About Us

The mission of the Berlin & Coos County Historical Society is to educate a broad and diverse public about the county’s rich history, culture and ethnic roots with an eye to showing their significance to our lives today. In support of this mission, the society collects, preserves and displays materials pertaining to Coos County in general and Berlin in particular.

The Berlin & Coos County Historical Society (BCCHS) was founded in 1990. In 1996 Mrs. Mary Moffett donated her home at 119 High Street to BCCHS to house objects and writings that have historical and cultural significance to Coos County, particularly Berlin, NH. BCCHS named the Building “The Moffett House Museum and Genealogy Center.” The Structure was built in approximately 1890 with minor changes between then and 1949 and is on a 100 x 100 lot. The cellar contains the restored office and treatment center of Dr. Irving Moffett who was an Osteopath beginning in 1932 and practiced in this location from 1949 until his death in 1993.

The Moffett House & Genealogy Center is the repository for about 2500 historical objects, 1612 photographs, and 3413 historically related books, documents and 3004 binders.  It also contains the largest library of genealogical material North of Manchester.

BCCHS also owns and is in the process of restoring theBrown Company Barns on East Side River Road in Berlin. These two historic barns were last used by the Brown Company as a location for their work horses to take short periods of rest. These barns are the last of what remains of Brown Company Logging.

63 Responses to About Us

  1. Annette M. Nadeau says:

    The Berlin and Coos County Historical Society is a great place to touch base with one’s roots if from Berlin, NH and the surrounding area. Thanks to the hard working volunteers within the Society, we all have a wonderful and easy way to check back in time with fond memories of what Berlin once was for each and everyone of us. With determined folks still living in Berlin, we will see it come around and prosper once again. I look forward to retiring back in the area. I just love and miss the people and the mountains of my home town area. I look forward to receiving your newsletter. Its very informative; thank you. Keep up the great work!!

  2. Arthur A. Nadeau "Jo-Jo" says:

    The Moffett House is a great place of entertainment for people who appreciate learning what they come from. The community of Berlin NH is a piece of my life that helped to develop me as a person. The community and my family made me the person I am. Family members, high school coaches, teachers, friends and neighbors all had a hand in molding my character. To the people who made The Moffett House and this web site possible I would like to say thank-you much.

  3. Bruce Valley says:

    The Moffet House and its vast holdings offer exceptional historical perspective on Berlin, and act as the primary focus for capturing the unique history of “The City That Logs Built”. For visiting authors working on books about Berlin and its fabled Maroons hockey club (The Flying Frenchmen), Moffet House has also provided “4 star” cooperation, assistance and encouragement.

  4. Paul "Poof" Tardiff says:

    Every Berlinite must see this great place and the fantastic work done by its volunteers. Watch old Berlin come alive and relive its rich past with a visit to this great historical center in what was once called the “Paper City” and still called “The City that Trees Built”.

  5. Therese Vaillancourt Duran says:

    Whenever I go back “home” to visit I always make time to go explore the Moffett House. There are so many treasures there that they have preserved from High School Year books from all the high schools that were once in Berlin to documents in their computers to access your ancestors. Thank you to all the volunteers that devote hours of their time to make this possible. Thanks to the Web Master who has made this web site possible. It looks great.

  6. Paul Marquis says:

    I try to go to the Moffett House every time I’m in Berlin. It is a great source of information for Genealogist. It is a place where, through their extensive memorabilia,you can go back in time. For me it brings back wonderful memories of my childhood and the wonderful people of Berlin that I have known. It was a great place to grow up. I know longer live in Berlin but I’m very fond of the City and its people. Thank you volunteers!!

  7. Linda Witmer says:

    My great grandfather was Eli J. King, and he was the mayor of Berlin in the 20’s. My grandmother, Delida K. (her mother Margaret Shalow Ferrari? died (1906) a couple of years after she was born and Eli then remarried to Marion) also grew up there. I was wondering if you had any information on my grandfather and his family that you would be able to send to me. I’m not sure if you do that or not. My mother is getting on in years, but she remembers all of the wonderful summers (and a few cold winters) that she spent there with her grandparents at the “King Compound”. I would really appreciate any information that you could send to me!
    Thank you,
    Linda Witmer

  8. Leah Tourond says:

    Thank You to Jacklyn Nadeau for her help in finding obits and photos related to the family of Albert Parish ….from Albert’s long lost relatives in British Columbia Canada. Thank you is not really enough.

