Bronson Potter short film will be show on Aug. 9 in Mason

MASON – On July 22, 1979, resident Bronson Potter flew his light plane under the Greenville Trestle – much to the delight of the hundreds of people who watched. The FAA, however, was not amused and later suspended his license.

Resident Dave Morrison captured the event on 8 mm film. That film, which lasts about five minutes, was recently rediscovered and will be shown at the Town Hall on Friday. Aug. 9, at 7 p.m. The film is silent and will be accompanied by Jeff Rapsis who regularly accompanies silent films at the Wilton Town Hall Theater.

The program is free, sponsored by the Conservation Commission, Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, Back Lot Films, and several donors. Music for the evening will be provided by a local bluegrass band, Dirty Double Crossers.

Local filmmaker Bill Millios will be on hand to arrange interviews with residents. The film will be used by the Aviation Museum, located at the Manchester Airport, to create a mini-documentary about Potter and his stunt. Stories from those who knew Potter and saw the flight are encouraged.

Asked once why he had done it, Potter called it a “fun and foolish thing to do.”

Potter, an electronics innovator, lived much of his life in Mason and at his death in 2004, bequeathed over 500 acres of land to the Conservation Commission.

The trestle was built by the Peterborough and Shirley Railroad in 1852. At the time, it was considered the highest trestle in the state at over 100 feet above the Souhegan River. The railroad ended in Greenville, never reaching its intended terminus. The original wooden trestle, which burned, was replaced by a steel bridge in 1907.

After the railroad service was discontinued, the trestle was dismantled in 1984. The granite abutments and pylons are all that remain and are visible from Route 31.