PRESERVING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE
VOLUME 34 AUTUMN 2012
A Most Memorable Event
In September, hundreds of spectators were treated to an exciting event that has never occurred in this area. Over a year ago Walter Nadeau undertook organizing an endurance ride commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Arabian horses owned by WR Brown. He attended endurance rides in other areas to get information on how to go about doing this. He negotiated with landowners for the use of their lands for trails and he plotted, measured and marked those trails. Walter worked countless hours at soliciting donations and submitting a grant to help with funding. He assembled volunteers for various tasks and patiently oversaw that all phases of the weekend affair ran smoothly. We thank Walter for making this a most memorable and well organized event. See story and photos on next pages.
Once again, this year was our most successful year ever for sales at the barn. We hosted 6 sales and wish to thank all those who contributed to this funding event. These funds help defray the expenses of heating the museum, thus enabling it to remain open year round.
All items sold were donated by generous members of the community. Sales of furniture and larger items were extended to the lower section of the larger barn, facilitating better handling and displaying of those items. Our appreciation also goes to the volunteers who unselfishly gave of their time setting up displays and staffing the sales.
Christmas is just around the corner and gift giving problems can be solved at our museum store. Offered for sale are unique books by local writers, a DVD documentary film of Berlin, and many postcards. The Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12 pm to 4 pm for your shopping convenience.
Prices and titles may be obtained by phoning the museum at (603) 752-4590 or (603) 752- 7337. You may wish to visit our web site www.berlinnhhistoricalsociety.org. The web site will give you access to the list of all items available and more information about the museum with lots of pictures of past events. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride
On September 15, 2012, BCCHS hosted the Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Maynesboro Stud by William Robinson Brown. From 1912 to 1933 WR Brown was the leading breeder of Arabian horses in the United States. One sixth of the Arabian horses in the US are descended from horses bred in Berlin by WR Brown.
After a year of planning, the ride went off without a hitch and attracted 62 riders and horses from as far away as North Carolina. The event consisted of a 50 mile ride, a 25 mile limited distance ride and a 13 mile pleasure ride.
This all began when Kim Fortune of Warner, NH visited the Moffett House in August of 2011 and informed us that she had a fifth generation foal born to one of her mares that was a direct line to the Maynesboro Stud. From studying the pedigree, she discovered that this year was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Maynesboro Stud and suggested that we organize an endurance ride to celebrate this important milestone in Berlin’s history and the Arabian Horse Industry.
Not knowing where to begin, BCCHS contacted the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), the governing body of endurance rides, who then got us in touch with Tom Hutchinson of Bethel, ME. Tom has hosted endurance rides since 1998 and he gladly assisted us with this project. The first thing we had to do was to find an area with trails to ride. Eventually, we plotted out 28 miles of trails on both sides of the Androscoggin River, including 12 miles in the Jericho Lake ATV park, land owned by Barry Kelley, and several other property owners. Trails had to be measured by GPS, measuring wheels and by vehicles to make sure that the Mileage was accurate. The event was then publicized in ride magazine to attract riders, and Walter Nadeau attended other endurance rides to talk it up among competitors. The ride was sanctioned by the AERC, Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association, Arabian Horse Association and New England Horse and Trail.
One of the objectives was to have members of the Brown Family attend the event. A letter was sent to Nancy Lee Brown Snow, daughter of WR Brown, to inform her of the Maynesboro Ride. Lee Brown followed up and there were at least 12 Brown descendents and their spouses in attendance, including her brother, Fielding. The Brown family had a great time and their presence added much to making the Maynesboro Ride a living history lesson.
All of the riders arrived on Friday, September 14, their horses had to be checked by Veterinarians to be deemed fit to ride on Saturday. The “vet check” was followed by a buffet dinner in the Maynesboro Stud Barn and a rider’s briefing at 7:30 PM. The rides began at 6:30 AM, Saturday. The winner in the 25 mile ride completed the event with a time of 3 hours and 28 minutes. The 50 mile winning time was 7 hours 1 minute. An awards ceremony and BBQ at 5:30 PM, Saturday, brought an end to a grand affair.
There were many challenges along the way, but with the help of 30 volunteers, the generosity of local businesses and a grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation, the Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride ended up being a grand success.
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 activitiies who worked in the mills. Some articles are very amusing while others are informative. In the older Bulletins of the 1920s, there are stories of the ethnic groups of Berlin as well as articles on the popular areas of the city. Many new photos have recently been added. Check out our website at www.berlinnhhistoricalsociety.org.
Museum Hours and Things to See
The Moffett House Museum & Genealogy Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 4 PM. The main floor displays artifacts, albums, and numerous
memorabilia from the past. Upstairs, are three rooms jam-packed with records and books for those who wish to explore their roots in genealogy or to research historical documents. We encourage schools, home schools, civic, church, school reunion committees, nursing homes, or other groups and individuals to contact us for special visits, which may be arranged by calling (603) 752-4590 or (603) 752-7337.
E-mail contact is email@example.com. Admission is free.
Contributions and Membership
Because of the generosity of so many people, the museum has seen a great deal of growth since its establishment in 1997. To maintain this growth, financial aid is needed from various sources. Please remember the Society in your will and estate planning. Donations in memory of a loved one or direct contributions are received with appreciation. Gifts of artifacts and memorabilia are very important as well. We have a tax exempt classification of 501C3. The Historical Society is a non-profit organization and it also relies on support through its membership dues. We sincerely hope you will remain a member by renewing your membership when it is due. If you are not already a member, we invite you to join to help support the preservation of the area’s rich heritage. The price for membership is $10.00 for individuals and $20.00 for family.
The Moffett House has seen a steady increase of activities in the genealogy and records departments of the museum. Many people are coming in to research their roots as are organizations and groups doing research for historical documentaries and other projects.