Poof Tardiff: 1949 VI

Hello fellow Berlinites. The council meeting in Berlin on Tuesday, April 28, 1949, proved that civic interest was not dead. People were very upset about the new system of one-way traffic on Pleasant and Main Streets.

Council members knew that the long red-taped road to a repaved Main Street (which was in disarray), approached a big decision. The Mayor and Councilmen wanted to do what was best for this city, so they called a meeting of a representative group of civic leaders, Councilman and any others who cared to attend.

They decided that the plan would cause some initial upset, but no one except Fire Chief O. B. Bergquist had any serious objections. He thought that fire engines bucking the mainstream traffic would prove dangerous.

The city fathers wanted to make sure, so rather than signing the government contract immediately, they decided to put the one-way system into effect as soon as possible and see how it worked out before the city gave the federal people a definite answer.

Citizens argued with the council about the one-way streets and gave their opinions about why it should remain two ways. Once the people got used to this new traffic law, it worked out okay and the city received funds from the government to help repave Main Street.

Now, imagine if these two streets would be made two-ways again. We would certainly have chaos and a large contingent of citizens at the next council meeting.

One of the original covered wagons which carried many a party to the Far West during the historical gold rush of 1849 came to Berlin. This had been announced by J. Arthur Sullivan, who was chairman of the Coos County Savings Bonds Committee.

Adopted as the symbol of the Opportunity Savings Bond drive which opened on May 16, 1949 and ended on June 30th of the same year, the covered wagon once again played an important role in this nation's life.

In June of 1949, two local man were recognized for their part played in education. This was done at the 78th commencement program held at Plymouth Teachers College.

The New Hampshire State Board of Education unanimously conferred upon Berlin High Headmaster (Principal) MacLean the highest honor for educational merit in the state. This order was awarded at the Plymouth Teachers College on Monday morning June 6 by Dr. Hilton C. Buley and went as follows:

“This citation honors a teacher and headmaster who for 40 years has worked in New Hampshire, 36 of them having been in Berlin. During this time he has earned the love of his students, the respect of his associates in education and the gratitude of the citizens of this city and state. Earlier in his career, he was recommended by his superintendents as an unusually successful organizer, as having ability and unusual success as a teacher. He had been progressive professionally and a hard and conscientious worker, having participated in activities beyond the the realm of his own school and in capabilities such as past president of the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

Headmaster MacLean was also the State Director of National Education Association for New Hampshire, member of the New England College Entrance Board for five years, past President of the New Hampshire State Teachers Association and chairman of the following drives for the city of Berlin; Liberty Bond Drive, World War I, Community Chest Drive, Red Cross Drive and the New Hampshire Tuberculosis Christmas Seal Campaign.”

Headmaster D. W. MacLean was an icon in the annals of New England education. Although I never knew him, it was said that he touched many lives while he was at the reigns of Berlin High School and there are many older citizens who remember him well. He served longer than any other principal up to this date (2017). MacLean was headmaster from 1913 until 1952. That was a total of 39 years that he helped Berlin's youth.

Mr. Orton B. Brown of this city, who had just resigned as Chairman of the State School Board of Education was also awarded a citation at commencement exercises held at Plymouth Teachers College on the same day.

The citation awarded to Orton Brown by Noel Wellman. of Conway, who was the present Chairman of the State Board of Education, honored him for the part he played in public education for this state.

Brown was a member of the State Board of Education from 1921 to 1949, serving as chairman from 1927 to 1949. While Mr. Brown was chairman, the teachers colleges became standard four-year colleges; state aid was increased for schools and state trade schools and area vocational schools were established.

By the third week of February 1949, bobcat hunters Earl Caird, Edward Goulet and Ralph Rogers had killed eight of these wildcats since December 28, 1948. Mr. Caird described bobcats as being mean and cruel when it came to playing cat and mouse with deer, especially in the deep snow.

Not only had they hunted down these eight cats with their two dogs, but these three men also brought one home alive, as can be attested by the one in Ed Goulet's chicken coop on Western Avenue. Goulet said that when he walked into the chicken coop, the cat would crouch down as if ready to spring on him. It would snarl and spit as if Goulet was its worst enemy. If he held a feather or stick out to it the cat would spring lightning like. Long sharp claws would tear the feather from one's hand and the cat would be chewing on it almost before you realized it had been snatched from you.

To hear Mr. Goulet tell about capturing the wildcat you would think it was child's play. The dog had put this one into a small tree and they lassoed the cat and put it into a bag taking it home with them. Then, they put a collar around it and chained it up.

There were probably few people in this entire area that knew more about bobcats than Goulet, Rogers and Caird. They had been hunting them for years, in the Session Pond–Dummer Pond area and I am sure in other parts of the North Country.

They hunted cats for two reasons. One of course was for the bounty and the other one stemmed from the fact that bobcats killed deer and that this trio loved deer hunting also. Mr. Goulet saw a bobcat go after a deer once and the cat grabbed the deer on the flank and threw him. The bobcat killed the deer within a couple of minutes after this.

Why did they bring a live one home though? Because they hoped to train the dogs with it. Mrs. Goulet was not fond of live bobcats, and she wouldn't come down to see this one in the cage.

Today (2017), bobcats have made a comeback in our area and if they become plentiful again, Fish and Game might allow them to be hunted just as in New Hampshire's past, as they can take their toll on deer in yarding areas.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Question or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also, join the many fans of “Once upon a Berlin Time” on Facebook and guess at the posted mystery pictures.

Main St. Two WaysMain St. Two Ways

MacClean Daniel W 1938Daniel W. MacClean

Goulet EdwardEdward Goulet

Brown OBO.B. Brown