Poof Tardiff 1903 XI

Once upon a Berlin Time Poof Tardiff

1903 XI

Hello fellow Berlinites. My last installment for history of the year 1903 took place in Berlin during December of this busy year. There were thefts and accidents that made the headlines during this month.

On Monday evening Dec. 21, 1903, Joseph Lemieux, the 12-year-old son of Eugene Lemieux of Berlin, was arrested by the local authorities at the initiation of the postmaster. It appeared that for the past five weeks George S. Haddad, who conducted a dry goods store on Main Street, had been missing his mail or thought that he was not getting all of it. One week before, he had received some goods from New York and later asked why he had not paid the bill that was sent. Other pieces of mail did not seem to arrive, so he complained to Postmaster Bean.

Mr. Bean suggested that Haddad put some old letters in his mailbox. This he did and when he came for his mail as usual, the letters were missing. To make a long story short, a way was devised to find out who was stealing Mr. Haddad’s mail. The young Lemieux boy was caught red-handed, but insisted that he didn’t have a key. Mr. Haddad had left one in his box and could not find it, having another one made.

When Postmaster Bean arrived at the post office he got the keys from the young lad and then notified the New England post office authorities, who arrested the boy. Mr. Haddad said that no money had been taken, only business letters. I do not know what became of the boy. I would say that he was reprimanded and released to his parents since he did not steal any money, but stealing from the post office was and still is a serious crime.

There were also more accidents in and about the local mills during December that resulted in serious injuries and one sad death.

Early Wednesday morning on Dec.9, 1903, Ferdinand Cadarette, a brakeman in the employ of the Berlin Mills Company, fell beneath the wheels of a train engine upon which he was riding. Both of his legs were severed below the knee and he died from the effects at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Just after midnight on Tuesday, engine No. 1, of which I have a picture, in charge of engineer John Burbank, of whom I also have a picture, with Cadarette as a brakeman, was running down the East Side to the Burgess Mill for a load and Cadarette was riding on the foot board in front of the engine. When they got near the mill, he either fell or slipped from his position dropping in front of the locomotive, which passed over both of his legs.

The accident was not discovered by the other men in the crew, as Cadarette did not scream or shout. On their return trip, engineer Burbank and his crew found the badly injured man on the rails. He was taken to the carpenter shop of the Berlin Mills Company and Doctors Lavallee and Cobb were summoned. Both legs were cut nearly off with one being removed at the shop and the other at the emergency hospital on High Street. This hospital was just above Doctor Kruysman’s office.

Everything in the power of the attending physicians was done to render the man comfortable and save his life, but Cadarette passed away late in the afternoon. Ferdinand Cadarette was 37 years old and had a wife and six children who were suddenly without a husband and a father.

It was the habit of the men on the front of the engines used by the company in the cold weather back then to get close to the boiler on account of the warmth it afforded and often their arms were folded, leaving them no secure hold to prevent them from falling.

This accident was one of the saddest which took place among the employees of the company for a long time. As the years went on though, other tragic accidents took the lives of many men in the mills of this city.

Finally, a prominent North Country banker was arrested by a United States Marshall on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1903. Albert H. Eastman, one of Berlin’s well-known residents and president of the Berlin National Bank, was charged for making false entries in the books of the aforementioned bank. Mr. Eastman was on his way from Woodsville to Berlin when the arrest took place. The charge was a note claiming to have been a debt of George M. Marshall, cashier of the Gorham National Bank, that should have been entered as a debt of Mr. Eastman.

Mr. Eastman came to Berlin in 1890 and started a small private bank in the second story of the Stahl Block on the corner of Main and Mechanic Streets. He had capital of about $3,000, but it was said that he had the backing of a former Berlinite in the amount of $10,000 if needed.

Eastman did well in this endeavor and wanted more, so he helped organize the Berlin Savings Bank and Trust company. He did not get the position he wanted, so he started the Berlin National Bank and was elected cashier for this enterprise. He was with this bank for 10 years, being president and vice president at times.

Eastman was also instrumental in starting the Groveton National Bank and the Farmers and Traders National Bank of Colebrook. He also had interest in some banks in North Conway, Pepperell, Mass., and in Boston.

Mr. Eastman was certainly a great local banker who assisted many of our Berlin companies to a better state of finances often times at a loss to himself, but always to their benefit. He had many friends here in Berlin who did not believe that he committed a crime.

