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

Todd Fahey: Older Workers in the Granite Staters: Value Beyond Value

About 500,000 Granite Staters over 50 continue to contribute to the state’s workforce, economy, and social fabric. In the now noisy norm of news and politics, our focus has shifted off of this group (unless, of course, we’re talking about its alleged drag on society). More than one-half million Granite Staters are as common as granite and just as solid. They are the answer to many of our challenges from workforce to innovation to economic growth.

Yes, New Hampshire is one of the oldest states in an aging nation. Our business community and political leaders should be concerned about workforce, especially with a 2.6 percent unemployment rate. We should be concerned about recruiting, training and retaining younger workers. But in the meantime, we must innovate by seizing opportunity and advance by maximizing what we do have. New Hampshire has an able, experienced and reliable workforce boasting some of the nation’s best talent. If we’re truly committed to innovation, efficiency and workforce development, shouldn’t we seek to squeeze every last bit of talent and potential out of our existing workforce to make us the best we can be today and in the future?

Experience counts, whether you you’re hiring someone in the trades, a painter, an office workers or professional. The “seasoned” lawyer probably knows fellow lawyers, the judges and court staff by name. The “experienced” nurse has treated thousands of patients. The “been around the block” banker can see potential beyond the numbers in your business plan. The “experienced” contractor or tradesperson can tell you what you need, what you don’t need and the reasons why. It’s the value of experience. We have it and we can share it.

One can’t teach raw talent any more than one can teach an athlete to have speed. An experienced worker, however, can help develop an equally important intangible: judgment. Everyone — laborers to lawyers — need to know when to speak and when to listen, when to stand up and when to stand down, when to hold and when to show. And every leader knows that to build great companies, one needs reliable and experienced talent to lead its teams. Ask any CEO in New Hampshire about cultivating and leveraging talent. Their answers should point to older workers — older workers mentoring younger workers and sharing their experience and talents. Do we not honor everyone – younger and older workers alike – with that type of intergenerational perspective?

So why are we not celebrating what older workers have to offer? Not everyone is ready to retire at “traditional retirement age.” Many are eager to work well beyond 65 – full- or part-time – and have decades of talent and dedication to share. Many have not saved nearly enough to retire and wish to work for financial reasons. Still thousands of others leave the workforce too early because they feel it is “time” (for any number of reasons), have health issues or don’t realize they are leaving the workforce too soon. If New Hampshire can change its message to this group, it can change its outcome for those good workers and the companies and economy that needs them. . . Combine these facts and a picture emerges of a rich resource that should demand much more attention than it is getting.

Yes, we must act on education, energy, health care costs, and the drug crisis, but not without an equal nurturing nod to one of our richest resources. The 50+ are working, volunteering, buying goods and services and offering their unique gifts to fellow Granite Staters. According to a recent AARP/Oxford Economics study, the 50+ in our state account for 50 percent of the GDP, hold 456,000 jobs and pay $3.3 billion in taxes. Shouldn’t we view them as a “financial breakwater” and not a “tsunami?”

Age matters because age matters. Our policies and priorities need to reflect that fact. In light of our 2.6 percent unemployment rate, we should explore innovative ways to leverage the talent pool we have today to build the New Hampshire we want for tomorrow. Innovation – whether in source (the 50+) or targeting (policies tapping the full talent of the 50+) is age-blind. Talent is talent.

Let’s celebrate our experienced workforce and stop bemoaning what we lack. Let’s talk about, implement, and encourage policies to tap this resource (part-time status, mentoring programs, “emeritus” licensing status, tax credits for companies that use older workers to mentor younger workers in critical areas, etc.). By doing so, we honor our older workers and the contributions they have made and have yet to make, we strengthen our workforce and we become a more attractive place to live, retire and do business.

With thought, a new perspective and leadership, New Hampshire can become a model because of its aging workforce, not an inevitable victim of it. AARP New Hampshire stands ready to work with our elected officials, think tanks, foundations, government leaders and businesses to begin this important discussion now.

Todd Fahey is the state director of AARP New Hampshire. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with 233,000 members in all corners of the Granite State.

Poof Tardiff: 1949 IV

Hello fellow Berlinites. In April of 1949, a former Berlin man invented a new vending machine. Mr. Stanley Rines, formally of Berlin, living in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania in 1949, came out with an innovation that would be a blessing to sunbathers who liked to be well oiled.

