Pittsfield Area Senior Center is teaming up with the Josiah
Carpenter Library and hosting a presentation given by the
Historical Society at the senior center, located on 74 Main St. in
Pittsfield, on October 22, 2015 at 1:00 PM. Larry Berkson and
William Provencal will be discussing the history and highlights of
the “2016 Historical Pittsfield Calendar.” You can call the center
at 603-435-8482 or the library at 603-435-8406 for more information.
Tim and Bethany Groves, along with their four children, Mackenzie,
Mikayla, Megan, and Micah, travel full time advancing God’s Kingdom
through praise & worship, anointed singing and sign language, and
the preaching of the Word. Join them at the Lighthouse Church of God
(29 Watson Street, Pittsfield), Fri. & Sat., Oct. 23 & 24 at 7 pm
and Sun., Oct. 25 at 11am and 6 pm.
Annual Suncook River Cleanup
Saturday, 10/24, 10 am - Noon
the Drake’s Field Boat Launch.
gloves and a canoe if you have one.
Sponsored by Friends of the Suncook River,
more information, Paul Oman, 435-7199,
of the Josiah Carpenter Library
Friends are taking orders now through Nov. 4, 2015 as part of their
Annual Poinsettia Sale. You may pick up an order form at the
library during regular business hours, or go to the library’s
website to download an order form.
you for supporting your local library!
Pittsfield Park and Rec Basketball Sign Ups
1 through 8
ups held at the
Pittsfield Community Center
a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
questions contact Darrell Wages (603)-812-6741.
Million Veteran Program hits 400K Milestone
Expected to be Among World’s Largest Databases
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Million
Veteran Program (MVP) has enrolled its 400,000th Veteran volunteer,
squarely putting it on track to become one of the world’s largest
medical databases, linking genetic, clinical, lifestyle and
military-exposure information, with the goal of learning more about
the role of genes in health and disease.
proud to see the progress being made in MVP, and we are confident
the knowledge gained through this research will have a very tangible
and positive impact on the health care that Veterans and all
Americans receive,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “We
applaud our Veterans participating in the program. The selfless
sacrifice they are making will allow researchers to gain valuable,
Veterans who volunteer for the program donate blood, from which DNA
is extracted, and periodically fill out surveys about their health,
health-related behaviors and military experiences. They also consent
to having authorized researchers access the information in their VA
electronic health record, and to being re-contacted for future
research opportunities. All information, genetic and otherwise, is
kept secure and de-identified. Samples and data are coded; no names,
birthdates or social security numbers are shared.
operation at more than 50 VA medical centers nationwide, is already
the largest database of its type in the United States. Data
collected through MVP are available to researchers for use in
approved studies, to include posttraumatic stress disorder,
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use disorders and heart
and kidney disease.
a part of the Precision Medicine Initiative announced by President
Obama earlier this year. The initiative aims to move health care
forward into an era in which disease prevention and treatment will
be tailored to individual patients on the basis of their genes and
thrilled to be working closely with the White House and other
federal partners on the president’s Precision Medicine Initiative,”
said VA Chief Research and Development Officer Timothy O’Leary,
M.D., