This unique place is endearing. And apparently off the beaten path, because their motto is: “Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find!”
Located near Montague Massachusetts, the Bookmill is housed in an 1834 grist mill that has been reclaimed and repurposed as an independent bookstore. This is a place where House Crazy Sarah will go when she goes to heaven!
It has that rare combination of history, natural beauty, vintage charm, and, well, books.
The Bookmill is housed in what is listed as the Alvah Stone Mill on the National Register of Historic Places. They claim to have “40,000 books and one waterfall.”
In 1987 two guys named Jim Murphy and Allen Ross purchased the property and transformed it into the Bookmill. They also built a deck overlooking the Sawmill River.
The revamped interior has retained some rustic character of the original mill building, with worn wooden floors, large multi-paned windows, and hints of the inner workings of a mill.
The Boston Globe devoted an entire article to the bookstore a few years back, quoting the current owner as saying, “We’re not particularly convenient, we’re not particularly efficient, but we’re beautiful.”
The interior is indeed delightful with its maze of book aisles and staircases, comfortable reading nooks and corners with tattered old arm chairs.
Patrons can curl up on a hot summer’s day, or a cold winter’s night with many a good book while overlooking the bubbling river.
The bookstore is now part of a bigger complex with surrounding outbuildings which house not only a café and restaurant, but also an art studio, a record store, and an antique seller among other things.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to just stumble randomly upon such a magical place you never knew existed?
Well now you have learned about this little gem so you can actually plan to stumble upon it next time you are touring around the backroads of western Massachusetts. See the links below for all the details.