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The building that [formerly housed] the German-Masontown Public Library in Masontown, Fayette County,
Pennsylvania, is considered an historic treasure of the area. The building, at present-day 9 South Washington
Street (once Neff Avenue), was originally the Beth-El Synagogue. The land was donated by Mr. and Mrs.
William Bush specifically to erect the synagogue in 1924.
After the Beth-El congregation disbanded in Masontown, the congregation made the gracious gesture in late
1957 of donating the building and land to the community of Masontown with the stipulation that the building
would be used as a Community and Library Center. Through the work and funds of many citizens, community
organizations, and government agencies, a library finally was established in 1965 in the building that had been
the Beth-El Synagogue.
The formal opening and dedication of the German-Masontown Public Library was on Sunday, February 13,
1966. Many dedicated people have worked hard through the years to continue this library and to maintain this
building which is important to German Township, Masontown Borough, Nicholson Township, and the
surrounding areas in the Albert Gallatin School District.
The above information was written and provided by DR. PATRICIA LUBITS-GUMP (2005)
2006 marked an exciting milestone as the German-Masontown Public Library celebrated its 40th
ANNIVERSARY of service to the community. Several events to commemorate this momentous
accomplishment were made possible through the generous support of many individuals, groups, and municipal
2011 brought much anticipation and excitement to our community as the Board of Directors signed the contract
to purchase a new building. Realizing the stairs both inside and outside the library presented an obstacle to
many community members, the board considered various options to provide a fully accessible facility to all our
patrons. After MANY unsuccessful plans to adapt the current building, to purchase property and build a new
facility, or to purchase an existing building, the board was able to purchase the former Second National Bank
operations building at 104 South Main Street from owner Parkvale Bank (now First National Bank). The
transaction was competed in June 2011 and the board and staff immediately began to make plans for "the big
move" to our new library.
Soon after the library board initiated purchase of the new building, the Bethel Baptist Church of Uniontown
expressed an interest in our current facility. How awesome that a building which served as a house of worship
for many years (and hosted the library for over four decades) has now returned to its original purpose! How
amazing the building that was home to Beth El synagogue will now house the Bridge Baptist Church. We
have been doubly blessed to welcome BOTH a new library and a new church family to our community!
As we begin to write a new chapter in the history of German-Masontown Public Library, we look back with
admiration and appreciation to all those who have worked so tirelessly and unselfishly to develop and preserve
this community treasure of education and enjoyment. We also look forward with excitement and determination
as we strive to continue the legacy of life-long learning for future generations.