Pat & Keith Shaw, Proprietors
There isn't a lot to Monson, which coalesced a century ago around a slate factory. Its landmarks now include a convenience store, a restaurant, a furniture factory, and Shaw's Boarding House-a trail institution created by sheer chance.
Keith and Pat Shaw used to run a boarding home for mentally ill people. On June day in 1977, a hiker asked the Shaw's if he could stay the night. They said yes. The next day, that hiker told a man headed south about Shaw's. From there the word spread.
That summer the Shaw's traded their board-and-care license for a lodging and-meals license. Now in their 19th season, the Shaw's have fed and given lodging to between 18,000 and 20,000 hikers.
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