Family photos, articles donated to society


NORWAY — Linda Bergmann, great-granddaughter of John Alfred Roberts, the proprietor of Roberts farm, 1881-1913, has donated family photos, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia to the Norway Historical Society via the Western Foothills Land Trust.

John Roberts I has also been chosen to be the focus of this summer’s Norway Arts Festival.

The trust began searching for Roberts’ descendants and photos in 2007 when the process of securing the former Roberts Jersey Dairy Farm overlooking Pennesseewassee Lake in Norway was initiated. Preliminary genealogy led to a web designer in Mass., Daniel Bergmann, who is the great-great-grandson of John A. and Carrie (Pike) Roberts.

Daniel Bergmann’s mother, Linda Bergmann, had a collection of family photos and memorabilia from Maine and was willing to donate it the trust and to the Norway Historical Society for permanent archiving.

The collection primarily relates to her father, John Alfred Roberts II, who was born in Norway in 1917 and died in Lynnfield, Mass., in 2005. He graduated from Norway High School in 1935, attended Harvard and MIT, married Lucy Arnold of Camden and worked as a senior design engineer for General Electric in Lynn, Mass. He held 22 patents.

The donated collection includes a mid-1800s unidentified photo of a young man, possibly John M. Roberts of Andover, father of John A. Roberts. There is also a photo of Lena Schenk, Thaddeus Roberts’ wife.

Most of the donated photographs were taken by John Roberts II in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Revealing an inventor’s curiosity, they are homemade stereopticon views. There are several of the roadway along Lake Pennesseewassee and of the view of the lake from the family farm. Many include the Roberts Jersey Dairy Farm 1938 Ford one-ton truck as a place holder in the photos.