Dr. Squires purchased the house belonging to Mary Hoyt and moved the library there after the library had outgrown its original location.

As the library was again outgrowing its home, in 1927 Dr. Thurlow Patterson, a native of Livonia and resident of Geneva, Switzerland, and great friend of one of the original library trustees, offered to the undertake the construction of  a new library in memory of his parents,  James and Laura Patterson.

The dedication took place in the Methodist Church on Thursday, June 30, 1927.  Dr. Patterson was unable to attend the dedication, however, he sent a letter in which he states, “It is my wish that Livonia accept this building as the library of everyone in town … Especially I hope and trust that all who use these rooms will derive as much pleasure from them as I have derived from giving them in memory of my mother and father to the town of ‘dear old’ Livonia.”

In 1952 the library was re-chartered as a town tax supported facility which serves the community as an educational and cultural center providing free access to current forms of recreational and informative materials as well as many different services.

The cannon
The cannon on the front lawn of the Livonia Public Library, (Patterson Memorial) was presented to Livonia as a thank you  gift from Livonia native, Hon. Oscar F. Williams, former president of Rochester Business Institute and Consul to the Philippines.


The cannon was cast in a Spanish foundry in 1790 and shipped to Manila, Philippines to be used in its coastal defense, which was subsequently used during the Spanish American War.

Soon after the surrender of Fort San Filippe to Admiral Dewey on the May 1, 1898,  Mr. Williams noticing that this beautiful bronze cannon, “San Joseph” with other cannons were not likely to be used by American forces wrote the State Dept. asking for its removal to Livonia, along with three others to be located in Rochester and Cornell, NY, and one in Ohio at the President’s home.

The cannon arrived in 1900 and Mr. Williams asked that the cannon be fired every May 1 in commemoration of Dewey’s victory over the Spanish fleet.  Although it no longer is fired on these dates, it has become a landmark and fixture for the Livonia Library.



  1. I lived at 50 Main St. in Livonia when I was a kid, from 1957-1963. I walked down to the library at least once a week and checked out as many books as my little arms could carry back up the hill to our house. I have fond memories of playing on the cannon and am glad to see it is still there. I live in Colorado now, but if I’m ever back in Livonia, I’ll be sure to stop in at the library.

  2. I am 7 and my friends enjoy playing on the cannon and studying it’s history. My Dad grew up on Washington Street and played on the cannon alot! My Aunt Pam is the Children’s Coordinator there.

    by Zoe Woodruff

  3. Oscar F. Williams is my great great great uncle. My paternal grandmother was his grand niece. Her name was Marion Sarah Williams Wright and I am Sarah Williams Wright Phillips. I am so proud to have a connection to this period of American history. Oscar gave another cannon to Highland Park in Rochester.

  4. I don’t know how many days that the library let all my friends and myself find out what a true library was. How to be sensitive to others within the boundaries of a true library. I often thought of shooting the cannon somehow, but knew that it would hit Smitty’s, the barber shop. I think my mother might have gotten mad. I wouldn’t have been able to get a haircut.GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  5. Charlie Robinson, my school bus driver, used to let me hop out on another st. in town and I ran to the library for several books and he picked me up in front of the library. I love it there and the cannon is beautiful.

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