In the summer of 1902, J. Edward Macdonald, born in Wisconsin, raised in New York, visited Estes Park for the first time. He would become one of Estes Park’s founding fathers.
Jessica Chapin, a territorial daughter of Colorado, met Edward during her visit to the town.
Bewitched by the visiting Scotsman, Jessica temporarily left her home to marry Edward and live in New Jersey.
The mountains called to the Macdonald’s, and they returned in 1907, with their two young daughters, Louise, age two, and Marcia, age one.
A year later, Ed purchased a small log cabin from the forest service for their home. He opened a hardware and general store to sell several items, including books, groceries, and equipment. Books lived in a small corner of the store until 1928.
Ed Macdonald retired from his general store. Helping his wife, they opened a book store in the parlor of their home.
Local author Mari Sandoz and publisher William Allen White visited the shop. Later they wrote letters to Jessica.
Ed,71, died, and Jessica continued to run the book shop, with Louise and Marcia’s help, during the summer.
As the years went by, the book shop expanded to take over the family residence. Jessica’s daughter Louise continued to help every summer with her two children, Paula and Mark. A staple in Estes Park’s town, visitors and residents alike depended on Jessica Macdonald and her beloved store.
Jessica’s niece, Rhoda Tallant, helped run the shop every summer.
At the age of 83, in 1957, Jessica died in her sleep, passing on the bookstore to her daughters. Louise traveled from Trinidad with her children.
Upon Louise’s death in 1971, her daughter Paula took over the store full time. With the help of her two children, Stacia and Stephen, the book shop remained open year-round.
The Lawn Lake flood devastated the shop. With 80 volunteers, the store was repaired and expanded to include more of the original home.
In 2018, Paula held a 90th-anniversary party to celebrate her family and the book shop. At the time, Paula said she did not think she would be around to see the 100th anniversary, so the 90th would have to do. Paula, joined by Walt, her husband, always closed Saturday nights.
From its humble beginnings, Macdonald Bookshop continues to fascinate and serve those who live in Estes Park and those who count themselves lucky enough to visit, just as Edward Macdonald did over a century ago.
Paula chose to retire in 2020, leaving her legacy in the hands of a new generation and family, with just as much love for books.
Kevin and Staci
Kevin Reed and Staci Galloway-Reed have brought Paula’s vision back together with Inkwell and Brew’s ownership and Macdonald Book Shop. Inkwell and Brew began as the Macdonald Papeterie, run by Stacia (Paula’s daughter). On September 10, 2020, Kevin and Staci (Anastacia) officially took on Macdonald Book Shop to ensure Estes Park’s town will have this iconic bookstore for decades more.
Staci and Kevin settled in Estes in 2011. Kevin managed what is now the Inkwell and Brew (purchased in 2013). Staci started out as a receptionist for Riverspointe Spa before working at Eagle Rock School. Both traveled extensively before deciding Estes Park should become a permanent home. The pair complement each other.
Kevin and Staci have two young boys, Luca and Bodhi. They are family and community-oriented. With their knowledge of the community, backgrounds in languages, and love for books, customers can rest assured Macdonald Book Shop will remain a great place to find a cozy place to read.