A long time ago in Cumberland

The large granite building housing part of the library was once a Trappist Monastery.  The monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance began building here in 1900.  They were a silent order, but visitors could speak to the monk in the Porter’s Lodge and purchase bread and Trappist jam. They were self sustaining, growing their own food and quarrying the granite for the many buildings.
The monastery continued to expand until 1950 when a fire burned not only the Guest House, but the roof and
interior of the church as well.  The order had already purchased land in Spencer, Massachusetts to create a
second monastery when the fire destroyed the church so they decided to move there instead and they remain there to this day.
The Town of Cumberland purchased the property from the Grey Friars and used the building to combine three small libraries into the Cumberland Public Library we have today.  For more information visit our Monastery History page.

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