VOLUME 50 Spring – Summer 2021
Awesome News: Historical Society Acquires 72 High Street location!
On April 13, 2021, the Berlin & Coos County Historical Society acquired the former Fleury-Patry Funeral Home building, located at the corner of School and High Streets. The location had previously served Berlin families since 1946, with the business recently being purchased by Bryant Funeral Homes. The society’s acquisition of the building was made possible through a generous donation by RJE Properties, Incorporated, owner of the building. BCCHS contributed the remainder of the negotiated settlement. This new acquisition contains nearly 9,000 square feet of space which features limitless possibilities for exhibits, including a community room which can seat up to 150 people. The layout of these beautiful rooms will certainly enhance the society’s ability to further promote and explain the history of Berlin and Coos County through expanded research, lectures, and traveling exhibits. Lastly, this facility will provide much needed storage and archival space for historical objects and documents that are currently being stored elsewhere, as well as for future acquisitions. It was not the intention of the society to acquire an additional property at this time. However, given the circumstances presented regarding availability, sustainability, and economic prudence, the move made perfect sense.
Not long after securing the Moffett House in 1996, did the board realize that an overwhelming response from the community regarding the donation of historically significant items would soon cause the Moffett House to burst at the seams. A temporary location to store artifacts was then secured. The option of expanding the Moffett House by building an addition was explored, but soon became an impractical exercise. Concerns regarding zoning restrictions, and excess ledge finally ended hopes of expansion. With the availability of the 72 High Street property becoming a viable option, the society opted to take ownership of the property and to develop it to enhance its mission. With the property in close proximity to the Moffett House, both buildings will now complement each other in the telling of the unique story of Berlin and North Country. Stay tuned for progress updates. Details will be forthcoming regarding a formal dedication and open house of the society’s newest property. What a great way to celebrate the area’s unique heritage as our society continues to grow! We are excited to provide even more ways of connecting our community with our past. Please join us!