Poof Tardiff: 1947 III

Hello fellow Berlinites. A chapter in aviation history was achieved on Wednesday, March 12, 1947, as Carmeno Onofrio, manager of the Berlin Municipal Airport made the first landing with an airplane on the rugged windswept summit of Mt. Washington. This was done in an attempt to ascertain if freight could be transported by aircraft to the summit of the mountain.

Using a piper cub equipped with skis, Onofrio fought shifting winds that lashed at his light craft making the attempt hazardous and extremely difficult.

The Berlin pilot’s decision to attempt “the impossible”, came as a result of a conference that was held at the Glen House in Pinkham Notch on Sunday, March 9, 1947 to which he had been invited.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of flying material from a small field located at the starting point of the Mt. Washington Auto Road (no helicopters yet). Equipment to be ferried up was owned by Northwest Airlines, Wind Turbine of America and the Army Signal Corps. There were two tons of apparatus waiting and more to come, that was normally carried on the backs of men to the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak.

Onofrio made his landing on the second try out of the Berlin Airport on day two. With this, he completed twelve trips and carried up approximately one ton of equipment, averaging almost two hundred pounds per trip. I wrote the whole story to this saga several years ago. This certainly required a lot of bravery and fortitude.

If you have ever driven down the East Milan Road you will notice a huge barn almost opposite the entrance to the state prison, called the Brown Company Barn. Well, in 1947, this huge structure was moved over 1,700 feet across Horne Brook from the old Maynesborough Farm (Chalet area) to the Brown Company Farm. The old barn had stood on its original foundation since the very early 1900’s.

Then, along came a crew of workmen who had strung half-inch cables lengthwise to brace it. A cradle was built beneath it and jacks slowly raised wheels underneath and fastened them securely. More cables were then strung from each end to machinery for motive power.

Part way through the journey, the route crossed a thirty-five foot wide section of Horne Brook using mechanical ingenuity of almost seventy years ago and a forty eight inch culvert. Today, the barn, owned by the Moffett House Museum, sits 1,700 feet away from its original home.

According to Mr. Maurice Quinn, a woods department engineer, who supervised the great move for the company, the barn now had space available for storing 450 tons of bailed hay in addition to housing forty to fifty horses. It also had a veterinarian office, along with a harness and repair shop. One must remember that the Brown Company horses moved a lot of wood back then, with the barn and a pasture a great place for rest and recuperation.

In April of 1947, the mayor and his committee were given the power to act on parking meters for downtown Berlin. Yes, many people will remember that we once had these gadgets to worry about downtown.

The recommendation of the committee on meters of the Chamber of Commerce signed by J. Clare Curtis, relative to the installation of parking meters in certain areas of the city, received approval of the City Council on Tuesday, April 22. The matter was turned over to the mayor, to the committee on recreation and the committee on parking meters with power to act.

The action by the council was preceded by meetings of the mayor and local merchants, members of the Chamber of Commerce, the police commission, the City Marshal and others who were seeking ways and means of alleviating the present (1947) traffic problems. All of these people favored these new devices for downtown.

Initial action on this matter was taken by Mayor Paul A. Toussaint, who had invited a meter company representative to Berlin. Installation of these new meters took place within three months of being approved

The woods department of the Brown Company added another boat to its navy, when they purchased a boat called the “Natanis II” in April of 1947. This was an all steel winch boat designed especially for pulpwood operations on the lakes of the Androscoggin. The “Natanis II” would maneuver on Richardson Lake.

It was powered by a diesel engine and was 28.5 feet in length. The winch on board the boat was connected with the three cylinder engine through a 2 to 1 reduction reverse gear and was able to handle 2,000 feet worth of cable 7/16 of inch in diameter.

The boat was used for towing back the empty boom sticks, as a work boat operating around the booms making hitches, transporting supplies and servicing the larger boats on the lake.

This vessel had a specially designed cage around the propeller to protect it from logs so that it could work right in among the pulpwood sticks that were floating on the water. It was brought to Berlin via the railroad and then transported to the lake by trailer. It replaced a craft called the “Dorothy” which was relocated to Lake Mooslookmeguntic.

