Wish granted: Grant to give trolley fire-resistant home
SHELBURNE FALLS — A $27,500 grant will help the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum realize its dream of a fire-resistant home for its prize piece.
“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.”
The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund awarded the grant, which the museum will match with funds raised for the proposed fire-resistant two-stall car barn, according to a release.
A local rail fan founded the nonprofit museum in 1991 with the express purpose of restoring and preserving the trolley car, which ran the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway for 31 years before beginning a second life as a farm utility structure in 1927.
The 14 Depot St. museum completed restoration of No. 10 in 1999, and the new structure will allow it to accept its next restoration project, the 1904 vintage Fitchburg and Leominster Street Railway No. 60.
The current owners want No. 60 kept in a safe place, Bartlett said, and the barn will include extra space for that project.
With the grant, the museum has accumulated enough money to begin work on the physical structure, already mostly planned and permitted, according to the museum, but donations of money and services are always appreciated.
Further information on the museum is available on its website, www.sftm.org