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Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum to officially pay off its mortgage

This Saturday, a final payment will be made on the $154,000 borrowed in 2004

  • A trolley rides the rails of the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum in Buckland. The museum, which originally took out a mortgage in 2004, will make its final payment this Saturday. Recorder file photo/Paul Franz


Recorder Staff
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

SHELBURNE FALLS — The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum will make its last mortgage payment to Norm Sessions at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, and will be celebrating with Sessions and others who helped make the museum possible.

In 2004, the museum took out a $154,000 mortgage for the freight house on roughly four acres of land from Elm Street to the top of Depot Road, and has been paying it off from museum fees and rent paid by other organizations for unused space in the old freight house, including the Art Garden.

Sessions, who owned the former Blasberg Trucking Co., gave the fledgling museum a private mortgage at a time when it was difficult for a new nonprofit to secure a mortgage from the bank, according to Trolley Museum President Sam Bartlett. “Being able to do it with Norm helped us a lot,” he said.

Now that the trolley museum is free of mortgage payments, the Art Garden, another nonprofit group in the freight house, will get a small rent reduction. And the $12,000 a year used for mortgage payments will now be used to restore other trolley cars and rail cars on the museum grounds.