Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Heath Road Covered Bridges

Colrain once had more than nine covered bridges, including these two off Adamsville Road at the beginning of the Heath Road. This 1921 photo is from the collection of the Colrain Historical Society. Both bridges were destroyed in the flood of March 18, 1936.

Calvin P. Call (1910-2007), in notes about Colrain’s covered bridges wrote “Near the Frank Herzig Barrel Shop were 2 bridges. The largest bridge was on the main part of the river. The smaller and shorter covered bridge was over the canal that ran a waterwheel for power for the mill.” Calvin’s notes are in the collection of his great-niece Carol Purington.

This 1871 F. W. Beers & Co. map has the location of the two bridges circled in red.

The recently  reopened Arthur A. Smith bridge in Lyonsville is a replica of the last of the town’s historic bridges, retaining its original rare Burr trusses.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

“Colrain on Canvas” 2021 Calendar

The “Colrain on Canvas” 2021 calendar is available at many local locations for $15. Stop by soon and pick up your copy. They are also great gifts for friends and family, far and near.

Sale locations include

  • Boswell’s Books
  • Sawyers News Co.
  • Marty’s Repair
  • Colrain Town Office
  • Catamount Country Store
  • Hager’s Farm Market
  • Pine Hill Orchards
  • or call (413) 624-8800

Proceeds benefit the Colrain Historical Society.

We are looking forward to presenting “Colrain on Canvas II” on May 22 & 23, 2021. Fifty paintings of Colrain scenes that were not included in our original show.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Covered Bridge Opens to Vehicle Traffic

A car enters the east end of the Arthur A. Smith covered bridge on Friday, September 25, 2020.

For the first time since 1982, cars cruised through the iconic Arthur A. Smith covered bridge on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.  The last of more than nine covered bridges that dotted the town historically, this is actually an exact replica of the original bridge, with its Burr trusses, on this site.  

First built in Shattuckville in 1869, and known as  the Fox Bridge, it was damaged by flood in 1878, repaired and moved to its present site on the east branch of the North River  in 1896.  Laminated wooden arches were installed to strengthen the bridge in the 1920s.  

It was closed to traffic as unsafe in 1982.  Removed from the river for repair by a team of oxen in 1990, the bridge was later rebuilt  by the state in 2007, but it remained closed to traffic until this week.

See this article in the Shelburne Falls Independent for information about the rebuilding of the bridge.
Repairs near completion for Arthur Smith Bridge.
Historic covered ‘Burr arch’ bridge is the last of its kind in Massachusetts.
By Laura Rodley