Rust, decay shadow Shaw’s Motel

From The Republican
By Fred Contrada
Friday, August 06, 2010

Shaw's Motel, photo by Dale Ruff / The RepublicanThe Shaw’s we know was a place where lone men and women with mental-health problems could find some semblance of a home. People down on their luck could get a decent bed and some privacy at Shaw’s. There have been drifters and imbibers, sometimes on the run, looking to step back into the shadows for a while.

A long time ago, maybe 20 years, I interviewed a resident of Shaw’s. I couldn’t find the story in our data base, but I recall that he was among those set adrift by the closing of Northampton State Hospital.

We sat in his little box of a room with a fan humming, and he told me his story. I don’t remember the story, only that he was eccentric and shy and maybe a little blinded by the bright light of life. Inside that box he had everything he needed.

1 Comment

  1. This is a beautiful & touching story of an era that seems to be gone. No one really takes the time to care as the Shaw’s Motel owners apparently did. I wish more were like this fine example of what America truly was & should be! My prayers go out to the last ones living there in hope that the new owners do keep tradition. God bless Mrs Shaw!

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