Historian to present a tale of two streetcars

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BENNINGTON — On Feb. 17, historian George Lerrigo will share the results of his research into the trolleys that moved through Bennington at the beginning of the 20th century. His presentation, a program of the Bennington Historical Society, takes place at 2 p..m. in the Ada Paresky Education Center at the Bennington Museum.

Lerrigo has visited the Kennebunk Seashore Trolley Museum and will share photos of the remaining trolley cars. He will explain the trolley system, which by 1910 made it possible to make a continuous trolley-interurban trip well into the Midwest using a series of connected inter-urban railways.

Locally, riders had twice-daily trips between Bennington and Great Barrington, Massachusetts. For only $1 for a round-trip plus a chair fee of 25 cents for the rattan chair, riders could "enjoy the opulence of the Berkshire Hills and the Bennington, both dedicated to this service." Both parlor cars can be seen at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine—a museum that has streetcars from many cities in the United States and across the globe in addition to the Bennington car.

The companies running the streetcars in Bennington changed over the years, from the Bennington & Woodford Electric Railway to the Bennington Electric Railroad to the Bennington & Hoosick Valley Railway to the Bennington & North Adams (Massachusetts) Street Railway from 1902 to 1910, and then to the Vermont Company, after which it was discontinued. Much of the route still remains hidden throughout Bennington and Pownal.

Bennington Historical Society Meetings are held the third Sunday of the month except for December-January and July-August. Admission to BHS is free.




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