Art contest to benefit Colrain Historical Society, Central School 

  • The Arthur A. Smith covered bridge over the east branch of the North River in Colrain. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 4/14/2020 12:48:01 PM

COLRAIN — If you’re finding yourself with a little extra time on your hands these days, it may be worth embracing your inner artist.

The Friends of the Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge is seeking submissions to its Covered Bridge Totes & Tees Design Contest, an art contest to benefit the Colrain Historical Society and Colrain Central School.

Residents of all ages are welcome to submit drawings of the historic bridge in the village of Lyonsville by May 1. Entries can be submitted to or mailed to Colrain Historical Society, P.O. Box 45, Colrain, MA 01340.

The winner will receive $250 and will have his or her design printed on T-shirts and tote bags that will be sold to the public. Entrants will also receive a bag for free.

Proceeds from T-shirts and tote sales will help support the Friends’ desire to restore and reopen the bridge to the public, according to the Colrain Historical Society’s website.

Jonathan LaGreze, chair of the Friends of the Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge, said the bridge has been closed to traffic since the early 1980s. Although the bridge underwent a restoration in 2007, it never reopened.

“It’s been a long, hard saga to bring it back to a situation where it could be opened up to traffic and be a focal point to the town,” he said. “In ways, it got forgotten.”

In addition to reopening the bridge to traffic, he said the Colrain Historical Society would like to develop the land around the bridge into a town park, establishing an informational kiosk and adding picnic tables. These improvements would be funded using the $23,000 in town-held funds donated by residents and organizations in the early 1990s.

LaGreze said fifth-graders at Colrain Central School have worked closely with him and others to bring the town’s attention to the bridge. In January, for example, the students wrote a letter to the Selectboard, making a case for the bridge’s importance.

As such, Colrain Central School will also benefit from the contest, though LaGreze said how so is still to be determined as the plan was originally to support a class trip that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reach Mary Byrne at 413-772-0261, ext. 263 or


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