Finally, in May of 1947, Miss Joan Teti was chosen as Miss Berlin. Picked from among nine other contestants, charming, sixteen year old Miss Teti won this title at a colorful ceremony held at the state armory (Recreation-Police Department today 2015) on Thursday night May 1.

These contestants walked across the stage, lined up and were interviewed by three judges, who later chose this pretty young lady to reign as the 1947 Miss Berlin. Miss Teti, who was dress in a pink net gown, was then presented a silver cup and 100 dollars. She was putting the money away to help finance her in getting a degree in music. The ceremony was followed by a ball and banquet that was held at the Berlin House on the following Sunday.

Joan was the daughter of Joseph F. Teti of Floral Park Long Island, New York. She resided with her grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Moses Tatroult of 50 Pleasant Street after her mother had passed away. Miss Teti graduated from Berlin High School in 1948. I wonder what ever became of this lady.

I will continue with the history of the year 1947 in Berlin with my next writing.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also, join the many fans of “Once upon a Berlin Time” on Facebook and guess at the weekly mystery picture.

Onofrio 1Carmeno Onofrio

Parking metersParking meters

Curtis J. ClareJ. Clare Curtis

Teti JoanJoan Teti

Poof Tardiff: 1947 II

Hello fellow Berlinites. Continuing with my history of the year 1947, the Nansen Ski Club had its first post war Winter Carnival and a record crowd showed up for the weekend events during the 7th, 8th and 9th of February 1947.

Winter sports enthusiasts from all over the United States and Canada were here to swell the ranks of Berlin’s sports fans, as they gathered at the ski jump to witness competition jumping and cross country events. There were over sixty entries, including one woman jumper, Dorothy Graves of the Edelweiss Ski Club in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

State, local and Milan police directed the traffic for the ski jumping. Motorists who desired to go to Milan, Errol and Colebrook had to take Route 110 and turn right in West Milan to Route 16. All south bound traffic was sent down the East Milan Road to Berlin.

Buses ran from Green Square to the ski jump and made as many runs as they could. All in all, it was a very successful weekend for the city of Berlin with Clarence “Spike” Oleson of the Nansen Ski Club using near perfect form and winning the Class “A” title. The carnival queen for this year was Jeanne St. Pierre.

Oleson, a millwright at the chemical plant, soared to the White Mountain Class “A” title on Sunday afternoon February 9, 1947, combining near perfect form with leaps of 197 and 220 feet.

A former mountain trooper and one time professional jumper, Oleson was the best of more than twenty class “A” contestants on the 80 meter hill. His top jump was 14 feet behind the afternoon’s best standing leap of 234 feet, but his form more than offset the difference. It was just a great day for skiing super star Clarence “Spike” Oleson.

A headline in the local paper of February 7, 1947 stated that the American Legion was seeking to build a huge sports arena in Berlin. This announcement was made by Commander John R. Gothreau, Ryan-Scammon Post No. 36 American Legion. There was a preliminary report by a special committee appointed to study the desirability and feasibility of erecting in Berlin a large multi-use sports arena.

The committee consisted of George Martin Chairman, Rene Richards, Gordon Rush and Michael Savchick. They stated that a very evident need in Berlin to have facilities for indoor skating and hockey with artificial ice, boxing, basketball, all types of exhibitions, such as ice shows, concerts, conventions, religious gatherings and all types of commercial exhibitions made this project eminently desirable from the point of view of providing needed service to the community.

The working group was also of the opinion that the flexibility of activity would make this proposed undertaking feasible as a self liquidating project over a period of years.

Many individuals were contacted to obtain a well rounded opinion on the subject and the comments were favorable in almost every case. Expert opinion was sought from Mr. Donald Kline of the National Recreation Association. Kline was of the opinion that it was very realistic if properly planned. The only arena built back then was the Notre Dame Arena, but I do not believe this was the huge sports complex that was wanted.