During February of 1904, as I went ahead in time, Albert H. Eastman of this city was indicted by a United States grand jury on 25 different counts. When Eastman was president of the National Bank and a director of the Gorham National Bank he came under fire for these wrongdoings. The charges stated that as president and director of these banks he had a controlling interest in their stock standing in his name. With this, Eastman was accused of misapplying and abstracting the funds, credits and money of both banks and making false entries on the books of the Berlin National Bank. The indictment was also found by the grand jury against one other person, whose name was not made public.

In an interview with Mr. Eastman, he said that he felt perfectly at ease over this affair, and when he had the opportunity for an exclamation he could convince everybody that the books were all right. Eastman was certainly in a predicament and I do not know what his outcome was, as the case did continue.

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Time for new ATV trailhead in Gorham

By Abby Evanhow

The news is full of stories of all the happy ATV riders flocking to Jericho Mountain State Park and lining Berlin’s Main Street. But no one is hearing about the much different scene playing out at the Gorham OHRV trailhead.
The problem is simple: This trailhead brings OHRV traffic, along with its noise, dust, and exhaust fumes, right into residential properties.
One friend is in his home, windows shut, earplugs in, trying to pretend that hundreds of OHRVs are not revving past his home. Another neighbor is distraught because her mother was just diagnosed with cancer, and she realizes she has not had a summer family BBQ in their backyard for six years. Then there’s the woman sick in bed for weeks with the windows to her formerly beautiful backyard shut, because it’s no longer fresh summer air blowing in, but OHRV dust, exhaust and noise.
Our neighbors are leaving their homes most weekends of our short summer to find peace and quiet elsewhere. They have been talking to local and state officials for years, explaining that the ability to enjoy their own homes and property has been taken from them without due process. Picture 99-1511 OHRVs driving down your street, through your neighborhood, past your yard in a day. Is this what you would want?
It is against the law to own a rooster in Gorham. Abutter notification by certified letter along with a zoning board hearing and vote is required for a flock of chickens. “Fowl will not be a nuisance to any neighbors by means of odors or noise.” Why is the Ride the Wilds OHRV Trail not being held to this standard? We aren’t the “Wilds.” We are a community, on paper at least, that cares about noise and quality of life.
The Jericho Mountain State Park Riding Area Master Trail Development Plan, 2006 ,states: “In order to preserve some sense of solitude for riders, we have attempted to keep trails a minimum of 500 feet apart from one another.“ There is no 500-foot zone of solitude between this trail and the homes it passes. In fact, the trail is within 45 feet of multiple homes, not to mention their yards, gardens, picnic tables and swing sets.
The opening of the Ride the Wilds Trail has turned neighbor against neighbor.
Do Gorham and the state of New Hampshire really value the privilege of ATV riding over the rights of tax-paying residents?
It’s past time to restore this neighborhood. Build a proper OHRV trailhead and welcome center away from our homes.
Abby Evanhow is a resident of Gorham.

Once Upon a Berlin Time: 1903 — X

By Poof Tardiff

Hello fellow Berlinites. The month of December 1903 still had plenty of news about this city that made history.

Word was received in Berlin on Saturday, Dec. 24, 1903, to the effect that the Honorable R. N. Chamberlin of Berlin had a meeting with the governor and council on Dec. 23 and was appointed as associate justice of the superior court of the state of New Hampshire. The appointment of this famous Berlin lawyer was a foregone conclusion for several days, since it was mentioned that the judge from Littleton had resigned his post.

Mr. Chamberlin began his position on Jan. 1, 1904. This appointment necessitated his entire withdrawal from the practice of law and the partnership that existed since 1893 under the firm name of Chamberlin and Rich. The business continued under the direction of Mr. George Rich.

In 1881, Mr. Chamberlin came to the small village of Berlin and opened an office, doing business in law and insurance, which he continued for many years. His law practice increased to such an extent that he dropped the insurance portion and devoted his entire attention to his profession.

He was the first lawyer to settle in Berlin and at that time the “Paper City” was a small and comparatively sparsely settled town. Chamberlin was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar Association on March 15, 1883. Since that time he had been located here and eventually became a partner with George F. Rich (Berlin’s ninth mayor).