  9. The Moffett House is a great place for the people of Berlin to find out information about there past! My website about Berlin’s history has a link to there website, http://www.berlinhistory.weebly.com

  10. Jeanette Murray Gaddy says:

    I could never fully express my appreciation to those outstanding volunteers of the Moffett House. This isn’t “just a house with loads of books and documents” etc…. It’s documentation of the heart and soul of what made Berlin such a wonderful place to live. It provides the rich history of how Berlin came to be. Having served in the military, marrying a military man and living in so many beautiful places, none ever compared to home. I lived in Germany a total of 7 years, saw beautiful mountains, forests, lakes and rivers but none could compare to those beautiful White Mountains of NH, White Lake, Moose Brook, even the Androscoggin River. My daughter’s high school graduation was conducted at the Worms Cathedral in Worms, Germany. I was in awe of this place knowing I was in the church where Martin Luther denounced his Catholic church and government, and created his own church, but even this Cathedral paled in comparison to my beloved St. Anne’s Church. I still get goose bumps when I walk in there to attend Mass, or just light a candle. How interesting that the one place I worked so hard to get away from, is the one place I miss so much. Thank you so much to all of you for what you do, many thanks to Poof Tardiff for his wonderful historical writings. I love reading his books…please keep them coming, and to the wonderful person responsible for this website, YOU ARE AWESOME! See you next time I “come home”!

  11. Responding to Linda Witmer’s post on 6/24/2011: I am the Granddaughter of Eli J. King. I have a lot of the information you want, including many photos. I was born in Berlin, NH on 3/30/45, the Daughter of Leo E. King and Laura Ida May Marois King. My father was the sixth and last child born to Eli and Margaret on 4/16/1906. Margaret died on 4/28/1906. As you probably know, Delida was born on 4/22/1904. We have a lot to talk about. Please go to my website to get my e-mail address or obtain my phone number from Odette at the Berlin and Coös County Historical Society (thank you so much, Odette). Can’t wait to talk!

  12. James Patry says:

    Mrs. Leclerc has been outstandingly helpful in helping me learn about my roots. The geneaological info. I’ve gathered has been interesting, to say the least. The Moffett House is a gem.

  13. Donald "Spike" Savage says:

    Had a great time researching my ancesters at “The Moffett House” with the assistance of Mrs. Nadeau last week. I came away with a great deal of information and sources for my tree thanks to the extensive records that have been compiled in one place by the volunteers at this location. I have been putting out the word in Northern Maine about the records that are available so you may be receiving inquiries in the future. Thanks again for the assistance.
    “Spike” Savage

  14. Eleanor Batchelder says:

    I have a demitasse cup that has a picture of Mt. Forest from the Opera House Block, Berlin, NH, on it. The bottom of the cup reads, “Made in Germany for Berlin Mills Co., Berlin, NH” I also have the saucer. Is this something the Historical Society would like? My mother was born in Berlin in 1907 and I found this in some of her belongings. Please resond by email. Thank you. Eleanor Koppang Batchelder

  15. Jim Nolet says:

    I grew up three houses up the street from the Moffet house on High Street. I cant wait to go you back there again. Other than to see the lot that used to have my house on it. I want to see Dr Moffits house. I remembered him walking the neighorhood. He was a wonderful man. I am sure I will enjoy the house. Jim Nolet

  16. Zona O'Dowd says:

    This is a wonderful place for research. Not only do they have Berlin information, they collect info from all over the area and Canada. There is one room that the records are all in French, lots from Canada (Quebec) and they can translate them! I don’t understand a whole lot of French so this is very helpful to me. Mostly Catholic records as the Catholic Church is very organized and keeps records for everything. So 1/2 of the family is getting completed. Just wish the other churches were as good at record keeping and sharing! The other room has yearbooks, Brown company news letters, town reports, telephone books, it’s great and you never know where your next clue will come from. The only place that has more information is in Concord (library) and it’s not as extensive for this region.

