Cates Hill

According to Poof Tardiff, Berlin Daily Sun January 12, 2006:

While this settlement was still called Maynesborough, a man named Samuel Blodgett, one of our original settlers, decided to build a log house on top of what we now call Cates Hill.

Cates Hill Road, Grand View Drive

Cates Hill Road, Grand View Drive

After living in the valley for a short time, Blodgett must have decided that he wanted to live on high ground…Blodgett believed that the land on the hill was more fertile than that in the valley… There was more sunshine on the top of the hill and there were fewer frosts than in the valley.

It was upon Cates Hill, which was originally called “Blodgett Hill,” that this primary settler operated our area’s first sugar house, something that is still carried on in this vicinity to this date.

Another of the first settlers on the hill was the Cates family. The very first of these members to live here was Andrew Cates. Cates first built a log cabin in an area near the bottom of Cates Hill Road. Two of his sons, Daniel and Sinclair also lived along the hill along with other Cates relatives. By the 1860s the name of this area became known as Cates Hill and the Blodgett name was just a memory.

As we entered the 1890s, most of the old names that existed on the upper part of Cates Hill were gone. Also a development called Berlin Heights ….was taking shape. Besides getting to this area from School Street, a new street was starting to take shape. At first it was called Collins Street, buts it commenced to head for the “Heights,” it was renamed Hillside Avenue. As it got longer, it started to become the start of a new way to get to part of Cates Hill. Eventually, more people would start to live on the upper part of Hillside Avenue and then a connection would be made with the Cates Hill Road.

The original Cates Hill Road was called the “Valley Road,” as it wound its way down to what is now Route 16. It was along this road that many of the pioneers built their houses besides what Mr. Blodgett had built on the top. All traffic to downtown Berlin came from Cates Hill to Berlin along this route.

In the early days the “Valley Road” had a slightly different route than the Cates Hill Road of today. It went almost in back of the old Lacasse Place… and turned left near the top to join the present one before reaching the top.

In 1861 there was a map that showed a school on the top of Cates Hill. It was called the J. McIntire School. It was surely too difficult for children in these days to come down to the town of Berlin for an education. By then the school at the bottom of the Cates Hill Road had burned.

By the late 1800’s and early 1900’s many French setters began establishing themselves on this mountain overlooking a vast area. Some of their names were Lacasse, Bisson, Ramsey, Biladeau, Chadronais, Thibeault and many more. By 1908, another school was built on the top of Cates Hill. It was called the Cates Hill School. A lot of these French families sent their children to this school. This school is now the George Ramsey house, a short distance before the road turns down towards Route 16.

Bisson Sugar House on Cates Hill - Beyond Brown Paper #20848

Bisson Sugar House on Cates Hill – (Beyond Brown Paper #20848)

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