The 2020 Mitchell County Historical Society Christmas Ornament honors the Good Will Free Library, constructed by Dr. Charles H. Wing who retired to Mitchell County after a distinguished academic career. He made it his mission to bring education to the residents, providing vocational training and opening a library filled with many of his own books that he loaned to residents throughout the county. It was during its time one of the 10 largest libraries in North Carolina. The library no longer stands, but Wing is memorialized by the road that passes by the former location. Located in the Ledger community, it is named Wing Road for him.
The ornament is inscribed with the following:
“North Carolina’s first free library was established in 1887 by Boston professor Dr. Charles H. Wing, who retired to Mitchell County with 12,000 books – his personal collection plus donations. With the state’s first bookmobile, the Good Will Free Library was the largest public library in North Carolina in 1909.”