Hello fellow Berlinites. I have written a little about this year and only big events, so I will try to cover a lot of the history of Berlin during the year of 1913.
When I do a history of the years here in Berlin, I normally get yearbooks from all the schools that were operating at the time, Brown Bulletins and city directories. The year 1913 had a graduating class, but no yearbook can be found and the Brown Bulletins did not exist until 1919. If there is a directory I use it, but again there is nothing for 1913, so in this case I use the annual reports from the Moffett House and old local newspapers that I get off the microfiche at the Public Library.
1913 was a very big year for building in the city of Berlin, as this area was booming economically. The mills and the logging left very little people unemployed. Our mayor at this time was Daniel J. Daly, with chief of police being George B. Day and our chief engineer ( Fire Chief) was Edward Sheridan. We had 10 patrolmen back then, but I do not know how many firemen we had. One thing that I do know is that there were seven horses in this department.
An advertisement in the local paper from a jobbing and retail druggist in Berlin went like this: “We have established a permanent mailing department to our business. Send us your orders for any kind of medicine, toilet articles, sundries, candies etc., or your doctors prescriptions and we will send your goods by the next mail. All prices are lower than the lowest anywhere.
Our preparations for your sick dogs, cats, birds, pigeons, geese, ducks, turkeys, dogs, horses, cows, calves and sheep are guaranteed to give satisfaction or money refunded. We deliver all orders free of charge at your door in Berlin and within 150 miles distance, no matter what you want in our line of goods, liquid or dry stuff, one ounce to his many times eleven pounds, as your order will amount to, will be delivered free”. Cote and Marchand, 40 Main St., Berlin. There had to be catch to this advertisement, but then, I am not sure.
A January 9th news item said that there were “75 happy children” in Berlin. Happiness was pictured on the faces of 75 little boys and girls when they called at Stahl-Clark's store (Cornerstone today) on Tuesday the last day of 1912 when the Berlin Lodge of Eagles made their annual distribution of gifts to the needy.
As they marched from the store onto Main Street with their arms full of clothing and other items, people could see that it was more blessed to give than to receive and that the Eagles members were very thoughtful remembering the poor. The committee was comprised of William G. DuPont, along with William McCann and Arthur Gendron.
In the middle of January, it was decided that the only way that Berlin could spread out physically was to create another ward. The “”East Side” of this city was growing rapidly in population and mercantile enterprise and it went without saying that a casual view of the territory of this side of the Androscoggin River was sufficient to convince anyone that improvements of all kinds were now needed in this section and a demand would become imperative.
Also, it was announced that the longer such improvements were delayed the more expensive the construction would be and thus a greater inconvenience to the residents there. Since Berlin became a city in 1897, just 16 years before 1913, there had been but one East Side resident on the City Council and before the expiration of his term, he moved across the river, leaving this portion of Berlin entirely without representation on the Council.
The proposition to create a ward comprising the whole East Side would give this section voice in the city government and this would bring attention to the requirements of this area. So, the only way that the people could bring about the desired results seem to be the creation of Ward 4.
This article at the beginning of January had a lot more in it, but I think my readers understand what took place. So, it would not be long for the East Side to become Ward 4.
On Tuesday evening, February 25, 1913, about 200 of Berlin's enterprising citizens met at Bell's Hall, on the corner of Pleasant and Mechanic Street. This would be directly across Pleasant street from today's Gold House Pizza. They met there to organize the project for the erection of a Young Men's Christian Association building.
This meeting was called to order by the state secretary of the YMCA back then. A chairman, Mayor Daley and a secretary, C. P. Kimball of the organizing committee would be chosen. Mr. O. B. Brown stated that the proposed building would not be a memorial to his father W. W. Brown and to get the funds proposed from the elder Brown, the people had to take an active part in the success of this undertaking.
The grounds that were proposed for the new YMCA building in Berlin were donated by the B+M Railway and the International Paper Company, but there was some objection to the proposed site that it would be out-of-the-way and difficult to access.
Mr. Brown suggested that if anyone present had any objection to offer on this point, they should rise and make known their position. No one objected and Mr. Brown then stated that the Berlin Mills Company (Brown Company) would build a bridge from a point near the public library to connect with the YMCA grounds. Furthermore, Brown announced the intention that the Berlin Mills Company, the International Paper Company and the Burgess Company would contribute one half of the expense for the maintenance and repairs for said bridge. This bridge started right across Main Street from the beginning of High Street.
Finally, it was estimated that such a building in Berlin would cost about $68,000, of which the contribution of the late W. W. Brown (died in 1911) would be $40,000. The committee then commenced in a big way to raise the funds for our old Community Club (YMCA).
I will continue with the history of the year 1913 in my next writing.