A Walk through History Silver Lake Beach, Bellingham, MA

Bridge to Island, Silver Lake Bellingham, MA

Working with our community Cable Station, ABMI Cable 8 here in Bellingham is such fun. We get outside, explore places that offer Easy Walks, and get the perspective of the great views offered, when cameraman Tyler McMinnaman brings along the drone, part of the great equipment the cable station has on hand to create great video.

Buildings filled the area that is now Silver Lake Beach

We met recently at Silver Lake Beach to wander the area, and talk about a little of the history of the area. This was a “go-to” destination in the days before cars were common. Over the years the area offered a carousel, a dance hall, a skating rink, and even diving horses! It is often difficult to imagine all this activity when strolling the area on a spring morning, when we were about the only people there.

One of the many bridges that were built out to the island in the middle of Silver Lake. This is facing bck to the beach area

The era of car transportation spelled the end of Silver Lake as the place area residents thought of first when looking for entertainment. a state grant to preserve open space saved the sixty acres of beach and pond (including the island) from development, which is now open to all. (Permits required during the summer from the DPW on Blackstone Street). Inquire here for more information.

Remnants of the old trolley tracks that borught people to Silver lake beach remain on this road to the town wells off Cross Street.

The trolley tracks that brought crowds of tourists to Silver Lake are gone, but the beds those tracks were on remain. Parts have been paved over, becoming local streets in the area.

The trolley to Silver Lake passed underneath what is now the SNETT in Bellingham. The underpass has been filled in, allowing (very steep) access to the SNETT between Lake and Center Streets in Bellingham, MA

Other portions of the rail beds remain, bringing visitors thorugh woodland, as well as over to the nearby SNETT (Southern New England Trunkline Trail).

View of Trolley Crossing Farm, from the SNETT in Bellingham. The trolley to Silver Lake carried passengers from Woonsocket, Franklin and Milford to Silver Lake Beach

To get an overview of this beautiful area, and learn more about the history of Silver Lake, here’s our nineteen minute Cable TV show–Finding Easy Walks–at Silver Lake. Happy trails!

Marjorie

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. The newest book is Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.

She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.

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