For four years Ray Daigle has labored on this book for which I have the pleasure of writing a brief introduction. Ray and I share a love for Berlin’s rich history and he undertook the task to document in pictures and writing what Ray considers The Golden Years of the mills and the City of Berlin (1852-1935). In 1980 the name Brown Company disappeared from our mills and it is my hope that this book will not allow that name to be forgotten. The Brown mills in Berlin and Gorham were called the Berlin Mills Company and in 1917 the name changed to Brown Company. From 1892 to 1935, the Brown Company grew to be one the largest and most advanced paper mills in the world, employing over 6000 lumberjacks working on 3.5 million acres of land and employed 4000 people in the mills. As a result, Berlin grew from a population of 6,000 people and peaked at 22,000 in 1932.
“Berlin Mills on the Androscoggin River” presents a detailed account of the men and the products that made the Berlin economy boom during this time period. Ray Daigle talks about William Wentworth Brown, his four sons, the inventors, and the unsung heroes, all of whom contributed to Berlin’s industrial growth during The Golden Years. Although Berlin has gone through some tough times over the past 40 years and the population is half of what it once was, we are now seeing new investors taking advantage of the same raw materials and water power that brought the Brown Family to Berlin over 160 years ago. The Berlin Biomass facility, Gorham Paper and Tissue and the Great North Woods are Berlin’s future and hopefully will spur a growth in our area that was once witnessed by our fathers and grandfathers.
Walter J. Nadeau
Vice-President, Berlin & Coos County Historical Society
First Page coming off the press at Smith & Town Printers of Berlin NH. Ray Daigle and Pete St.Amant ,owner Mike Godbout in back out of the picture .
In 1868, William Wentworth Brown acquired the sawmill known as Winslow’s Sawmill, built in 1852, from John B. Brown (no relation). W.W. Brown’s sons joined in the enterprise and envisioned a Pulp and Paper mill that became renowned worldwide.
To them this book is dedicated, but mostly to the workers who themselves made it such a success from the year 1852 to 2006 when the Burgess Mills shut down. And to the workers still at the Cascade Mill, now Gorham Paper and Tissue, and at the La Tuque Mill in Canada, now Smurfit-Stone, the only mills to survive from Brown family days. Let us not forget the men of the woods who supplied the raw materials for these mills. This book was written so that the descendents of these workers may know of their forbear’s work.
Books will be available Sunday September 8th at the signing from 12 noon to 4pm soft and hard covers will be available .Place will be on East Milan road in the large Brown Company barns. Books will be available on our web site and Museum store after the 8th of September. Hard cover $40.00 Soft $25.00
Hard cover will be numbered.