Historians seek pulp mill records


BERLIN, N.H. (AP) – State historians are hurrying to save records and artifacts from the huge pulp mill that shut down last year.

The mill operated for more than a century before Fraser Papers Inc. announced its closing last May. A demolition company has bought some of the mill buildings and is tearing them down.

State historians are trying to stay ahead of the demolition crews. Starting right after Christmas, they began carrying out ledgers and drawings, along with various artifacts.

The documents are being stored temporarily at the Northern Forest Heritage Park, which documents the role of the forest products industry in the region. The documents will be evaluated and catalogued later.

The director of the New Hampshire Historical Society, William Veillette, said it’s important to preserve the history of the pulp mill, which was central to the North Country economy for more than a century.

“We do have an opportunity now to make sure people don’t forget the pulp industry in northern New Hampshire,” he said. “In the future, there will be interest in how paper was made in the 20th century.”

The Berlin mill was the last major pulp mill in the state. Fraser Papers still operates a large paper mill in Gorham that was connected to the pulp mill. Both are on the banks of the Androscoggin River.

Information from: New Hampshire Union Leader, http://www.unionleader.com

AP-ES-01-15-07 1055EST