Where was the Bookshop?
The Hampshire Bookshop first occupied three connecting first-floor rooms in a house in Northampton on the corner of Elm Street and Bedford Terrace (now Eleanor Duckett House, a Smith College student residence).
In 1917, the very next year, the Bookshop needed more space and moved downtown to 192 Main Street. Hester Hoffman’s drawing of the storefront is shown here, on the back cover of a 1922 Bookshop Christmas sale catalogue.
The ever-expanding and increasingly popular bookstore purchased a building at 8 Crafts Avenue (Hester Hoffman’s rendition was used in numerous HB publications). Aided by local architect Karl Putnam, the building was renovated to create the Bookshop’s elegant and gracious long-term home. Moving day (to the building only three doors away) was July 9, 1923. Robert Frost, who was teaching at Amherst College, was the special guest at a housewarming in February 1924; he spoke on “The Relationship of a Bookshop to the Teaching of English.” Frost said (then or later): “It is one of the few bookshops in the world where books are sold in something like the spirit they were written in.” A limited edition, signed poem by Frost was printed as a keepsake for the occasion.