This machine was a coin operated vending machine that sprayed bathers with suntan oil automatically. After almost two years of research and development the machine had finally been perfected and the Star Manufacturing Company was formed to make and sell this product.

Mr. Rines and Henry Avrigan Jr. dreamed up this idea of the coin vending machine while they were in the service and the result was something startling new in suntan lotion application.

After having been used at a popular swimming pool near their headquarters in the summer of 1948, the two ex-GIs knew that it worked and were turning out the first commercial models almost one year later. Mention of this coin vending machine was first made in the “Beach and Pool” magazine and then a picture of it appeared in the April 1949 issue of popular mechanics.

Mr. Rines was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Rines of Goebel Street and graduated from Berlin High School in 1939.

How many people remember Morrison Cleaners? M. J. Morrison cleaners opened their new quarters on Glen Avenue next to the Clinic hospital, giving them more adequate working facilities and a spacious office and fitting room, which resulted in even better service from this firm.

Mr. Morrison had been in the cleaning business since 1919, when he returned from service in World War I. He outfitted his new plant with the most modern equipment, making it one of the finest cleaning establishments in the state.

Morrison cleaned and pressed all types of men's and women's garments, including hats. Special attention was given to evening and wedding downs, dyeing and repairs. This new establishment featured a fur department where furs were treated and stored for the winter months in a new fur vault, which was the only one in the North Country within a 75 mile radius. This department was under the management of Irving Morrison, son of M. J. Morrison, who was studying in Washington and Minneapolis.

Mr. Sidney Goldenberg was the manager of the cleaning and finishing departments and Leo Christianson, a trained operator, had charge of the spotting and wet cleaning. This new plant was staffed by experienced workers, four of whom were veterans.

Morrison Cleaners had extended an invitation to the public to visit this new enterprise during the opening days when special tours were conducted. The building has had many businesses in its lifetime, starting out as the office for the International Paper Company in 1906. It is now (2017) the office of Exit Realty.

Lower Pleasant Street wasn't always empty as it is today. The huge parking lot behind Irving's had the Bell block with many businesses, including Barney's Chevron and more.

In 1949, a very modern store was built that took up most of today's parking lot. It was the First National Store. This company announced a May 12 opening for its new supermarket on Pleasant Street in Berlin. It was the most modern store to be constructed in this area and it featured the latest conveniences for efficient and easy shopping. The most up-to-date equipment was utilized to display a complete line of grocery and meat items.

Perhaps the most interesting section of this new modern store was this self service meat department, where a wide variety of First National's famous meats were available to the housewife. Each cut was wrapped in cellophane and marked with weight and price for the customers suitability. Meat that was displayed in this fashion was kept fresh by constant replacement from the cutting room. This was something totally new for shoppers back then.

A long plate glass window made it possible for shoppers to watch the cutting and wrapping of the meats. Berlin shoppers were now able to see for themselves how waste was eliminated in the preparation of the packages in the sixty feet of refrigerated cabinets.

For people wishing special cuts not on sale in the self service cases, the meat manager provided personal service, preparing the cut to specifications given by the customers.

In the fruit and vegetable department, a forty-five foot mirrored back case brought shoppers a full choice of fresh produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables had long been a watchword at First National stores and during the peak of the growing season, many local products were brought in directly from the fields.

Other features of this store in 1949 included two reach in frosted food cases. Studies of consumer demands had been made by officials of the company and results of this research brought the widest selection of frozen foods.

Fresh fish, brought in directly from the First National location at Boston's famed fish pier, was served to local shoppers from a ten foot ice case. These fish were processed up immediately after being unloaded from the boats and were sent to the store in the fastest possible time.

First National had always featured a wide selection of cheeses and a special case brought an interesting display of this item. A triple back, open dairy display case also provided a full choice of dairy products.

Wide aisles and scientifically laid out grocery “Islands” provided the utmost in customer convenience. The 6,597 square feet of selling area gave a feeling of roominess that made relaxed shopping.

Six checkout counters were designed to speed up the last part of the shoppers visit to this store. These counters where the pull-push type and checkers and cashiers had all taking courses at the First National stores training school in order that they could provide accurate and rapid service to the customer.

