Hello fellow Berlinites. We now had Catholic church services in both English and French with the building of St. Kieran's Church in 1894-1895, but the town of Berlin was a multilingual town and services in two languages did not meet the requirements of all of its citizens.
Accordingly, in 1887, the Scandinavian Lutherans of the town formed themselves into a parish and built St. Paul's Lutheran Church in the Norwegian Village and secured the services of a resident Scandinavian pastor, Reverend S. N. Garmoe.
The St. Barnabas mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church was organized by the labors of the Reverend William Lloyd Himes of Concord. This mission owed both its beautiful edifice and the land on which it stood to the generosity of Mr. Henry H. Furbish, who during his residence in Berlin gave freely both of thought and of money to every enterprise likely to be of benefit to the town. In 1896, the Reverend W. B. MacMaster was in charge of this mission.
The Methodists, after worshiping for some time in the Universalist edifice, had built of themselves a commodious structure. It was the first church building on the west side of the Grand Trunk Railway and the services of their pastor, the Reverend F. C. Potter, gave great satisfaction to the members of this congregation. This church still stands today on the corner of First Avenue and Mount Forist Street.
Now, if to be without doctors or lawyers was to be happy, then the town of Berlin must have enjoyed over 50 years of pure bliss. Until 1881, the townsfolk here had to go to Gorham for their medicine and law, as well as theology.
In that year, Dr. Wardwell, who had long administered to the ills of Berlin people while in Gorham, decided to make his home in this up-river town. By now, Berlin was beginning to show signs of future growth.
Wardwell was then followed soon by Dr. F. A. Colby, who became the senior physician here in point of residence after Wardwell's death. By 1896, there were nine doctors and this town, representing two great schools of medicine.
Also, in 1881, the first lawyer came to town in the person of R.N. Chamberlain, who, in his 15 years of residence in Berlin had not only attained eminence in practice of his profession, but had also been prominent in the field of politics. In 1893, he was the speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Mr. Chamberlain was here alone at least four years, before being joined by Daniel J. Daley, who moved here from Lancaster in 1885. Daley also became one of Berlin's great mayors.
These two lawyers being in Berlin was very satisfactory, as there were just sides enough for each case to go around. Then, the intrusion of Herbert H. Goss took place, when he also came over from Lancaster. That made three and put an end to this town's legal utopia. Others followed in greater or less intervals and by 1896 this town had seven lawyers.
Of these men, Mr. Daley served four years as County Solicitor and his partner Mr. Goss, who also held the same position, was the only Republican ever elected to that office in Coos County by then.
Mr. William H. Paine was also in practice here back then and he was formally the Rockingham County Solicitor. The judge of the police court in 1896 was George F. Rich, a partner of Mr. Chamberlain, who was the first judge of that court.
It was in fact, very worthy of noticing back then, that the oldest lawyer in Berlin was not yet 40 years of age and every lawyer that settled here since the first one in 1881, was still here by the mid-1890's.
As was mentioned in an earlier story, the fast growth of Berlin had principally taken place within 1880-1896 and it had been remarked that this growth had been due to two reasons. They were the magnificent water power and its proximity to the forests.
Berlin's foundation, geographically speaking is solid rock; but from a commercial standpoint it was founded on wood, thus, “The City the Trees Built”. Until 1896, every product of its mills had its origin in the forests, it's pulp and paper, as well as its lumber.
It was through this town's large corporations that advantage had been taken of these natural facilities and to them that was owed whatever prosperity Berlin had back then.
The Berlin Mills Company (Brown Company) in 1866 succeeded to the mills and privileges of the H. Winslow and Company (Heritage Park today), as has been stated. From that time on to 1896, their business had been kept annually growing and spreading in one direction or another, making it the largest manufacturing concern in New England, if not the East by the mid-1890s.
This company already owned vast tracts of timberland in New Hampshire and Maine, aggregating about 300,000 acres, cutting and driving their own logs. On their lands, this company was cutting about sixty million feet of logs, spruce and pine, which they drove down the Androscoggin River to their mills in Berlin.
The description of their business in the late 1800's could easily be made to fill a small book, but some conception of it may be afforded by giving my readers a few figures. The Berlin Mills Company, in these days, employed about the mills and yard in the summer, from 600 to 800 men. In the winter, when their lumber operations were ongoing, they gave employment to about 1,200 men and during the spring, they furnished work to about 450 River drivers.
The cutting and driving of their lumber necessitated the owning of a large number of camps with a vast supply of camp outfits, tools, etc. They also had large farms in Berlin and Milan and also on the Diamond and the Magalloway Rivers. These farms were used to raise a considerable amount of feed used by their horses in the woods and in the mill yards.
The sawmill at Berlin was situated at the head of the falls and it contained six band saws, or “Band Mills”, the modern substitute for the old-fashioned circular saw, which went through a huge log about as fast as a person could walk. In addition to these saws, there were two shingle machines, two clapboard machines and two lathe machines. That was quite a sawmill 120 years ago.
The Berlin Mills Company sawmill was now just the start of some of the major industries that had commenced in Berlin back then.
I will continue with this old Berlin story in my next writing.
St. Paul's Church 1889
William H. Paine
Berlin Mills Sawmill