Board of Directors

Scholarship Information

About Wagnalls Memorial 1
About Wagnalls Memorial 2

The Wagnalls Memorial

Imagine walking into a castle that’s filled with books! That’s a reference we hear often when visitors first enter the doors of The Wagnalls Memorial in Lithopolis, Ohio. The tudor-gothic style interior and exterior of our facility is reminiscent of the Medieval Revival period with characteristics that are both stunning and exciting. Arched wooden doorways, a spiral staircase, stained glass windows, hanging metal chandeliers, and carved wood sculptures are just some of the features of the century-old library that serves the Central Ohio counties of Franklin, Pickaway, Madison, Fairfield and Fayette. Visitors from far away are always welcome and encouraged to bring a camera.

Truly Unique Facility

Community Activities and Events

As part of our ongoing commitment to engage and connect with the Columbus Community, we carefully plan exciting events that support our mission.

Authentic Wedding Experience

For couples looking for an authentic wedding destination that’s close to home, The Wagnalls Memorial offers  packages for every budget.

Business Center

Hold your next meeting, retreat, or presentation at The Wagnalls Memorial. We offer complete catering services and a variety of rooms.

Traditional Library

The Wagnalls Memorial Library operates as a traditional library and is home to a large collection of adult, teen and children’s materials.

We’re strengthening the community through access to arts, culture, and education.

The Wagnalls Memorial Foundation is committed to creating opportunities that expand people’s knowledge and experiences of the world around them. Throughout the year, visitors travel to Lithopolis to attend our family-friendly, community-building events. We are proud to be an arts, cultural, and education hub where people can gather to enjoy distinct, multidimensional offerings that appeal to broad audiences. 



Our Mission

The Wagnalls Memorial Foundation is guided by the past and focused on the future. Its main mission is to enrich the lives of community members by empowering personal and professional growth, advancing literacy, and fostering life-long learning. 

The Wagnalls Memorial Foundation is also committed to the following goals: 

  • Connecting people with the world of ideas and information 
  • Advancing our status as an arts and culture destination for the suburbs of Southern Columbus by hosting fine arts exhibits 
  • Serving as a regional center for community-building events 
  • Providing a unique and authentic setting for people to host weddings, parties, and business events for both large and intimate occasions 
  • Developing a dedicated Business Center for area businesses to network, host meetings, conferences, and events

To achieve these objectives, Wagnalls must simultaneously preserve and maintain its nearly century-old historic building. Specific grants are being pursued to fund necessary renovation projects.

Your Donations Make an Impact


  • Campaigns 10% 10%


  • Campaigns 30% 30%


  • Organization Growth 50% 50%

Covid 19 Mitigation

  • Management 90% 90%

A Letter from the Board

Dear Community,

The Wagnalls Memorial Foundation has helped educate and enrich the lives of people living in the Columbus area since 1925 when Mabel Wagnalls Jones designed and built the library in memory of her parents, Anna and Adam Wagnalls. A historical landmark rich with history and splendor, first-time visitors are always enthralled at its architectural beauty and original handcrafted features. In these fast-paced and ever-changing times, The Wagnalls Memorial has maintained its authenticity making it a unique destination for lifelong learners, history lovers, and visitors from across the country.

To honor its legacy of also being a center for cultural activities, The Wagnalls Memorial provides Central Ohio with a Theater Arts Enrichment program that includes children’s acting classes and performances managed through Mouth of the Wolf Productions. The rotational 8-week program features age-appropriate performances regularly held the Wagnalls Historic Auditorium for the public to enjoy. Students who participate in our Theater Arts program not only learn acting, movement and projection basics, but also develop important life skills such as creativity, self confidence and team building.

As president of the Wagnalls Memorial Foundation, I am tasked with ensuring that Wagnalls has the funding it needs to: a) Maintain our beautiful, historic facility; b) Continue our tradition of providing quality titles and enriching programs to local residents; and c) Sustain our Theater Arts program. Through intense and careful planning with our board of directors and dedicated Memorial Foundation staff, we have identified an immediate need to raise $200,000 within the next two years to ensure the future of Wagnalls.

It is my hope to share in this letter with you, the community that holds us accountable for this historic treasure, a genuine plea for immediate support from all sectors of our local society. I am confident in the creative methods of our marketing team as well as the generous giving of our stakeholders that Wagnalls will remain an integral part of our lives for generations to come.

In order for Wagnalls to thrive, we are developing a variety of community building events designed to bring people together, raise awareness of the library, and generate needed revenue. We will be reaching out to individuals, families, local companies and organizations to give and to become sponsors of various programs and events while continuing to explore grants and other revenue generating possibilities. By establishing Wagnalls as premier wedding venue and working with carefully selected catering partners, we are projecting our wedding event income to triple in 2021.

I welcome your thinking and your suggestions as we collectively strive to meet the financial challenges that so many nonprofit and historical organizations are facing today.


Larry Browne

Chair, The Wagnalls Memorial Foundation