PRESERVING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE.
VOLUME 52 Spring/Summer 2022
Berlin Falls House
Work on the Berlin Falls House is moving along—one of the reasons why this newsletter is a little tardy. The Spring Newsletter is now the Spring/Summer Newsletter. Things that we wrote about in the last newsletter are coming to fruition. The archival storage space is fire rated with plenty of shelving and open space to accommodate historic writings and objects. For the past 25 years BCCHS was fortunate to use an empty classroom at the former Guardian Angel School (AG) to store materials. Tri-County Community Action Program was kind enough to provide BCCHS with this space at no cost. Retired board member Raymond Daigle documented and carefully stored the items while they were in the 600 square foot space. Over the past month as many as 10 volunteers at one time made seven trips to transfer about 450 boxes, several file cabinets, portable wardrobes, map cases, dozens of large,framed pictures and paintings, nine sets of steel shelving, etc. All this had to be brought down four flights of stairs, loaded onto a large ATV trailer, and two trucks. Under the direction of curator Jan Ely, this was unloaded into the former chapel of Fleury’s Funeral Home and organized in categories. Over the next few months everything will be examined again, organized, and stored in the new archival storage room.
Last fall, a mini-split heating/air-conditioning system was installed in the former chapel, and it did very well in heating the large room over the winter. Two other mini splits will be installed soon in other areas of the Berlin Falls House. Bob Lafrance, our treasurer/electrician is awaiting some parts to complete the fire alarm system.
Our volunteers have been busy working on a number of technology upgrades that will provide visitors greater access to the museum’s collection. Moving the collection from Guardian Angel School presented us with an opportunity to reorganize, photograph and provide more detailed descriptions of the objects in the collection. To facilitate this work, new high speed internet access has been installed at the Berlin Falls House and extended to the Moffett house. A new file server with 16 Terabytes of digital storage will provide volunteers a place to store and share photos, videos, and documents. Data on the server is automatically and securely backed up off site to preserve these records in the event of a disaster.
The museum has also upgraded the catalog software to the current version of PastPerfect Web. PastPerfect is considered the industry standard for museum collection management and is used by many other museums throughout New Hampshire and across the country. This web-based software is a subscription service with software support provided by the hosting service. This allows the museum staff and volunteers to focus on managing the collection without having to worry about keeping computers up and running.
PastPerfect software will allow museum volunteers to catalog and track not only the museum’s numerous artifacts, but also its members, donors, and volunteers. The software can produce lists, generate letters and has e-mail functionality.
As items are unpacked and sorted, curator Jan Ely and other volunteers are photographing, writing detailed descriptions of the object, and cataloging the objects in PastPerfect. The object location, origin, description, photos and any other information are being entered into PastPerfect. Cataloging objects in PastPerfect will take time, but as the collection grows, the plan is to procure an optional feature to allow public access to portions of the catalog via the web. Public access to the collection will also allow visitors at the museum to scan a code and get more information about objects on exhibit.
The addition of the new file server has enabled volunteers to begin digitizing the photos and converting movies, video tapes and DVD media into a format that can then be more easily accessed. As funding becomes available, museum staff hope to procure additional equipment such as video displays which will be integrated into the exhibits at the museum to display videos and photo slideshows and surveillance cameras to ensure the security of the buildings and their contents. Stay tuned for more updates.
Contributors & Members
The BCCHS board thanks all those who contributed to the Society and paid their membership in 2021. These contributions and memberships really provided the impetus in moving on those needed repairs/improvements at the Berlin Falls House. Here is the list of those who generously gave last year:
|Joseph & Julia Agrodnia||Pauline Aldrich||Jeanne Allain|
|Roberta Arbree||Daniel & Lisa Arguin||Joseph & Joan Banks|
|Barbara Barbieri||David Barton||Llewellyn & Dawn Belcourt|
|Denise Bergeron||Irene Bergeron||Cecile Bernard|
|Dennis & Sylvia Bernier||Kurt Beuchel||Ann Marie Bills|
|Bisson & Son Carpentry||Roderick K. Blackburn||Gary Blair|
