One recent April day I found myself driving through some of the most beautiful scenery in Jackson County. I was on my way to visit the Applegate library, and my goodness was I in for a magnificent ride! 

 As you journey west on Highway 238, the mountains embrace you. Inching closer and closer toward the road, they seem to rise straight up out of meadows and pastures like they were planted there. Undulating countless layers of greens, yellows and blues, the mountains are both inviting and mysterious, whispering of adventures to be had and secrets to discover. 

I found their allure powerful indeed, but I was on a mission, so onward I drove, just a little bemused and beguiled as I continued down the road.  

Ah, but the enchantment did not end there; the Applegate Library itself offers its own charms. It is situated on two acres, smack dab in the middle of a field bordered by trees, a vineyard, and a small fire station. It is peaceful, hushed, and picturesque. Several birdfeeders have been placed just outside the building, offering a dash of activity amidst the quiet solitude. 

Yet, as you enter the Applegate branch, the warm and welcoming environment reminds you that, even in a place that seems secluded and remote, there is more than meets the eye. 

Branch Manager Christine and her team have created a space that is full of charm, energy, and delightful nooks to snuggle into. Perfect to enjoy the newspaper or enjoy a good book.

Like the neighboring mountains, the library also holds a few of its own hidden secrets. Hand-painted surprises are peppered around the building. Hidden in plain sight, you’ll find delightful images of various animals and nature scenes by local area artist Cathy Egelston.

A deer peeks out from behind a chair.

Hidden among the branches of a plant, a mischievous Racoon traverses a creek.

Up in a high corner, a couple of swallows tending their nest seem to come to life.


The library’s meeting room also holds a lovely surprise. Displayed along the walls are the works of photographer Jerrold Hagstrom. It’s hard to capture these beautiful images in a blog post, so stop in for a visit to check them out. 

Applegate, not so much a town as a place, is an un-incorporated community, home of numerous vineyards and wineries, farms, and ranches. No surprise that most folks must drive a bit to get to the library. It also seems reasonable that it is not as busy as, say, other small branches that are in the middle of a town or city. This does not deter Christine and her team from offering an appealing roster of programs. They are always trying out new things and presenting programs such as the Wild and Woolly Felting Workshop, an OSU Master Gardener Program, a Trebuchet and Catapult Stem program for kids, and Spring Flower Crowns. All of this points to the importance of rural libraries as a gathering place for the community. 

Christine also has an impressive lineup for the upcoming Summer Reading Program. Geared toward children, patrons can participate in quality programming and not have to drive the distance to our bigger branches. Even more exciting, she is starting the summer off with a bang, holding Applegate’s Summer Reading Kickoff party on June 8.  

Click here for more information on all the neat programs happening at the branch. 

As I finished my visit and began the drive home, it was obvious to me that Christine and her team genuinely care about the library and the community it serves. So, the next time you want to experience some amazing scenery, a bit of adventure and some good old-fashioned fun, pack a picnic and take a trip to the Applegate library; it truly is the little library that could.