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'BERKSHIRE STREET RAILWAY BERKSHIRE HILLS'

 
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:52 am    Post subject: 'BERKSHIRE STREET RAILWAY BERKSHIRE HILLS' Reply with quote

'BERKSHIRE STREET RAILWAY BERKSHIRE HILLS'


By Frank Hicks

Very few electric parlor cars were ever built with most of which being retired or scrapped by the beginning of the Depression in the late 20's.

The "Berkshire Hills" owned by the Berkshire Street Railway Company (BSR) is one of only a handful to have survived - BSR was a sizable conglomerate of smaller lines that had been organized between 1901 and 1903 and, at its peak after it had been acquired by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in 1904, it operated 170 miles of street car lines in four states.

The company ordered the "Berkshire Hills" for V.I.P. tour use, chartered outings and on extra-fare scheduled trips. The car, which was described by historian William Middleton in his book "Traction Classics, Vol. II" as "the largest and most elegant of all trolley parlor cars in New England," was painted white, had large windows for sightseeing, and was fitted with wicker furniture and drapes.

Use of the car in regular service ended in 1917 but it continued charter assignments until it was relegated to storage in 1922 - ten years later it was sold and the body made into a diner which was installed along route 20 outside of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. There it remained until a fire closed it down in 1994 after which what was left intact was donated to the Seashore Trolley Museum of Kennebunkport, Maine where it now awaits restoration to its former regal self.

POSTER'S COMMENTS; I cannot tell you how many time I had great lunches at the Berkshire Hills when, as a youngster in the 50's, I would grab any opportunity to visit my aunt and uncle in Pittsfield.

I loved being with them along with the quaintness of the town and especially my chances to practice driving on my uncle's Divco milk trucks at his processing plant.

Those were the days!

Photo post card courtesy of '4509bus' and is available at eBay as item # 181502899842.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

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ripta42
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Age: 39
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another photo of the diner, as well as a photo of the fire damaged car on its way to Seashore, on this page - Bygone Bennington.

Part of the private right of way in Bennington is now a nature trail in the Norman and Selma Greenberg Conservation Reserve.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ripta42 wrote:
Here's another photo of the diner, as well as a photo of the fire damaged car on its way to Seashore, on this page - Bygone Bennington.

Part of the private right of way in Bennington is now a nature trail in the Norman and Selma Greenberg Conservation Reserve.



Michael,

The world becomes smaller and smaller!

Fairdale Farms of Bennington, Vermont (see URL below) is very familiar to me because around 1960 my uncle Herman and his two brothers Joe and Morris sold their 'Model Dairy' retail milk processing division in Pittsfield to Fairdale but they did continue to produce ice cream products under the same name for another few years until they all decided to retire.

They also had retail ice cream parlors in Williamstown, Lee, Lenox, Great Barrington and Pittsfield and had the rights to vend ice cream at Tanglewood during each concert season.

Lots of good memories for me.

Thanks and best regards,

Mr. 'L'

https://sites.google.com/site/bygonebennington/Home/no-89-fairdale-farms-inc


I forgot to include the company logo!

Enjoy,

Mr. 'L'

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ripta42
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Age: 39
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky wrote:
The world becomes smaller and smaller!


Indeed it does. Fairdale in turn was purchased by Garelick - distant cousins of mine - in the 1990s.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

That really is unbelievable - so in a way we're related!

I'll tell you the story of how Model Dairy started - it's interesting;

My uncle and his three brothers including Phil who died in the very early fifties came to this country from Eastern Europe in the mid 1890's, as many of our grand and great grand parents did, and settled in Newark, New Jersey and soon bought a small dairy farm under 'Reder Brothers' to supply raw milk to local processors.

They were doing very nicely until two goons knocked at their door one day and intimated that if they didn't leave town they might wind up with broken arms and legs!

They got the hint and moved to North Adams, Mass. sometime in the early twenties where they continued their business and expanded to become a processor and retailer of milk and milk products.

I am uncertain as to whether they bought Model Dairy in Pittsfield or they established it around 1930 but it became their main base of operations until the end.

As far as the trucks go, Fairdale bought the eight or ten late model Dodge step vans and Model kept their three Divcos and insulated them for dry ice ice cream deliveries - they also kept their 5,000 gallon Brockway tanker to fetch raw milk at Sealtest in Chatham, New York.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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