Trolley Museum gets $27,500 grant
SHELBURNE FALLS — The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum has been awarded a $27,500 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. The money will be matched by funds raised by the museum for its proposed two-stall fire-resistant car barn.
“We want a safer and more secure place to store our pride and joy, trolley car No. 10,” said museum President Sam Bartlett. “We will sleep better at night if we can keep this 117-year-old wooden car in a metal building,” he added.
No. 10 was built in 1896 and was used on the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway from 1896 to 1927, when it was moved to a farm. In 1991, the museum was formed to restore the trolley car and completed that project in 1999.
Once the car barn is complete, the 14 Depot St. museum will be able to accept its next restoration project, Fitchburg and Leominster Street Railway car No. 60, built in 1904. “The current owners want No. 60 to be kept in a safe place, so it can be restored for future generations to appreciate.
“The new car barn will have extra room in one stall to allow us to restore the car.” Bartlett explained.
With this grant, the museum has enough money to make visible progress on the car barn. So far, they have completed most of the planning and permitting work, and have collected the needed track material for the tracks leading to the car barn.
The museum is operated by volunteers and is open every weekend and holidays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, from Memorial Day weekend to the end of October. Additionally, in July and August, the museum will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays. The museum may be open by chance at other times and special arrangements can be made for field trips or parties.