When prowling around the Massachusetts Center for the Book website recently, we came upon the very minimalist but intriguing web page. The online map breaks down the Commonwealth by its regions and locations of literary note. This dawned on us as a very cool, but little known bibliophilic road map for our beloved state. Town to city and everyplace in between, this is a fascinating resource right under our noses.
One could plan an entire literary grand tour based on this website (and we just might!)
The literary tour of the Bay State isn’t confined to just authors of note, but even smaller scribes, as well as editors and even paper makers. Right, no paper production, no books. Smart! It also demarcates where authors are laid to rest as well.
Sure when you click through the myriad of towns and locales, you’ll see the literary heavy weights, best exemplified by Henry David Thoreau at Concord’s Walden Pond. You’ll come upon Beacon Hill’s Louisburg Square as home to Louisa May Alcott. The Omni Parker House will register as the locale for Charles Dickens first American recitation of A Christmas Carol. Motor out to the tip of the Cape, Atlantic House in Provincetown was the place where Eugene O’Neill wrote four plays.
But what about the city of Lawrence, did you know it was the boyhood home of Robert Frost and his foundation can still be found there? And did you realize the obscure town of Cummington is the homestead of poet and editor William Cullen Bryant. And if we haul out to Dalton, in the Berkshires you will be reminded of the Crane Museum of Papermaking (opened in 1930 it is the museum of the Crane & Co. paper manufacturer which has been in business since 1801.)
More people should know about this one stop literary tour just a few mouse clicks away.