The business that he built up was large and lucrative. For 20 years, a large part of the legal affairs of the Berlin Mills Company was in his hands and practically all of the Grand Trunk Railroad business in the state went through his office. He was certainly one of this city’s top attorneys.

Another sad accident took place in the city of Berlin that touched the hearts of many of this city's citizens back then and had the sympathy of the entire community for the bereaved parents. It occurred on Dec. 17, 1903, and made the headlines of both local papers.

During this Thursday afternoon, Percy, the 4-year-old son of John Armstrong of Western Avenue, set fire to his clothing and died from the effects of the injuries he received. Late on this sad day, Mrs. Armstrong left the house to go across the street, leaving the child standing in the window, where she told him to remain until she returned. When the mother came back to the house, not more than 3 minutes later, her son was nowhere to be seen.

Soon, however, she heard the boy calling for her, screaming that he was burning. Mrs. Armstrong rushed into another room to find the child with his clothing in flames. In her short absence Percy had found some matches, lit them, and set fire to his clothing.

A doctor was immediately sent for, but the youngster could not be saved and he passed away at 7 p.m. Little Percy was one of two children, and his presence was greatly missed.

A December issue of the newspaper had an article about what it took to feed the men in a woods camp. These were the Berlin Mills Company camps that were in the lakes region of Western Maine during 1903.

“The Berlin Mills Company supplies were all in the storehouse on the Cupsuptic,” said Emerson Ames who had worked here for the past eight years. They were taken by boat earlier than usual because of ice.

They were delayed by the non-arrival of potatoes from the West in 1902, and the next day after they finished, they had to break some ice coming down the lake to take the train home. Thus they started earlier in 1903.

There were four camps in the Kennebago region which were supplied from the main storehouse, three at Lincoln Pond, and several other jobs in the neighborhood. The supplies were taken by train to Bemis and then carried across Lake Mooselookmenguntic in the Berlin Mills Company’s enormous tug.

As each camp had between 50 and 75 men, quite a bit of provisions were necessary to keep the wolf from howling about the door through the winter. In the first place, 15 cars of oats and six cars of corn went over for the great horses involved in the logging operations. Then came the provisions for the men, 650 barrels of flour being an important item.

In 1903, the supplies included two cars each of sugar, kerosene, salt pork and corned beef; one car of lard, one of pea beans, one of cabbage and other vegetables. Along with this came 100 boxes of prunes, 125 boxes of evaporated apples and big lots of raisins, cream of tarter, spices and 25 casks of kerosene.

Tea and coffee were staples and 50 pounds of Rio and Java mixed and pounds of tea were sent to the storehouse. Oleo margarine, the best substitute for butter that the lumberjack could get, was laid in stock, between 200 and 300 boxes being in a lot.

From what was called the old Toothaker farm at Kennebago, the Berlin Mills Company purchased 1,000 bushels of potatoes for these camps. Besides the Kennebago camps, there were six more at Bemis that were under the charge of James Keenan. At Kennebago, William Mahaney was in charge. Both of these men were local and famous woods bosses.

Moreover, in addition to the supplies sent during 1903, the supplies that were left by the crews that had finished work on the railway extension were purchased for the woodsmen.

There were also the many camps that were along the Swift and Dead Diamond rivers that had to be supplied, not to mention the other outpost in northern New Hampshire. All of these camps worked to get the logs to the mills in Berlin via the Androscoggin River.

The men worked hard and they were fed well, but it took a great cook back then to make the supplies tasty and satisfying to the woodsmen. If this wasn’t done, the camp chef was history.

I do have one more chapter about the year 1903, as it was a big year in the history of this city.

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Jerry Knirk: Graham-Cassidy is not health-care reform

Just when we thought that the repeal and replace effort against Obamacare was over, the Republicans are back with the Graham-Cassidy bill. The premise of this bill is to turn over control to the states but it is a Trojan horse which does much more, cutting funding drastically.

The sponsors have noted that the Affordable Care Act sends much more money to certain populous states such as California, New York, Massachusetts (blue states). They fail to mention that these states receive more because they expanded Medicaid. Non-expansion states chose not to accept the federal money. The initial plan of the ACA was for all states to expand Medicaid. Legal challenges made in an attempt to kill the ACA resulted in Medicaid expansion being an option for states. Many red states chose not to expand Medicaid and therefore did not obtain the added funds.