  17. Andrew E Oleson says:

    I am now 84 years old, I G rew up in berlin 153 denmark street. my parents were petra & olaf oleson,clarence & alton were my older brothers and were skiiers in the early to mid 30s, alton passed away only a few years ago his wife norma passed last yr.I was unable to attend as my wife was very ill, ola who knew all about the situation ,I am the last of the original family,I left berlin to go into the service in 1944 and only went back to visit,however i have alwaqys missed berlin and hope to some day go back and spend some time,i have lots of health problems caused in the military so i go to boston va for my treatments,but still could make it a reality,and will some day,and would like to visit your museum,do you have any books that i could purchase? tdhank you so much,it was like talking to you;;my home phone # is again, thank you so much,would like to speak with you;;

  18. Calucky says:

    I could never fully express my aippeciatron to those outstanding volunteers of the Moffett House. This isn’t just a house with loads of books and documents etc . It’s documentation of the heart and soul of what made Berlin such a wonderful place to live. It provides the rich history of how Berlin came to be. Having served in the military, marrying a military man and living in so many beautiful places, none ever compared to home. I lived in Germany a total of 7 years, saw beautiful mountains, forests, lakes and rivers but none could compare to those beautiful White Mountains of NH, White Lake, Moose Brook, even the Androscoggin River. My daughter’s high school graduation was conducted at the Worms Cathedral in Worms, Germany. I was in awe of this place knowing I was in the church where Martin Luther denounced his Catholic church and government, and created his own church, but even this Cathedral paled in comparison to my beloved St. Anne’s Church. I still get goose bumps when I walk in there to attend Mass, or just light a candle. How interesting that the one place I worked so hard to get away from, is the one place I miss so much. Thank you so much to all of you for what you do, many thanks to Poof Tardiff for his wonderful historical writings. I love reading his books please keep them coming, and to the wonderful person responsible for this website, YOU ARE AWESOME! See you next time I come home !

  19. Barb ODonahue says:

    The Berlin Historical Society has been a god-send for researching my ancestors in that area. The are the best!

  20. Arabian horse photos by R Montminy says:

    Photo’s of Arabian horse Maynsboro Farm 100th anniversary By R Montminy

  21. D.F. "Derc" D'Ercole says:

    Our recent trip back home included another trip to the Moffett House. Walt Nadeau and the staff are so friendly and helpful in assisting me locate what I needed to find. I even ran into my old BHS football teammate, Poof Tardiff. What a great time we had reminiscing ………we are so grateful for Poof’s contributions. I can’t wait for our return trip to the Northcountry, when I intend to spend time digging into the Hockey Town archives. Anyone from the area that hasn’t been in for a visit needs to stop by and treat themselves. Thanks again, Walter.

  22. Jonah Robert king says:

    I came upon this site by searching for my grandfather’s name (Leo King) and my great grandfather’s name (Eli King). I saw two previous comments from others related to me. I was wondering if I could get Email adresses for Linda Witmer and Lori King. Thank you.

  23. The dedication of the staff and volunteers at the Moffett House has been captured by the Moose Mountain blog in their summary of the celebration 100th Anniversary of William Robinson Brown’s importing of Arabian horses from England, France and Egypt in 1912. I am amazed at the amount of work this team has done restoring the barns and organizing this event. Congratulations and thank you for everything you do!

  24. We were at you barn sales on Saturday August 10, 2013. We would like to know when the next sale will be? W were told Sept but can not find it anywhere on your site. We would like to make it to the next one that you are going to have . Thank-you

  25. Ken Broomfield says:

    I am researching the Shevlin family and have recently found out that a branch settled in Coos. I recognise some of the names in the Brown Bulletin and would be grateful if someone would contact me about obtaining more information. I am in the UK so will be unable to make a visit in the foreseeable future.

  26. Gordon David Irwine says:

    I am researching a former worker of the Brown Company, working at Cupsupptic in Maine. Bernard Laurence OTIS was married to my Grand Aunt Lina OTIS formely Phillips (nee IRWINE). I am looking for anyone (I know it’s a slim chance) that may know anything of Bernard or Lina or there daughter Arlene G Otis.
    Bernard was born in Norrigdewalk in June 10th 1890 and in the 1940 census he was described as a mechanic. So it’s possible his employment with Browns started after 1940 but before the ww2 draft of 1942 as his registration card shows Browns as his employers. They lived at 26 Main Street in Coolebrook in 1940 and had been there certainly since 1935.
    I would love to come and see the Museum and will hope one day that finances allow me to make the trip from the UK.