In March of 1947, the city elections were held and Berlin had a new mayor. Incumbent Mayor George Bell conceded an early victory to twenty-nine year old attorney Paul A. Toussaint on Tuesday evening March 18. Bell admitted defeat as the election returns showed at an early hour a three to one vote in favor of the young lawyer. Bell then wished his successor God-speed, along with all the luck in the world carrying on the duties as mayor. Mr. Toussaint thus became Berlin’s twenty-second mayor.

The Democratic Party succeeded in having only one of its candidates elected to the council and that was Charles Jeskey. All the rest, along with the mayor were on the Republican ticket. Toussaint served from 1947 to 1950.

As mentioned in last week’s story, the beginning of the Berlin High-Notre Dame rivalry in hockey took place in February of 1947. It was published in Dick Wagner’s “Sports Scene” that maybe these two teams could have a three game series on the so called Notre Dame Rink.

Well, on Thursday February 6, 1947 this rivalry began and it was not a good start for BHS. The paper said that the Mountaineers had the misfortune to play its first hockey game in three years against the probable New Hampshire schoolboy champions. They opposed NDHS in the first intra-city hockey match-up before a packed house and came out on the short end of a 13-0 score.

The Notre Dame skaters had everything their own way, scoring six times in the first period, twice in the second and five times in the third, with two Notre Dame players getting a “Hat Trick”. The BHS team was spirited to the end, but they didn’t stand a chance against the boys from the “Top of the Hill”.

These two teams did play one more time this year and Notre Dame showed its power one more time by defeating Berlin High by a score of 16-1. It was 1962 before Berlin High would ever win a hockey game against Notre Dame and 1963 before they could annex the state championship from them.

The 1947 NDHS power house established the best record yet in its short sports history. It had been developing its skaters over a period of three years. It was a great day of rejoicing for this these young pucksters and their high school when they were informed that their hockey team had been chosen as the opponents of the “Crimson Tide” of Concord High School for the state schoolboy championship playoff.

The Concord team had an impressive record of seventeen consecutive wins obtained in a period of two years, but now they going to meet these “Flying Frenchmen” from the “Paper City”.

This game was played on Saturday February 22, 1947 at the Davis Rink of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, which was the nicest rink that the “Rams” had every played on.

The game was a battle royal between two strong clubs, but the deciding factor seemed to be that Notre Dame had three strong lines as compared to Concord’s single effective combination. The result was that Notre Dame clinched the first NHIAA New Hampshire Schoolboy Hockey Championship by a score of 2-0. This school won eighteen high school state championships before closing their doors in 1972. They were a powerhouse for a long time.

I will continue with the history of Berlin in 1947 in my next writing.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also, join the many fans of “Once upon a Berlin Time” on Facebook and guess at the weekly mystery picture.

NDHS 1947NDHS 1947

Mayor ToussaintMayor Toussaint

Clarence Spike OlesonClarence Spike Oleson

BHS 1947BHS 1947

Rev. Andrew Nelson: Crisis in the Middle East

Imagine sitting at home one day when suddenly you hear loudspeakers screaming from cars driving through the streets. With a hate-filled militancy soldiers declare you must abandon your faith, pay an exorbitant tax—which is more than the value of your home—or leave. You are told you have one hour to decide. If you leave you cannot take your car with you, you must go on foot. To stay is to die, but so is to leave. As you try to decide what to do you hear your beloved elderly neighbor arguing with the soldiers, explaining that this not how we are meant to live, and then you hear a shot and the screams of his daughters as they are taken away, never to be seen again.

Looking at your own two young girls you grab your family, your elderly parents, and you run, making your way into the desert with little food, water, or hope. You wonder why you have been targeted, you wonder where is the help politicians and governments have promised, you wonder where you will go next. In the searing heat you struggle under the weight of your children. At the sight of your parents, who have lived a life of quiet humble dignity, your own heart breaks as you know their lives will end brokenhearted, all because of a hatred that is largely unchallenged by a silent world. Your girls, should the terrorists get hold of them, will be sold as sex slaves—their prices listed online, one price for Christian girls, another for Yazidis, and another for Turkmen. As your heart breaks to the uncertain future that lays ahead, and as it mourns all that has already been lost, you scream for the world that moves by, you scream because you feel someone must break the silence.

