Municipal Improvements and Work Relief – Berlin NH

Description

Extensive work was done in Berlin by a combination of the CWA, FERA, PWA, NYA, CCC and WPA all during the existence of the New Deal when “in 1935, under the leadership of newly-elected Mayor Arthur Bergeron, the Farmer-Labor Party began the process of reorganizing city government and acting as a conduit for federal monies in response to the mass lay-offs in the the Great Northern and Brown paper mills” (http://www.berlinnh.gov)

1935

The period of the Civil Works Administration ended on April 1, with jobs incomplete as follows Athletic Field, Boating and Bathing Pool at the Bog.

1936

“The Federal Work Projects have assisted the {relief} department a great deal and have been responsible to a great extent for the decrease in expenses. Approximately 300 people certified by the City office have been employed on these projects during the year. The WPA sewing project located in the Burgess school has employed 20 women from the city office and in addition to this has furnished the department with a great amount of needed clothing. Another department that has greatly aided the relief recipients and a number of border line cases, is the Surplus Commodities Depot also located in the Burgess School. This office supplied an enormous amount of surplus food and clothing,to needy families.”

1937

“During the year, 232 men and women were employed on WPA projects which in turn assisted in keeping down the expenditures of the {relief} department. In addition to this the National Youth Administration employed 25 young men and girls on their projects during the year. A number of boys were sent to the CCC and their earnings helped considerably in their respective families.

The concrete pipe plant was operated almost continuously during the present year and a good grade of concrete pipe produced. For the most part the plant was operated by W. P. A. labor.

The City Shops were also built during the past year, the Federal Government again contributing 45% of the total cost. In relation to the benefits derived from such a permanent building and the fact that the Government paid 45% of its cost, it is reasonably safe to assume that the city received an economical and much needed building. The Public Works can now be centralized and their endeavors placed on a much more economical basis.”

1938

“The W. P. A., N. Y. A., and C. C. C. were a great help to the City of Berlin, in keeping the {relief} costs down. Especially was the W. P. A. Sewing Project at the Burgess School a great saving both in wages paid the sewers, and the big saving on clothing made by these women, which otherwise would have had to be purchased by this department.

Also the W. P. A. Sewing Projects made and distributed 435,782 articles of clothing during the year, at a value cf $316,233.00. The Surplus Commodities also purchased and distributed 8,159 articles of clothing, in the past two months alone, for a value of $73,000.00. Over 800 of these articles, including suits, overcoats, dresses, sweaters, jackets, mackinaws ski suits, etc., were given out in Berlin. The total value of food and clothing distributed by these Depots amounted to $990,005.00. The State of New Hampshire received from the W. P. A., $60,643.19 in wages alone during 1938.

Source notes

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES AND MUNICIPAL ACTIVITIES OF THE CITY OF BERLIN, N. H. 1934 to 1941
http://www.berlinnh.gov/pages/berlinnh_webdocs/berlinhistory?textPage=1

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on June 6, 2014.

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Location Info


Berlin, NH 03570

Location notes: General marker for city of Berlin.

Coordinates: 44.4686696, -71.18507679999999

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