  27. Emily Kert says:

    I am writing from NH Magazine and we are doing an article on the North Country. Are there any new exhibits happening at your museum this fall? Also, do you know of any other museums in the North Country with new exhibits coming out this fall?

    Thank you,
    Emily Kert

  28. Bruce Rice says:

    I am attempting to purchase a Berlin NH 100th Anniversary Christmas Ornament and have it shipped to me. Can you assist me with that ?

    Thank you

  29. A. Lori King says:

    Responding to Jonah Robert King message dated 3/6/2013. Jonah, sorry it took me two years to see your message but here I am, your father’s half-sister, youngest daughter of Leo King and Laura King, granddaughter of Eli J. King. I have not talked to your dad in a few years, hope all is well. I’d love to e-mail with you and most of all to talk to all of the family. I’ll e-mail you as soon as I get your e-mail. I guess you would be my half-nephew if there is such a thing! You and I met around 1989 when I was at John’s house in Windham with my now husband David. Lovingly, Lori King.

  30. Gary Leveille, archivist Great Barrington MA Historical Society says:

    Hello. Do you know of the Lancaster NH Historical Society has an email address?
    We have a question for them, and I much prefer email to phone.

  31. Donald Leclerc says:

    Gary i am tring to find Lancaster Historical e-mail will e.mail you soon . Don BCCHS

  32. Suzanne Smith says:

    Always have a wonderful time visiting. My son doesn’t leave the house to do anything or go out anywhere, but when he does, it is always to visit the Moffet House. Thank you very much for letting us come in and visit. Every time we come it is always a new adventure.

  33. Bill Richards says:

    I played hockey against the Berlin Maroons semi pro team in 1958. We played in a very old rink near the Hotel Costello. Does anybody have any information regarding this old hockey arena or any pictures. I know it was not the Notre Dame Arena

  34. Joan Dawson says:

    This is probably going to be a long shot and I will likely have to come to Berlin NH to look through some books to answer this question, but I see a number of Kings who posted here, so I will as well. In the 1900 census, I see that my great grandfather who was then going by the name of Telesphore King (he had been Telesphore Roy) was 38 years old and was living with his five children, his young 18 year old wife called Helen King then and with the 62 year old mother of his wife who died in 1897 in Berlin NH from typhoid fever. (She was my great grandmother.) His wife’s name had been Eugenie Joncas Roy and mother-in-law’s name was Flore Joncas. I have found the death info on both Eugenie and Flora, but I am stymied when it comes to Telesphore. Someone has entered the beginnings of a tree in ancestry.com but there are a lot of mistakes, so I don’t know if I can trust that his year of death was 1903 like that says. They don’t give any sources for where they got that information. My oldest cousin said she heard he got hit by a train, maybe in Berlin, maybe in Montreal. Ancestry.com gives me the death info for lots of Telesphore Roy (and King) men but not for this one whose father’s name was Thomas Roy (Roi) and his mother was Josephine Roy (Roi). If any of you Kings have any relationship to Helen King (also called Elen King) and know what happened to her husband, I would love to hear how/when/where he died and where he was buried. Thanks!

  35. Joan Dawson says:

    Just thought I would let anyone reading this know that I found where and when my great grandfather, Telesphore Roy, died. He died on January 2, 1907 in Montreal and was buried January 5, 1907 in the Notre-Dame-Des-Neiges cemetery in Montreal. I don’t have confirmation that he died getting hit by a train, but I am happy just to be able to “wrap” this much up!

  36. Barbara Pascoe says:

    Hello: note you are trying to find a web site or email address for Lancaster NH historical society. I was there two years ago and as far as I know they do not have an email address. The Lancaster Librarian was very helpful in getting me in touch with the folks at the Historical society.
    I am currently doing research on the Holton family of Lancaster NH and I am wondering if you have any information on the Emigration Company that formed in Coos County in 1836 and traveled to Wisconsin territory in 1836-1838. Apparently several families traveled there and i am wondering if any of the founding work that was done there is preserved with you folks. Apparently at least two Holtons traveled in that time period to Wisconsin Territory. I am trying to find documentation and a specific time for the travel. This is not genealogical research but rather for a biography.