Double strip fluorescent lighting and soft green painted walls combined to give a restful atmosphere to the shopper. Parking facilities for sixty cars at the side and rear of the store, an easily accessible side entrance and a complete line of quality foods, made this new Pleasant Street First National store a convenient location for budget food shopping.

How many people can remember this once great supermarket on a very busy Pleasant Street in downtown Berlin?

I will continue with the year 1949 in my next writing.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions 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 weekly mystery pictures.

Sun lotion vending machineSun lotion vending machine

Rines StanleyStanley Rines

First National StoreFirst National Store

Checkout 1949Checkout 1949

Poof Tardiff: 1949 III

Hello fellow Berlinites. With the Notre Dame Arena in full swing, our local Notre Dame Rams won their third consecutive NHIAA state high school hockey championship 6-1 against Berlin High School and were invited to represent New Hampshire in the prestigious New England schoolboy hockey tournament, held in Providence, Rhode Island.

The “Sportscene”, written by Dick Wagner talked about this team before tournament time and praised Captain Ben Arguin and goaltender Bob Lavigne for being outstanding players during a series of away games. Wagner felt that Arguin was by far the best wing man among high school hockey players in New Hampshire, but he had a lot more to say about goalie Bob Lavigne.

He said that Bob could hold his own with any goalie in New England who was still in high school. His poise and coordination, his coolness, his agility, his physical prowess and his quick thinking were amazing. Bob, if he chose was capable of becoming a hockey immortal and as he matured he could have held his own against top-notch professional goalies.

This was not the whole Lavigne story though. The Lavigne account was one that could have happened only here in the United States of America. Bob could have easily been a cripple or even worse, because on July 20, 1948 he was stricken with the deadly disease of infantile paralysis. This paralysis started to set in on his left side and it was feared that he would be paralyzed from his waist down for the rest of his life. Time, money and equipment were vital factors in his case.

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis moved in, as soon as they learned about Bob being stricken with polio. He was sent to the Clinic Hospital in Berlin and when this facility proved to be inadequate, he was transported to the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire.

It was here that the Sister Kenny method of treatment for this disease was applied and for several weeks, young Bob was given almost continuous hot packs and massages.

That Bob responded quickly to the treatment was evidenced by the fact that he was guarding the nets for a state champion hockey team just six months later. I did not know Bob and don't know if he is still with us today, but what a great local human interest story this was back in 1949.

The International Ski Championship was scheduled to be held in Berlin on February 26 and 27 1949, with skiers from Canada, Norway, Sweden and the United States competing. A two-man team from Sweden, Wilhelm Hillman and Bengt Jaderholm, who were sent to this country to defend the Swedish title, would also participate.

February 26, at 1 pm, starting at Berlin's large jump, the International Cross-Country race would be held on a special course that had been laid out by the Nansen Ski Club. This was an 18 kilometer course that measured exactly 11 miles. It was laid out according to F. I. S. rules and was considered the best race course in the USA.

There were also five young Berlin ladies running for Queen and the winner would be crowned by the Governor of New Hampshire Sherman Adams during the Governors Ball. These girls were: Jeannette Dupuis, Jeanette Remillard, Claire Major, Carlene Cleary and Pearl Oleson.

The winners were: Jeannette Remillard for carnival queen, a 17-year-old senior from Notre Dame, Tor Arneberg, who jumped to 217 feet in class A and Si Dunklee of UNH who traversed the 11 mile cross-country course in 1:26:44.

On April 24 of 1949, a new ordinance took effect in Berlin. That was the start of one-way traffic on Main and Pleasant Streets. Traffic on the two main arteries started running just one way on this Sunday. Vehicles would travel toward St. Anne's Church on Main Street and towards Green Square on Pleasant Street. The City Council passed this ordinance with only one negative vote in order to meet federal requirements, so that Berlin could receive aid for repaving Main Street.

The new regulations stated that the Glen Avenue traffic from the intersection with Pleasant Street extension to Green Square would run in a northerly direction. Main Street traffic from Green Square to the St. Anne's intersection of Main and Pleasant Street, would also run in a northerly direction.

The little Street between Woolworths and the Berlin Savings Bank would be one way towards Main Street (that must have changed later, as it was one way towards Pleasant Street when I remember it). Mechanic Street between Main and Pleasant streets was one way towards Main Street. This now goes one way towards Pleasant Street. Most of this original ordinance is still the same 68 years later..

