Tucked away in the back roads of Shirley, Massachusetts, you can find the staff at L&M Home busy at work in the historic 1849 old mill building once built by the Shirley Shaker religious community. It was built along the banks of the Catacunemaug River for the purpose of manufacturing cotton roping. Large quantities were produced in this location until the introduction of synthetics in 1945. Many decades, tales, and renovations later, the solar powered mill building is now home to 72 small businesses. Lake and Mountain Home occupies the separate post and beam building in the mill complex that was used for the raw cotton storage, prior to being blown over (literally) in tubes to the main building for production.
Owner, Jane Longden, first saw this property in the winter of 2011 when looking to move her business. The building had been condemned for safety and was headed for an eventual tear down. Having climbed over a snow bank and up a plank to the locked, boarded up entrance this was Jane’s first view~
Despite the rotten floor boards and broken windows, Jane could see the beauty of the massive brick walls and post and beam structure and was certain she could make it into a good home. Enthusiastic as she was her employees simply thought she had gone over the edge.
A far stretch from her 21 year career in human services, Jane frequently gets asked how she ended up doing this sort of business. You will often hear her say she has been one of the luckier people in the world having loved both her first and second careers and made the leap without a great deal of reservation. Jane segued into her new career after an opportunity (she reluctantly agreed to) to sell old wood furniture. What was most notable to Jane was the interest people had in the reclaimed old barn wood tables, occasional tables and simple, hand crafted old wood furniture. “People couldn’t get enough of it. Regardless of what might be happening in the world people always seem to come back to simple, classic lines which is the essence of what we do.” Years later demand is still strong. ”It’s like the classic black dress that never goes out of style.” Quite simply there is no other furniture line that offers such “sustainable” long lasting value . Each and every piece we make is a way to bring American History into your home.”