  37. liam keena says:

    A bridge was dedicated to james p keenan l would like to know why I got the information in the browns company bulliton1952i think he mighy be my gran uncle i am from Ireland hope someone can help regard liam keena

  38. mario leclerc says:

    Wonderful day spent at the house.
    Fond memories of my early life in Berlin.
    My companion has great connections to Berlin: Langlais Jewelry store (great grandfather) and William Corbin (NIBROC), her uncle through marriage-small world…
    A hearty thank you to all, and a special hello to Ben Napert.

  39. W Feja says:

    Hi from Berlin (Germany)!
    On my virtual trip through Berlin (NH) I found your internetpage. It was enjoying the pictures of your town, the old on postcards, and even those of your hometown photographer Mark Ducharme (on flickr and google).
    I would like to find historic photos compaired with todays photos of the same places.
    My try to find those historic aspects and sites in google’s streetview were not very successful, so I think most of the historic buidlings are no longer existing, regretfully.
    Exploring your page I found a point for correction in the menu: Archives – “Burgess Sreening” [sic!]; even on that page you used the same misspelling instead of “Screening”!
    Best greetings from the large and far away Berlin 🙂

  40. Rob and Lyn Dix says:

    My wife and I are trying to find any descendents of John Buchan Churchill who was born in Berlin in 1926 the son of Perly Churchill born in 1886 listed as living at 262H (?) He was the fiacee of my wife’s aunt and they were both killed in an avalanche whilst climbing in the Italian Alps in 1952. We have just recently visited their grave in Courmayeur to pay our respects. I see from the 1940 census that John had a brother Alex B Churchill.
    If anyone could be of help it would be appreciated.
    Rob Dix

  41. Ralph Memolo says:

    As someone who was born and grew up in Berlin, I want to commend you for the fine work you are doing in keeping Berlin’s rich history alive.

    I thought your members and readers of your website might like to know of a history I’ve written about my family, the Memolos, and which is available on my website, ralphmemolo.com. While the history is devoted to my family, it touches on a number of areas connected to Berlin’s growth and development and what life was like for immigrant families who came to Berlin in search of economic opportunities that were unheard of in their native lands.

    I lived on Goebel Street, attended Marston School and graduated from Berlin High in 1955. After many years as a writer and in public relations in various positions in Boston I have devoted my retirement to my writing. My short stories are available on ralphmemolo.com. Several of them are set in a fictional place in northern New Hampshire I call Sherburne.

    I am sending by snail my membership, something I have been remiss in doing before now.

  42. Philip Nason says:

    My uncle Frank Purrington (by marriage) was a widow , and on 28 August 1924, he married in Berlin NH a Miss Elizabeth Maude Fraser.
    I am trying to discover if one of the witnesses was Mrs Angie Ella Marston

  43. Joanne L. says:

    This morning I found a wooden hanger with the words “Moffett-Larochelle, Berlin, NH” imprinted on it. Does anyone know about this business?

  44. Donald Leclerc says:

    I think both Mr. Moffett and Mr. Larochelle were druggists. I will check this afternoon and get back to you.
    Curator, Moffett Museum

  45. Ryan Noyes says:

    My great-great grandfather, John Blake Noyes, was Treasurer, Sheriff, and the second Mayor of Berlin after the town was incorporated into a city. He lived a wonderful and long life. I wanted to share his reflections of the evolution of Berlin, which he expressed in 1944 at age 91. Wonderful stuff. Need proper citation for this physical clipping I just scanned. Will call you kind folk to help locate the exact periodical. Date is evident but name of paper is not.


  46. Cary Clark says:

    To the Historical Society:
    I grew up in Lisbon and am active with the Lisbon Area Historical Society. With the news today that Ringling Brothers circus is going out of business, I was recalling my trip to Berlin in my youth to see that circus. I was told that its stop in Berlin was to facilitate going through customs, etc. on its way into Canada and headed for Montreal. I just Googled it and found such happened at least once on June 27, 1950. My questions: (i) Did the R-B Circus ever come to Berlin again before or since? (ii) Do you have any clippings, etc. regarding that performance(s)? Thanks.