How many people can remember of the Sheraton restaurant located at 102 Main St. ( Tony's pizza today)?. Well this restaurant, formally known as the Splendid, opened its doors to the public on Thursday, April 14, 1949.

It had been completely remodeled and decorated with lively colors and new framed booths with double seating capacity. As one of the most modern restaurants to be opened in the city this year, Charles Angelides manager, had seen to it that along with the clean sparkling appearance of this restaurant, he had carried this idea right through to the kitchen which was spotlessly clean and modern in every respect..

Menus at the Sheraton were the result of hours of preparation and the purchase of nothing but the best meats, groceries and vegetables with the basis of good ingredients and plenty of skill in the culinary department. The menu served was sure to please the most discriminating.

Another feature of this new restaurant, which drew capacity crowds on opening day, was the photo murals depicting the famous “White Birches”, Nansen Ski Jump and a scene from the White Mountains, which all added to the dining pleasure of its patrons. Are you one of my readers that can say they ate at our once famous Sheraton restaurant?

I will continue to my stories and history of this city in 1949 with the next writing.

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

Remillard JeannetteJeannette Remillard

Notre Dame 1949Notre Dame 1949

Lavigne BobBob Lavigne

Arguin BenBen Arguin

North Country has a lot to lose if federal health care plan scrapped


The lightly populated North Country can be a lonely place for politicians and for political folly. The intimacy between neighbors and reliance on each other – not to mention government programs and public sector jobs – makes the place practical and insightful to the plight of others.

The recent Women’s March drew large crowds not just all over the world, but right here in Lancaster, a town with 3,408 residents who, like the entire region, voted strongly for Donald Trump.

All told 400 people – 12 percent of the town’s population – showed up, waved signs and walked about a mile from the town’s welcome center to the local elementary school. The marchers passed by a half-dozen partisan Republicans waving Trump signs. Among them was Coos County Republican Chair Karl Ruch, who told a Ella Nielson (who grew up in Dalton and was formerly with Coos County Democrat) with the Concord Monitor that the demonstrators were “divisive” but went on to agree with them on one thing – the need for the new president and his fellow Republicans to go slow – especially on repealing the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature accomplishment.

“I think it’s a mistake if people were just dropped,” he said. “It would turn the conservative party inside out if people were kicked off the rolls.”

He could have been thinking what our own New Hampshire statesman Daniel Webster said during a time of greater division: “Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint” or “Keep cool; anger is not an argument. Wisdom begins at the end.”
This caution is necessary at every level. State House Republicans are pushing through a radical template of punitive actions that make it harder for working families to overcome the challenges that they face. They are trying to make it harder for people to vote, harder for workers to organize, and harder for people to earn a living and get ahead.

So far, they are silent on our bipartisan gains of the last four years – including extending our hugely successful New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which is providing quality health care coverage to more than 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.

Nowhere is the N.H. Health Protection Program or the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) more critical or utilized than in the North Country, where people literally earn half as much as their southern New Hampshire counterparts. Public assistance like the NHHPP has not only lifted many out of poverty, eased the pain of illness or accident and the burden of financial ruin, but it has also supported our small, rural hospitals and strengthened our local businesses.

But that’s not all – it has made substance-abuse treatment available in a place that has more overdose deaths per capita than anywhere else. It has also freed entrepreneurs to start their own small businesses because they now have access to affordable health care, rather than work for someone else just so they could have employer-provided health insurance.

Remarkably, it has even allowed the Colebrook-based Indian Stream Health Center, a publicly funded community health center, to establish a living wage of $15 per hour for all of their employees. Some low wage earners saw their wages jump from $8 per hour.

It is a dark prospect to think of what will happen if these successful programs are shut down, especially to those families who need it most, some who voted for the politicians working to dismantle their financial and health security. That is why I will continue to speak boldly for the progressive values we know make positive impacts in people’s lives every day.

In a rich, well-educated state like New Hampshire it is easy to overlook the people Andrew Jackson called the “humble members of society.” Rest assured I will not. It is they that have the most to lose in the years ahead and sometimes it takes a Republican partisan to remind us.

I will stand against my Republican friends who advocate for more tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent, and I will stand up for expanded opportunity for everyone, not simply the wealthy or well-connected few.

(Jeff Woodburn of Whitefield is the Senate Democratic leader and represents the North Country in the New Hampshire Senate.)