Graham-Cassidy would markedly cut the funds for states that expanded Medicaid, particularly California and New York, and would give more to states that did not expand Medicaid, especially Texas.

A particularly interesting carve-out exists for Alaska. The carve-out is to give low-population-density states with health-care spending more than 20 percent above the U.S. mean an exemption from the deep cuts to Medicaid, giving them about 50 percent more funding. Only Alaska and North Dakota fit that description.

It is notable that a senator from Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has voted against the previous repeal and replace bills. This appears to be a carve-out to get her on board with this bill. It may be unconstitutional, as it does not provide uniform treatment of the states.

This bill is being pushed through without a reasonable hearing process and on such a rapid time frame that the Congressional Budget Office will not to be able to properly score it to see how many millions of people this plan will throw off health-care insurance. It likely will be tens of millions.

Graham-Cassidy rolls together Medicaid funding and ACA cost-sharing subsidies into a block grant to each state. However, the block grants will be cut by 25 percent in five years and completely eliminated in 10 years. The cost sharing subsidies will end in 2020. While states that did not expand Medicaid will get a windfall initially, they too will see the block grants diminish over time, then disappear. Many governors oppose this bill as they will have to pick up the pieces.

The impact on New Hampshire will be catastrophic. We will lose $1 billion over the next 10 years. Before the ACA, our hospitals faced $400 million per year in unfunded liabilities due to taking care of people without insurance. These liabilities decreased significantly after Medicaid expansion. As people are thrown off insurance, we will see increased costs of uncompensated care that will be very difficult for our smaller, rural hospitals to absorb.

Graham-Cassidy removes many other positive features of the ACA. It repeals mandates to have health insurance. As I have noted in previous columns, it is important to have everybody in the insurance pool to share the risk and prevent the inevitable cost shifting that occurs when people are not covered. The medical costs of the uninsured do not go away, they just get shifted to those with insurance and the taxpayers.

It also repeals the subsidies, which lower premiums, deductibles and co-pays. This will make insurance more expensive. This bill allows states to waive the ACA protections regarding pre-existing conditions and covered benefits. It ends federal funding of retroactive Medicaid eligibility, a basic safety net feature that enables catastrophically ill people to be covered for a high-cost event occurring before they were covered. States would also be able to change the essential health benefits, impacting the ACA prohibition of annual or lifetime caps on coverage.

In an earlier column, I profiled a self-employed woman who had a premature baby and was left with $87,000 of debt because she was covered with a non-ACA-compliant insurance product grandfathered in when the ACA took effect.

The strategy we are currently working on to get her help is to use the retroactive coverage of her baby’s Medicaid. If Graham-Cassidy is passed, a family having a premature baby will once again face these same problems and the child would likely be uninsurable in the future, due to pre-existing conditions and because of reaching lifetime caps for coverage.

This bill primarily attacks Medicaid recipients and lower-income people. As I noted in a previous column, per capita expenditures for Medicaid are lower and have had a lower inflation rate than private insurance or Medicare over the past seven years. We are seeing an attempt to throw millions of poor people off their health-care coverage in order to fund tax cuts.

Graham-Cassidy is not health-care reform. It is time for real health-care reform that fixes our broken health-care system, which costs on average twice as much as the systems in other developed countries and is dead last in health-care outcomes.

Jerry Knirk is a freshman representative from Carroll County District 3: Tamworth, Madison, Freedom and Albany. He lives in Freedom.


