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City of Dawsonville unveils new lending library, food bank
Lending library pic
Carpenter Loyte Bennett and Public Works Operation Manager Trampas Hansard show off the city’s newest project: a lending library and food bank constructed out of old whiskey barrels. - photo by Jessica Taylor

The city of Dawsonville recently unveiled two unique additions to the city’s municipal complex: old whiskey barrels, filled with books and food, to serve the community.

“We’re tickled with them,” said City Manager Bob Bolz.

With the popularity and impact of lending libraries in the parks, Bolz and Public Works Operation Manager Trampas Hansard loved the idea of installing a small library and free food bank in downtown.

But they wanted to do something different, something unique to Dawsonville.

Surveying the complex gave Hansard the idea to build the structures out of old whiskey barrels. With the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery just a few feet away and given the popularity of the Mountain Moonshine Festival, Hansard knew the old, weathered barrels would fit right in with the city’s unique charm.

Carpenter Loyte Bennett was tasked with installing the shelving in the barrels and creating carved wooden signs labeling each barrel. When all was said and done, the project took Bennett less than two days to complete.

“Since we have the Moonshine Festival, it had to be appropriate,” said Bennett, who spent 32 hours constructing the shelves and doors for the barrels.

Books and canned goods were placed in the barrels April 11, making them official. Those dropping by city hall can pick up a book to read or donate books for someone else to pick up and enjoy. They can also donate nonperishable food items to the food bank immediately next to the lending library.

Bolz said that more whiskey barrels may be placed in the parks, but it all depends on the success of the downtown project.

“We may put some more in the park, but not right now. We’ll see how these go,” Hansard said.