Bridge of Flowers (bridge)
|Bridge of Flowers|
Bridge of Flowers
|Locale||Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts|
|Maintained by||Womans Club|
|Total length||400 ft (121 m)|
|Width||18 ft (5 m)|
The Bridge of Flowers is in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. It has been given that name because there is a garden of flowers that covers the bridge.
The bridge was originally built for $20,000 in 1908 by the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway, so that freight and people could be brought up to the nearby mills in Colrain, as the nearby Iron Bridge had a twenty-ton weight limit. As automobile usage began to increase, freight began to be transported more by trucks, and the street railway company went bankrupt in 1927. The history of the railway is preserved in the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.
In 1929, with the bridge covered in weeds, Antoinette Burnham came up with the idea of transforming the bridge into a garden. Since the bridge was not needed as a footbridge and could not be demolished because it carried a water main between the two towns, her idea was agreed upon by those in the community. The Shelburne Woman's Club sponsored the project in 1928. In 1929, eighty loads of loam and several loads of fertilizer were brought to the bridge. Several women's clubs around town raised $1,000 in 1929.
In 1975, a photographic study was conducted of Shelburne Falls. One of the concerns of the town was the deterioration of the bridge structure. In 1981, funds were raised by those[who?] who owned the bridge and a study was commissioned. The study determined that $580,000 in repairs should be made to the bridge. Various organizations raised money and repairs began on May 2, 1983. During the restoration, every plant that was removed was cared for in private. The restoration replaced the 8-inch water line, which carries up to half a million gallons of water a day. The bridge also contains two and a half feet of soil at the top of the arches and nine feet deep at the piers.
On August 28, 2011, rain runoff from Hurricane Irene (at that point a tropical storm) flooded the Deerfield River and engulfed the Bridge of Flowers.
- Bridge of Flowers turns 100. The Republican. 18 September 2008.
- "History Page". Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts: Bridge of Flowers Committee. 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
- Beckius, Kim Knox (2010). "Bridge of Flowers:One-of-a-Kind Blooming Bridge is Shelburne Falls' Main Attraction". Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts: About.com. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- Parmett, Elaine (2010). "History Page 2". Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts: Bridge of Flowers Committee. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
- "Restoration". Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts: Bridge of Flowers Committee. 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010.