James Foley, journalist and parishioner of Holy Rosary Parish in Rochester, broke the silence with his pen and lens, bravely telling the story of suffering peoples. His captors mocked his faith, and he suffered onto death because of it, but he was not silent, his voice and his witness continue to speak and to challenge our hearts.

Sermed Ashkouri, a Syriac Catholic Iraqi man living with his family in Nashua, has not been silent either. He breaks the silence with anyone who is willing to listen and tells the story of ISIL’s targeting of his home parish in Baghdad, Our Lady of Salvation, and of the deaths of members of his own family. Christians and other religious minority communities with a poignancy and a pain that is forged in the fires of suffering. This past summer when he brought his young children to Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad, the Church of his baptism, and they saw the blood-stained walls which tell the story of an ISIL massacre and parishioners gathered for weekend Mass. Sermed wanted his children to see where many in their family died because they refused to be silent, because they refused to give up their faith, and because they refused to let hatred win the day.

Even as the beauty of autumn in New Hampshire arrives, the horror of genocide continues unabated in the Middle East. Christians, Yazidis, Sabea-Mandeans, Kurds, Kaka’e and Turkmen are relentlessly persecuted. Coptic Christians in Egypt, Ethiopia and Eretria are targeted with increasing ferocity. Iraq, which boasted 1.5 million Christians a decade ago, today has less than 200,000. The world has watched as one-third of Syria’s Christian population has fled, and Iraq’s fledgling Yazidi community is in ruin. The very religious minorities which once flourished in a vibrant and diverse Middle East, existing for centuries before Islam’s arrival, are fast disappearing. When they are gone they will not return and lost will be civilizations as ancient as the land itself.

As Europe struggles with how to balance national security and the need for a humanitarian response, the world would be wise to wake up and realize the solution is not in the widespread redistribution of peoples, but rather in eradicating the very violent extremism at its source, from which so many are fleeing. At every level our leaders must recognize the genocide that is happening in the Middle East and unite to stop it. The United Nations’ silence is deafening, as is America’s.

A small step forward was made this past week when House Concurrent Resolution 75 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, calling for the United States to recognize what is happening at the hands of ISIL, and the maniacal intention behind it, as genocide, aimed especially at religious minorities. Representatives Annie Kuster and Frank Guinta are making sure their voices are not silent. Together they co-sponsored this resolution, and personally wrote to the White House asking them to fill the office of State Department Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South East Asia which has sat vacant since being created over a year ago. Senator Kelly Ayotte is leading the way in the Senate by co-sponsoring similar legislation to that introduced in the House. Senator Jeanne Shaheen is reviewing the proposal and considering signing on, and has written to the State Department seeking swifter action on behalf of refugees and religious minorities. Our entire Congressional delegation refuses to be silent, and we should do the same.

Despite ISIL’s targeting of Christian and religious minorities, the State Department refuses to grant these communities expedited and preferential treatment in the processing of visa requests. In the last year the State Department granted nearly 1,000 visas to Syrians, only 28 of whom were Christians. In Iraq it is much the same story with only one out every seven visas being granted to Christians. Christians face a double-edged sword: ISIL persecution on one hand, and the State Department’s reluctance to specifically help the most targeted religious minorities on the other.

The crisis facing Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and other religious minorities in the Middle East should not be seen only as a Christian concern, but rather as a human one. When children wash up on European beaches, when Yazidi girls are enslaved, when homosexuals are thrown from rooftops, when Christians are beheaded and their churches destroyed, when Muslims are shot in the mosques of Mosul for speaking out for peace, they all share in a humanity that ISIL has long abandoned.

Here in New Hampshire leading up to our first in the nation primary, we have a chance to make a difference. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian Liberal, Conservative, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Atheist, believer, non-believer, all of us can raise our voices by seeking out and personally asking presidential candidates what they will do to stop the genocide of religious minorities in the Middle East.

