Last chance coming to buy your tiles
After more than 20 years, they’re almost gone, but if you act fast you can still get one. They’ll even put your name on it, or anything else printable you choose, for free. All you have to do is buy the tile for $25 from the Friends of the Blaine Library.
“We started doing this as a fund raiser before the new building was built,” said former Blaine mayor Tom Burton, a long-time member of the Friends group. Over the years the $25 tiles have funded bookshelves, tables, chairs, subscriptions and most recently a big chunk of a $4,000 central air condition system. Walking around looking at names is like looking at a little history of Blaine.
Earlier this week Burton and Richard Sturgill installed the two dozen or so tiles that have sold since the last installation a year ago. “Miche Charuk started the idea and was the original mason,” said Burton, “but he died about 10 years ago and Captain Sturgill and I took over.” There is space set aside in front of the library for over a thousand tiles in nine rectangles of 112 each, but after the installation earlier this week only 26 tiles are left.
The tiles are sold at the library’s front desk. Patrons specify names and a rough design that is then rendered in a tile by Joyce Russell at the Clayworks in Bellingham. Russell also makes the personalized coffee mugs at the Colophon Cafe in Bellingham’s Fairhaven district. The Blaine library tiles have the same look, with individual die-cut letters punched into the wet clay rather than drawn with a stylus as earlier tiles have been.
“These last few will sell quickly,” said Blaine Library manager Deborah Farmer, “so we probably won’t be waiting another year to install them. People who want to be a part of this permanent piece of posterity should call soon.” The two dozen or so members of the Friends group meet at the Blaine Library, 610 Third Street, every third Wednesday at 7 p.m.
For more information or to order a tile call the library at 332-8146.