Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum
We will reopen for the 2021 season on Saturday July 3.
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The Shelburne Falls Freight House was probably built in 1867 when the Troy and Greenfield Railroad arrived in town. Control of the yard passed to the Fitchburg Railroad, then Boston and Maine Railroad, then Guilford Rail Systems then Pan Am Railways. While in railroad hands it was used for handling Less-Than-Carload freight for the surrounding towns, and handled freight transfers to the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway. In 1910 it served briefly as the Shelburne Falls Depot while the new depot was being built. The Freight House served Shelburne Falls for over 100 years, handling the lifeblood commerce of the area. In 1963 the building was bought by Blassberg Trucking, which had taken over the freight business of the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway in 1927. They used it as a warehouse and trans-shipping facility for the mills in Griswoldville. In 2004 the yard and all buildings were purchased by the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Inc. and is used for our demonstration trolley rides. Our Visitors Center is in an adjacent grain store, and our new Car Barn is going up as this is written. SFTM intends in the future to restore and renovate at least half of the interior of the building, add a handicap access ramp and move our Visitors Center into the Freight House.
Here are some pictures of our Freight House over the years, as we have worked to maintain and preserve it. Note that we use 'railroad east', as eastbound on the adjacent Pan Am Railways tracks.
A view of the yard, looking east, showing the Freight House, with the Visitors Center in the background.
A view from the porch roof, looking west, showing the Freight House in 2004, with our pride and joy, No. 10, approaching.
A view east along the House Track, showing the Freight House in 2014, just before the new Car Barn was put up in the far distance. The old Creamery foundation on the right is now gone.
Note the two little gables on the roof. One has been removed, the other will go as part of our on-going renovation.
Below are some views of the Freight House as it was in 2004 when we bought the yard.
Below are some close ups of the roof condition in 2004.
Here is the south west corner of the roof with the loose slates stripped off.
Here is the repaired roof on that corner.
This shows the repaired slate roof after one of the little gables was removed. It was right above the sliding door.
Here we see the west end being painted by Nate B. with help from the bucket truck.
Here are some views of the south side after Mike K painted it.
The above picture shows the old asphalt siding. Below we see it has been stripped off and Chris M. is repairing sheathing and putting up new clapboards.
Above we see the Franklin County Technical School Electricians Class as they finish the underground power connections to the yard. There is still work left to do on the clapboards on this east end of the building.
Below we see the north side, which still needs repairs, some new clapboards, and paint.
Above shows that trim is still needed, and this little gable needs to be removed and reslated.
Above is a picture from Fall 2014 of Morris Dancers and other guests enjoying our historic rail yard.
This view will disappear once the new Car Barn is erected.
What is next? We have applied for grants to finish the exterior restoration of the Freight House. We are formulating plans for moving our Visitors Center into the Freight House. As always, your donations of time and dollars will help to make these dreams a reality.
14 Depot Street Shelburne Falls MA 01370        413-625-9443       firstname.lastname@example.org