  47. Donald Leclerc says:

    New Brown Company index back thanks to Paul

  48. Lucia Savchick says:

    I’m so grateful for this resource. I hope to drop by my next trip up to Berlin.

  49. Cory Sutton says:

    My 2xgreat grandfather was exlia Bergeron. He was a resident of Berlin nh around 1920.says he was an eng. and a fireman. Anyone know of him or the Bergeron family in berlin? He was the husband of mary pepin.

  50. Joan Smith says:

    My family the Camerons and Stilsons lived in Berlin and Coos. At one time or another they all worked at the Brown Paper Mill. My great aunt Honey Cameron was the telephone operator.

  51. Elisabeth Evans says:

    Please let me know if you have recorded any oral histories in French of Berlin residents who spoke the “Berlin French.” I would like to hear these.

    If not, please let me know how I could help to get these done.

  52. Donald Leclerc says:

    No, we have not recorded anyone in French or otherwise.We always talked about recording local people but we lack
    volunteers to do this.I’m sure it takes time to do a good job. If you have any ideas of anyone wanting to do this the Moffett House is always available. Odette Leclerc, Curator

  53. Rick LaRiviere says:

    I recently began expanding on the ancestral records that were passed down to me for the maternal side of my family. I intend to make this information available to following generations. A part of this information will be aerial photos of local cemeteries marked with the locations of our ancestors’ final resting places. As such, I’m presently in the process of locating their graves. As I’m having a difficult time with a particular ancestor who died in Berlin, I recently reached out to an aunt who is in her mid nineties. She seemed to recall that a portion of the St Anne’s Cemetery had flooded one spring and that a number of graves had to be relocated. I’d like to ask if anyone might have knowledge of this, and possibly provide information as to a local source I might contact for more information.?

  54. Rod Helwig says:

    Good Morning:

    I am a student at UNH and taking a course in the American Way of War. We have just concluded the section on WWI. At the outbreak of war there was considerable anti-German feeling in the country. I was wondering if the pronunciation of the town name was changed from ber-LIN’ to BER’-lin at that time in response to this reaction? I do understand that one of the paper companies changed its name from Berlin to Brown about this time.

  55. Donald Leclerc says:

    Quoting Rev. Starr King around 1850’s , he wrote that Berlin was pronounced BER-lin by the natives of this town, I have his book and I can send you a copy of the page where he refers to it.
    The Berlin Mill Co. changed it’s name during the First world War because they sold their products around the world and were worried that it would affect their sales so they changed it their family
    name Brown. The company name was Brown Co. in the states and in Canada they were Brown Corporation.
    Odette Leclerc, Curator
    Moffett House Museum

  56. peter vetrano says:

    Please advise if the following building is still standing:
    I look forward to your response.
    Peter Vetrano

  57. Donald Leclerc says:

    I have not heard or read about this building but I will check in our books. Do you have a photo of it?
    Curator at Moffett House Museum, Odette Leclerc

  58. Joseph Lowery says:

    I was curious about the history of the house on 272 Church Street. It’s a big house and very elegant. I think it was beautiful when it was originally built.

  59. Hi. My name is Robert Lagacé from l’Acadie Nouvelle, a french daily newspaper in New Brunswick, Canada. I would like to know if you have informations about George (Georgie) Paulin, a former professional boxer from Berlin in the 1920 and 1930. His parents are from my region and we already know that Georgie was born in Paquetville and he might be the first professional athlete from our region. I find some infos in the archives of the Brown Bulletin, but I need more, like the year of his death, if he have some children, etc. Can you help me with that?

  60. Joseph Procter says:

    Can you please provide the names of the major news papers in operation in Berlin between 1890-1920?

  61. HI! I would like to find out where is situated de church St-Joseph in Berlin, Coos County
    New-Hampshire. I have a mariage that was celebrated in that church.
    I think that it was merge with another church? Thank’s for your help.
    GUERARD, Louis-Philippe, b. 15/05/1913, Ste-Anne, Lawrence, MA (Arthur Guérard & Alida Daigle)
    m 31/12/1956 St-Joseph, Berlin, co. Coos, NH
    BYRAM, Doris-Mildred, b. 10/07/1927, Ste-Anne (William Byram & Léda Roy)

  62. Donald Leclerc says:

    On 3rd avenue off rt 110

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