|Laurette Bouchard||Jacqueline Boucher||Paul & Debra Bousquet|
|Irene Blais||Lucien & Muriel Blais||Gerard & Susan Blanchette|
|Beverly Bryant||Joanne Caron||Roger Charest|
|Robert S. Chase||Laurie Conway||Coos County Family Health|
|Nancy Corkum||Richard & Louise Coulombe||John Croteau|
|Paul & Shirley Croteau||Patricia Deal||Ronald Deyette|
|Marjorie Doan||Raymond Dugus||John R. Dulude Revocable Trust|
|Maurice Dumais||Janice Ely||Julie R. Evans|
|Samuela Evans||Art & Cheryl Fennessey||Marguerite Gagne|
|Olive & Pauline Gagnon||Raymond & Elaine Gamache||William Gardner|
|Paul Gilbert||Richard & Joan Gosselin||Robert Goyette|
|Paul & Linda Grenier||Scott Halvorson||Ronald & Diana Hamel|
|Stephen Haweeli||Neville Hayes||Christine Hermanson-Reishus|
|Nancy Huff||Constance John||George & Sara Jones|
|Bertram Judson||Ann W. Kaiser||Barry Kelley|
|Paul Labbe||Richard Lacroix||Lucien & Melinda-Ann Laflamme|
|Norman & Sue Laflamme||Robert & Paulette Lafrance||Ronald Lafrance|
|Cecile Lamarre||Marjorie Lambert||Joseph & Joan Landry|
|Dennis & Diane LaRoche||Florence LeBlanc||Lance & Christine Laclair|
|Denis & Karen Leclerc||Jeffrey & Martha Leich||Normand CJ Lemoine|
|Francis Lepage||John & Rachelle Lyons||Dennis Mann|
|Leo & Dennis Marchand||Christine Marquis||Paul & Ann Marquis|
|Shawn Marquis||Stephen & Lucille Michaud||Roland & Therese Montminy|
|Paula Moore||George Moreau||Charlotte Morrell|
|Phyllis Morrissette||Edward Mullen||New Hampshire Legends of Hockey|
|Kathleen Nolin||Celeste Parent||Lena Parent|
|Richard & Rochelle Payeur||Carole Peaslee||Raymond Pelletier|
|Charles Peplow||Marianne Pepper||Ben Perreault|
|Andrea Philbrook||George & Gail Pozzuto||Mark & Michelle Pribbernow|
|Constance Reilly||Jerry Riendeau||S. Melvin Rhines Foundation|
|Gretchen Robenhymer||Harvey & Rebecca Roberge||Richard & Shirley Robichaud|
|Walter Robichaud||Eileen Rooney||Dennis & Lynn Rossignol|
|Elaine Ruel||Mary Jane & Paul St. Amour||Mr. & Mrs. Joel Shortlidge|
|Kay Carter Shumway||Robert & Gloria Sloane||Lorna Smith|
|Emilie Styles||Harold & Claudette Tankard||Donald P. Taylor|
|Martha Taylor||Louise Thibeault||Richard & Mary Towers|
|Francis X. & Anita Trahan||Gail Tremblay||Roger Turgeon|
|Virginia Vachon||Danial Veazey||Norma Wheeler|
|Kenneth White||John Wiley||Edward & Willa Wolcott|
|Lorraine Wyche||Bradford & Susan Wyman||Valida Yanta|
|Dr Phyllis Yawitt||Rod & Sue Young|
New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame
Last summer we met with Roderick (Rod) Blackburn. Rod discussed the idea of having a hockey hall of fame in Berlin to recognize current and future Berlin individuals who are inducted in the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame. Forty people from Berlin currently are N.H. Hockey Hall of Famers. Rod and BCCHS reached an agreement that the Society would use a 420 square foot space in the Moffett House Museum to remember Berlin’s Hockey Legends and he would provide the financing for this project. Several others contributed to this project: Joseph & Joan Banks, David Barton, Ann Marie Blackburn Bills, Ronald Deyette, John R. Dulude, Maurice Dumais, New Hampshire
Legends of Hockey, Edward Mullen, Mary Jane and Paul St. Amant and Pamela Couture. The Hall of famers will be honored with a 10.5-inch x 13-inch plaque with a photo and a narrative of their contribution to the sport of hockey. These 40 and future plaques will be displayed on 3-sided kiosks spaced throughout the room. The remainder of the space will tell Berlin’s Hockey Story. BCCHS has a goal of opening the Hockey Hall of Fame by November of this year.
In 1961 Rod Blackburn became the University of New Hampshire’s first ever All-American. His goal-tending career began at Notre Dame High School, perennial New Hampshire champions in the 1950’s. Blackburn helped guide Notre Dame beyond the state title to victory in the New England Championship in 1957.
U.N.H. team captain in 1961, Rod Averaged 42 saves per game and was considered by many U.S. college coaches as the best goaltender in college hockey. He was a post-season selection to the All-New England, All-East and to the NCAA All-American Team. Blackburn played for the Berlin Maroons Senior Hockey Club, finalist in the 1961 and 1962 National AHA tournaments. In both tournaments, he was selected most valuable player.
To learn more about Rod Blackburn’s hockey career visit the Moffett House Museum after the opening of the Hall of Fame exhibit this fall.
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BCCHS WEB SITE
There is a lot of activity on our web site. The Brown Bulletins have been especially very popular. It’s a great way to research relatives’s activities who worked in the mills. Some articles are very amusing while others are informative. You can now explore the many Berlin Neighborhoods. By clicking on a particular neighborhood, you read about its history. Check out our website at www.berlinnhhistoricalsociety.org.