Twin lions guard the entrance to the Spruces Mobile Home Park. They serve as illuminated beacons to guide residents heading home on dark and stormy nights.
Some people say the concrete beasts originally came from the Mount Hope Farm. This is not true according to former Spruces' builder and one-time owner, Albert Bachand.
Bachand wrote a book, "Shortcut to Everything" published in 1988. In it he describes the previous history of the lions that stand five feet high and eight feet long--about the size of a fully-grown king of beasts. They stand on each side of the iron gates at the entrance to the park and are on pedestals 10 feet high. Each weighs about a ton.
Bachand's lions came from Albany where they once commemorated Robert Fulton's voyage up the Hudson in his first-ever steam- boat, the "Clermont". This boat was called "Fulton's Folly" after its inventor because it was thought to be too heavy to float.
The original lions were made of plaster and they didn't weather too well out-of-doors. They flanked the statue of Hendrik Hudson who discovered the river bearing his name. This was outside the state capitol building. In 1951 with the lions showing their age, they were shunted off to the Lanzette Marble Works on South Pearl street where Bachand located them. He had them transported to the Spruces where they and their pedestals were rebuilt with reinforced concrete. The pedestals were created from concrete drainpipes placed end to end.
The wrought-iron gates over which the lions hover are never closed. Bachand states that they came from a North Adams scrap yard.