Poof Tardiff: 1903 XI

Hello, fellow Berlinites. Father Kyle Stanton told me that the bells in St. Anne’s Church are the original bells of 1903 that I talked about in my last story. Thanks for the information, Father.
During the latter part of the fall of 1903, the newspaper reported that seven new brick blocks had been built in the booming city of Berlin during this year. Yes, this season in 1903 proved to be a record breaker for new brick buildings erected in downtown. The businesses were turning to brick instead of wood and felt much safer with these blocks in case of fire.
The new structures of brick that were completed during 1903 were as follows and named in the order in which they were begun: The Demers Block on School Street; the City National Bank (Holiday Center) on Post Office Square (Green Square); the parochial school on Emery Street; the Croteau Block (Albert Hotel) on Main Street opposite the Clement Opera House; and the Carnegie Library on Main Street, the Cote Block on Main Street and the Tucker Block next to the Cote Block.
Do any of these buildings still stand? I can be corrected if need be, but the St. Patrick’s School (parochial school), the Cote Block, the library, the Demers Block, corner of Willard and School Street and the City National Bank are the only buildings that still stand. Wouldn't we like to see this growth come to our fine city again?
A trolley accident on the evening of Nov. 7, 1903, came near to taking the life of Miss Flora Quivey. This middle-aged lady was walking down Glen Avenue, and, when she was near the last of the Glen cottages, she met a team coming up. In stepping out of the way of the team, she turned toward the trolley tracks. The 5 p.m. car for Gorham was coming down at the same time, and it was thought that Miss Quivey became bewildered in the uncertain dark. She ventured to hear the track and was struck by the car, which hurled her some distance. This badly lacerated her face and head and generally bruised her.
Flora was picked up and brought back to Post Office Square on the car and treated by Dr. Pulsifer, who dressed her wounds. One of her ears was badly torn and needed several stitches.
Had Miss Quivey been one step nearer the track, she would in all likelihood have met with a horrible death, but the injured lady did recover. One must remember that in 1903, the trolley system was brand new and older residents seemed to forget about these huge cars coming down the street. I am sure it was the same situation when the automobile came along.
A Dec. 10, 1903 issue of the local paper announced that the school system of Berlin was going to have its first superintendent. The article said that the city of Berlin was to be congratulated on the fact that it had taken a decided advance in regards to her public schools, by voting to inaugurate the system of expert superintendency.
It was further believed that Berlin was to be complimented on having secured so strong and able a man to assume the duties of this position as George H. Whitcher of the Alton, Durham and Newmarket supervisory district.
Mr. Whitcher was considered a hard worker, a conservative thinker and a practical executive. Much of his work had been under the conditions similar to those which he was to encounter here in the Paper City.
It was not expected that there would be any radical upheaval in the Berlin school system, as the best and most thorough improvements came only months and even years after patient work, with results in many cases scarcely observable except by those most closely connected with the school system.
The mobility of our population in 1903 and the rapid growth of our city involved problems that called for careful study and still more execution. These problems were the duty of a superintendent to contend with, and he would reach a higher plane of work than could be expected by the school board.
The school board was necessarily composed of men with business and professional cares of their own to attend to. They could, at the most, carry the matter of the schools only as a side issue, thus a superintendent was hired.
It was said that Berlin was taking a progressive step and indicated for the new regime the cooperation of teacher, parents and pupils in bringing our schools to the highest possible standards. Mr. Whitcher, who did a lot for the school system in Berlin, left us in 1914 for another assignment.
The saga of mill accidents continued to be put in the newspapers, and the Dec. 3, 1903, headlines read: “Chapter of Accidents."Joseph Collier, a workman employed at the Berlin Mills Company, met with an accident on Thanksgiving Day which not only cost him the use of an arm, but resulted in the loss of his eyesight as well.
As the construction was going on building the Cascade Mill, Mr. Collier had drilled a hole and put in a dynamite cartridge to prepare for a blast. He was then told that the blast was not necessary and attempted to remove the cartridge. The cap came off and he tried to pry it out with a drill. There was a sudden explosion and Collier received the full force of the discharge in his face, also shattering his right hand.
This poor man ended up with only one arm and lost his eyesight. What did he do after this horrible accident upon recovering from his wounds?
Another accident at the Burgess Sulphite Fibre Company almost cost Willie Halle a loss of one eye. While they were rolling logs, his companion’s iron hook slipped and the point caught young Hallie in the face. He was put on a train for Quebec for further medical treatment.
Another injury occurred during a fight between two men at the Berlin Mills Company woods camp at Bowman. John Henry proceeded to settle a dispute by hitting his companion over the eye with a heavy iron poker, which was laying close by. The hard blow resulted in serious trauma, and the injured man was in the serious condition. Henry was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, and a court date was set.
I am sure that there must have been some serious fights among woodsmen in the early days, especially if there was liquor involved. Remember that these were very capable men.
I will continue with the year 1903 in my next writing.
Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Sun. Questions or comments can be sent to 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 weekly mystery pictures.
Witcher GeorgeGeorge Witcher
Early Glen AvenueEarly Glen Avenue
Croteau BlockCroteau Block
Cascade Mill siteCascade Mill site