Lumber Yard Events Center owner clarifies parking issue

The new owner of the Lumber Yard Events Center, formerly the Smith Lumber & Coal building, has clarified some confusing information about the parking issue delaying final approval for the new business.

After the Wayland City Council last week insisted the parking issue be cleared up, Mark Shepherd said, “The reason it is confusing is that we do not actually own the property adjacent to the building on the west side (on Maple Street). Actually, no one knows who owns it which is why it is hard to determine how to fix it. So as they are talking about the parking issue most of that doesn’t have much to do with us (at least not yet anyway).”

Shepherd and his brother Marty purchased the building last October and have announced plans to turn the formerly oldest local business into an event center to be host for weddings, reunions and other special events, complete with dancing facilities. They continue working on renovating the structure.

However, a neighbor has indicated there is a problem with parking and traffic at the intersection of West Maple and Railroad streets. Motorists who want to turn left on West Maple at the intersection are likely to have view obstruction problems with traffic coming from the north on Railroad because of vehicles parked in front of the old Smith Lumber building.

Until it closed its doors more than a decade ago, Smith Lumber & Coal was the oldest business in the community. It was started in 1898 and it most recently was managed by Jay Leonard Smith, the third generation to lead the more than 100-year-old local business. Much of Wayland’s history could be found inside the stately building and Jay L. himself spent a lot of time on the premises weekdays in recent years repairing screens and glass and mostly tinkering with what many would call Wayland’s closest thing to a museum. The building was on the real estate market for 11 years before the Shepherds bought it.

Smith Lumber closed its doors in 2005 after 107 years in business.


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