In a land made famous for challenging our politicians to take the tax pledge, perhaps it is time for us to create a new pledge, a pledge for the voiceless victims of genocide. First we must ask every presidential candidate to acknowledge what is happening, and to call it what it is, genocide. We must ask them to use the “G-word.” Then we must challenge them to call on the global community to respond, by bringing war crimes charges against ISIL at the U.N., offering humanitarian aid to those suffering, and support to stopping the violence at its source. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

This primary season may the good people of New Hampshire not be defined by conversations about Donald’s hair, or Hillary’s grand-parenting skills, but rather by the questions we ask the candidates, and the voice we use to speak for our brothers and sisters who suffer in silence. May we be silent no more, and may we challenge the candidates asking for our votes to do the same.

The Rev. Andrew Nelson is vicar of the Good Shepherd and Holy Family parishes in Berlin and Gorham.

Poof Tardiff: 1947

Hello fellow Berlinites. I would like to talk about some of the history and events of Berlin that took place sixty-eight years ago. The 1947 copy of the newspaper in 1947 is very hard to read, as it came out dark on the microfiche machine. Pictures will be impossible to pull, so I will do my best and use others means.

At the beginning of January 1947, the peaceful city of Berlin was being plagued with a number of break-ins. They were taking place in houses, commercial and business establishments.

The robbery of fifty dollars in change from the cash register at Labnon’s Men’s Shop on Main Street was reported on Christmas Day 1946. An investigation also showed that the safe had been forced and that they came in from the rear of the store.

On Saturday December 28, 1946 on the Mason Street Bridge at 10:30 p.m., a Berlin man, John Aylward claimed that he was held up at gunpoint, hit in the head and knocked down. There were two gunmen and the victim gave a great report of what they looked like. They also stole his wallet containing eleven dollars.

Other crimes were: a stolen Ruger pistol, a break at the Berlin Second Hand Store and a two hundred dollar theft from Gosselin’s Paint Store. There were also breaks at Marois’s Garage and the Ford Motor Mart.

Chief Hynes believed that these bandits or gang were operating with a car and he was seeking the help of the public. If I find an arrest in these cases as I research 1947, I will let my readers know.

During the middle of January 1947, the Brown Company presented this city with a completely modern ambulance to replace the one that was in operation. It was announced by Wentworth Brown who was the Vice President of the Brown Company back then.

This new ambulance was delivered to the city within three months of the announcement. It would be available for use twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.

Under the arrangements with city officials, the ambulance that was now in use would be returned to the Brown Company upon delivery of the new vehicle. The ambulance they had then was given to the city in 1944.

The newest ambulance was the most modern one yet and made with an all steel structure. New features had been embodied into the vehicle to ensure maximum comfort and safety. It would also have enough equipment to accommodate a second patient. What a difference between the ambulance of today and back then.

In January, there was a headline that stated the largest skating rink Berlin had ever seen would be built at the foot of Mt. Jasper. It would be a part of a series of rinks that would be established in this city.

I know of the skating rink on which I use to skate at the bottom of River Street, along side the Dead River, but I did not think that it was very large. I also remember the rinks in other sections of the city that operated for the people who wanted to skate or play hockey. The only large rink that I remember was the one across from the old Community Club, where all of the grammar schools played their hockey games.

By the end of January 1947, there were ceremonies for the opening of this grand rink, which was 200 by 80 feet. I do not recall anything this size in the area which I grew up.

Here is what the paper said about its grand opening: Mayor George Bell and the City Council, as well as members of the police and fire departments, together with representatives of various clubs attended the official opening of the new skating rink situated at the foot of Mt. Jasper on Sunday January 26, 1947.

This rink was opened under the auspices of the Berlin Senior Hockey League, which was responsible for the skating area and its future developments into a first class hockey and public skating locale.

A colorful parade headed by the Joliet Drum and Bugle Corps, officials of the police and fire departments, including members of various clubs marched from Mason Street to the rink at the end of Willow Street. The Berlin High band also took part in this parade, so it was quite a big deal. Members of the league and officials of the city, as well as heads of the city departments all cooperated towards achieving this end.

This wide expanse of ice was divided into a hockey rink and a public rink suitable for figure skating and racing. Although the hockey cushion was not yet in shape for the games contemplated by the league, the other surface was open for public skating on Sunday January 19.

