Berlin, A City in Transition

Dubbed "the city that trees built," Berlin NH was once a booming factory town with a population of 20,000, comprised largely of French Canadian, Scandinavian, Russian and Irish families. Home to the largest newsprint paper manufacturer (Brown Company) and the largest ski jump in North America; Berlin thrived economically and culturally.

Decline began for Berlin in the 50's and continues to this day; with a current population just shy of 7,000 and a struggling paper mill at its heart. Although great effort is being invested in revitalizing and re-invigorating the downtown community, it is evident that this will be a long and slow process. But a process that may seemingly get a boost from its worst fear- the shutdown of the local paper mill. Fraser Papers recently announced that it will close its Pulp manufacturing facility in May of 2006, unfortunately resulting in the layoff of 250+ workers. This may prove to be a turning point in the city's development though, with talk of demolishing the industrial eyesore located in the midst of such a beautiful, but choked landscape.

Another sign of Berlin's potential upswing, is the creation of a 7,500 acre ATV park to be opened possibly as early as spring of 2006. The park will feature 350 miles of trails, some of which are old logging roads, and will function as snowmobile trails in the winter season.