Reconstruction

In 1975, a photographic study of Shelburne Falls was conducted by a group of students at Hampshire College through a local architect. Identified as a major concern was the deterioration of the Bridge of Flowers. 

In April 1979, resident Eric Temple asked the Women's Club to head a fundraising campaign in order to repair the Bridge. The Club sponsored the Bridge of Flowers Preservation, Inc. in 1981 for the purpose of raising funds and working with the Towns of Buckland and Shelburne and the Shelburne Falls Fire District, owner of the Bridge. Also, the Club, along with the newly formed Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, worked with the Franklin County Planning Department to hire a community planner in order to assist in achieving the goals of the overall restoration project.

An engineering study cited the condition of the structure and recommended repairs that would cost an estimated $580,000. Through the work of a Campaign Committee and sub-committees, the funds were raised. 

The Shelburne Falls Fire District appropriated $100,000 in April 1982. A Massachusetts Small Cities Community Development Block Grant of $290,000 was obtained in August 1982. The lowering of water level during pier reconstruction saved $100,000 in project costs. Funds came from both public and private sectors and special events, and on Dec. 2, 1982, the community reached the goal of $580,000. Restoration began May 2, 1983.

 

Over 500 individuals, businesses and organizations contributed to the campaign. Every plant, tree and shrub was removed from the Bridge and cared for in private gardens during the Restoration Project.

 

The Bridge of Flowers | PO Box 335 | Shelburne Falls, MA | 01370 | bridgeofflowersmass@gmail.com