A spokesman for the league declared that “He hoped that all would take advantage of the opportunity that was offered in the interest of sportsmanship, healthful recreation and enjoyment obtained from winter sports.

The NYA building next to the rink would be used to warm up and put on ones skates. This is a place of worship today. Maybe somebody remembers this rink, but I was too young. This skating rink must have been on what is now (2015) part of the Memorial Field.

In sports, it looked as though Berlin High School would have a hockey team in 1947. That being the case, a three game series between BHS and the well established Notre Dame High School hockey team would be a natural. Thus, the start of the great local high school confrontations took place attracting huge crowds and lasting until 1972.

Finally, two young and very small athletes of Berlin attained a long sought goal on Saturday afternoon, January 11, 1947. They were Larry Hodgman and Robert Hoos, students at Berlin Junior High School.

Ever since they could walk, these lads had been skiing. From late fall until early spring, year after year, they were using barrel staves. They became well versed in all types of skiing, to include downhill, cross country, slalom and most of all jumping.

As was the case with many Berlin boys, it was the jumping that they really enjoyed. Hour after hour they would practice, first on little jumps, then on larger ones. Soon they were negotiating the Nansen Ski Jump (Little Nansen) near Twelfth Street with the greatest of ease.

Finally and long last, the day of days arrived. Jumping conditions were almost perfect and their equipment was sufficient and in proper shape. They were ready for the big test.

Up the long landing hill they trudged, excited and somewhat nervous. To the top of the jump they climbed and each thinking to himself “this is it”. They put on their skis and adjusted their bindings. They looked way down below and then at each other with confidence. Then, one after the other they flew down the huge chute and successfully completed a jump off the “Big Nansen”.

Even though there were many other Berlin boys who wanted to do this same feat back ten, few would accomplish what Larry and Bobby did.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also join the many fans of “Once upon a Berlin Time” on face book and guess at the weekly mystery picture.

Hodgman Lary CLary C. Hodgman

Hoos RobertRobert Hoos

Looking down the NansenLooking down the Nansen

Berlin late 1940sBerlin late 1940s

Ithaca Bound: Early Autumn Colors

This past Sunday, driving to and back from having lunch at the Northland Dairy Bar, the colors of early Autumn made it difficult to keep my attention on the road before me. Things of beauty have always spoken to who I am as a human being. Sunday afternoon was no exception. Perhaps some of you sensed its calling, also.
A particular spot that called for me to come and bring my camera is just a short walk from my home in Milan. Most of you have surely passed it at one time or another. it’s about a mile and half passed the village school, as you drive north on Route 16. Ursula’s Snack Stand will be on your left, and the spot that called for my attention will be on your right. Since the spot is quite close to where I live, I walked to it.
For those of you who are camera enthusiasts, as I am, the camera I am using these days is a Sony a6000. This is one of the mirrorless cameras that are becoming so popular these days. As my wife and I travel quite a bit, the fact that they are rather small and therefore much easier to carry around that the Digital Single Lens Reflex and its lenses that I had been using, I decided to try one. The Sony a6000 was recommended by many a professional photographer. I bought one a couple of months ago, and have never looked back. That is the camera I used to take the pictures that accompany this article.
Regrettably, the photos I took Sunday were taken in the afternoon. Afternoon usually is not the best of times for taking pictures. The light in the early morning and early evening hours is considered the ideal light for getting the best out of your camera and lens. Of course, you and your choice of what to take and how best to frame and compose it are the most important components of any photograph you take. It’s your artistic vision that matters most.
Autumn just began a week ago, and the best of the fall coloring is yet to come. Best of all, living up where we do, dazzling reds, oranges, golds, and browns are all around us. We have but to look. Mother Nature’s early fall clothes closet shows her at her best for many of us. The colors of Autumn hold a prominent place in my portfolio.
Look for more fall foliage shots to come. For now, here are a couple to whet the appetite.
Ithaca Bound writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Ithaca Bound is the pen name of Dick Conway. His e-mail is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..