Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum

Car No. 10 Car No. 10

Help us buy a home for the Trolley Museum

Trolley Car No.10 is back ... On track!

Help us buy a home for the Trolley Museum
updated July 2004
Sam Bartlett

[The following was posted in November 2000.  Since then we have bought the yard, see below for a July 2004 update.]

For the past few years, the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum has been fortunate to be able to use the Buckland freight yard (aerial view) as our base of operations.  Because the tracks were already in place, we began operating sooner and saved many thousands of dollars.  Moreover, the rent has been relatively low due to the owner's generosity.

Now, the museum has begun a fund-raising campaign to purchase the yard.  The owner has given us two years to line up the necessary funding.  We are currently negotiating the price based on appraisals, and are contacting public and private funding sources.  If we can't raise the money, the owner will put the property on the open market.

We are seeking pledges spread over five years because the owner has agreed to accept the purchase price in five annual payments. We will begin collecting on the pledges when we are ready to purchase the yard.

There are many reasons why the freightyard is the best, if not the perfect, location for our trolley museum:

  • Foremost, we are already set up here with the carbarn, tracks and overhead wires in place. To rebuild elsewhere could cost $100,000.  Moving our other rolling stock would be expensive as well.
  • The location near downtown Shelburne Falls is ideal for attracting visitors who haven't yet heard of us.
  • Our current mainline is on part of the right-of-way of the original Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway.
  • The Bridge of Flowers, over which our trolley once ran, is visible from the yard.
  • The Guilford mainline is adjacent, handling several freight trains a day.
  • The 110-year-old freighthouse would be preserved as an historic landmark.
  • An historic rarity itself, the Buckland freight yard would be saved as an example of a small-town railroad facility.
    The continued presence of the trolley museum will bring other benefits to the community as well:
  • Our educational mission helps tie the community to its historical farming and manufacturing roots.
  • We attract visitors who then patronize local establishments for lodging, food and shopping.
  • The freight yard can continue to provide open space for walking, biking and other forms of exercise.
  • If the museum is unable to acquire this industrially zoned property, it could become a heavy equipment yard, concrete plant, self storage facility or other use which would destroy its historical significance and provide none of the benefits that the trolley museum brings.

    We will be pursuing many public and private funding sources, but we need your help with this project, which is critical to our future.  Please fill out the pledge form, and give as generously as you can.  The museum is a non-profit organization, all donations are tax-deductible.
    If I can answer any questions please call me at 413-624-0192  or e-mail me at
    Sam Bartlett

    [This is an update, in case someone gets directly to this page and is confused by the progress we have made.]
    The museum bought the yard on July 17, 2004, thanks to the many donations, large and small, made by our supporters.  See the July 17, 2004 newslog entry for details.   We have a large loan on the property to pay off and buildings to repair.  We expect to pay off most of the loan through renting space in the buildings, but we can always use your donations to help ease the process and save these historic buildings.  See our Contacts page for our address, or stop by and make a donation in person!

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    Trolley Car No.10 is back ... On track!

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    14 Depot Street Shelburne Falls MA 01370        413-625-9443