It is very dirty and rundown and is surrounded by a long wooden wall with one gate that has "Lucky Smells Lumbermill" stuck on it with gum.
As the name of the book implies, it is a miserable mill with a ridiculous amount of safety and human rights violations. The workers at the mill are treated terribly like slaves:
- They are forced to live in a windowless room (with windows drawn on the walls) and to sleep in uncomfortable bunk beds.
- They wake up daily to the sound of banging pots.
- Their only meals are chewing gum (for lunch), and disgusting casseroles for dinner.
- Their lunch breaks are only five minutes long.
- They work non-stop for hours, and the work is laborious, exhausting and dangerous.
- The mill is extremely noisy due to the constant sounds of machinery and saws.
- All workers are paid in coupons that they cannot use. This is actually illegal according to The Paltryville Constitution (as read by Phil near the end of The Miserable Mill). It is revealed that the workers are brainwashed and mind controlled with hypnotism by Dr. Georgina Orwell (T.V. Series only.)
- The rest of the town is burned down and no efforts to repair it, meaning the lumbermill is essentially located in the middle of nowhere, and the lumbermill is their "home" which they never leave (T.V. Series only.)
There is a library at the mill, but it only consists of three books, The History of Lucky Smells Lumbermill, by Sir, The Paltryville Constitution, and Advanced Ocular Science (in the TV series the library only contains multiple copies of The History of Lucky Smells Lumbermill.)
The lumbermill gets its lumber from the surrounding Finite Forest ("finite" means "limited", so it may be a commentary on deforestation). According to an excerpt from The History of Lucky Smells Lumbermill, the mill supplied the special emerald lumber used to build the Baudelaire, Snicket, and Quagmire mansions. In The Penultimate Peril, Sir mentions that the mill also provided the lumber used in the construction of the Opportune Odors Horseradish Factory and the Hotel Denouement.
- Sir - Owner; flees in TV series
- Charles - Sir's "partner"; implied to be new owner in TV series
- Phil - Worker (quit)
- Jimmy - Worker in the TV series
- Norma Rae - Worker in the TV series
- Cesar - Worker in the TV series
- Foreman Firstein - Foreman
- Foreman Flacutono - Foreman (quit)
- Violet Baudelaire - Worker (fired in the book)
- Klaus Baudelaire - Worker (fired in the book)
- Sunny Baudelaire - Worker (fired in the book)
- In the TV series, the workers break free of their hypnotism and revolt against Sir, forcing Sir to flee. In "The Penultimate Peril: Part One", it is implied the new love interest of Jerome Squalor, who is Charles, is now running "his" lumbermill, and is probably making the worksite more ethical and humane.
- Some of the signs seen in the TV series:
- SAFETY GOGGLES ARE UNNECESSARY IF THEY SLOW YOU DOWN
- DANGEROUS EQUIPMENT: IMPROPER USE CAN RESULT IN BROKEN MACHINES AND COSTLY DELAYS
- NO OUTSIDE GUM PERMITTED
- SAFETY SECOND
- THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE TO WORKING FAST
- THINK FAST: SPEED IS VALUED ABOVE ALL ELSE
- WORK FAST: A SPEEDY WORKER IS THE BEST WORKER OF ALL
- SHORTCUTS SAVE TIME: TAKE SOME
- VISITATIONS ARE UNNECESSARY AND INTERRUPT WORK
- THIS MILL HAS WORKED 15 DAYS WITHOUT MACHINERY BREAKDOWNS: THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 7 DAYS
- KEEP YOUR WORKPLACE CLEAN: ACCIDENTS ARE EXPENSIVE
- BE SAFE AND BE QUICK WHEN CLEANING OR REPAIRING MACHINES: LOST TIME IS COSTLY FOR ALL
- ACCIDENTS COST TIME AND MONEY