THEN: This photograph was taken in Great Barrington when the original “GB” planting was first installed by Jack Seelig (shown here) in the late 1980s. As the hedge grew, it was maintained for years by volunteer Paul Gibbons. Photo courtesy of Great Barrington Town Clerk’s Office.

THEN & NOW: Great Barrington’s ‘GB’ Park

The well-known “GB” shaped hedge was installed by Ward’s Nursery and Jack Seelig, shown in the photograph above.

The grassy knoll overlooking the present-day “red bridge” on Route 7 in Great Barrington had different names over the decades. In the early 1900s, the family of mill owner Parley Russell gave the land to the town of Great Barrington. First known as Russell Park, the site was once home to mill housing. In 1986, the park was rededicated to Selectman and Parks Commissioner Charles “Charlie” Castronova. The well-known “GB” shaped hedge was installed by Ward’s Nursery and Jack Seelig, shown in the photograph above.

First-time visitors to town once asked former Congregational Church Pastor Charles Van Ausdall what the “GB” stood for. He replied, “God Bless.”

Additional views of the park are shown and described below.

THEN: The present-day red bridge over the Housatonic River on Route 7 was painted green when this photo was taken in 1967. The decorative lamplights were later removed. The fellow in the blue shirt running across the bridge is actor Tony Perkins. Photo courtesy of Gary Leveille.
THEN: Local resident and marching band leader George Ryan guided these sure-footed musicians through the park during the 1967 filming of the movie “Pretty Poison,” starring Tony Perkins and Tuesday Weld. Photo courtesy of Great Barrington Historical Society.
NOW: The “GB” hedge displayed a crusty coating of snow when this evening image was taken a few years ago. Photo by Gary Leveille.

Correction: In the original article, Leveille wrote that the park was dedicated in 1987. It was dedicated in 1986.