Our Namesake

Rosa McMaster Tarbutton (1899-1986) promoted library service in Washington County for many years through her work in the Transylvania Club. She was a leader in getting Wedgwood to agree to manufacture the Georgia historical plates, the proceeds of which supported the Sandersville Public Library from 1933 to 1998.


Erin Holder Smith Heritage Room

For over 50 years Erin Holder Smith (1894 - 1981) actively supported the development of a public library in Tennille. She and her husband contributed both financial support and housing. Through her efforts library services were extended to the rural areas of Washington County and her leadership was also instrumental in making the library a part of the Oconee Regional Library System.


Transylvania Board Room

From 1909 until 1998, the Transylvania Club, a group of 36 ladies, provided library service for Sandersville. The library was first housed in the Masonic building until it burned in 1921. In 1925, the Club purchased the antebellum residence of Colonel Richard Lee Irwin on the town square. An addition was built in 1972 and housed the library until it merged with the Washington County Public Library to form the Rosa M. Tarbutton Memorial Library. With the sale of the Georgia Historical Plates, artistically created by Louise Irwin, and financial support from the City of Sandersville, Washington County, and Friends of the Library, the Transylvania Club was able to give the community a library for nearly ninety years.

Read the Georgia General Assembly Resolution honoring the Transylvania Club for its years of service to the community and the Library.


Mary Bangs Tarbutton Freeman Garden

The garden outside the Transylvania Conference Room is named in memory of Transylvania Club member, Mary Bangs Tarbutton Freeman (1883 - 1970), who organized the Sandersville Public Library and served as its first librarian from 1909 to 1922.


T. J. Elder Program Room

Professor Thomas Jefferson Elder (1869 - 1946) founded Washington County's first public school and library for black people in 1889 in the Springfield Baptist Church of Sandersville. Later, with the support and respect of all citizens, he erected a new Sandersville High and Industrial School. Today Elder Middle School, as well as this meeting room, bear the esteemed educator's name.