The M.C. B. Library was a key community resource in Covington for many years. It was a private subscription library that was started in the early 1900's by a group of unmarried women which had worked together on a number of community interest projects.
The M.C.B. stood for Minerva's Chosen Band, and they originally began in the late-1890's, were officially chartered in 1903, and proceeded to hold a number of social events that were a hit with townspeople.
The M.C.B.'s main goal was to provide a circulating book library for the community, the first of its kind in the area, and it did so using various locations that were made available.
In an editorial in a 1920 issue of the St. Tammany Farmer, this explanation told about the origins and aims of the M.C.B. organization:
By 1906, the group was trying to raise funds to secure a permanent home for the library to continue to make books available to the reading public. It was called the James M. Thompson Memorial Library. They raised $3000 in a short period of time, and in 1907 the group was hopeful that they could construct a brick building for use of Covington's own lending library. The building would cost $5000.
Instead, the group acquired a structure at 131 N. New Hampshire which had been built in 1903 and used as the home of the Bogue Falaya Men's Club.
In 1906, Miss Emma V. Whelpley was president of the M.C.B. group, Miss Alice Lafaye was vice president, Miss Bertha Doerr was secretary, and Miss Nina Cantrell was Librarian.
The library lasted many years, even as community support waned. That building location has also been used over the years as a community meeting hall, the Christ Episcopal Church parish house, and is currently the St. Cecilia House, where public meetings and adult education classes are held.
Here are some newspaper articles that tracked the fortunes of the M.C.B. and its library. Click on the images to make them larger and more readable.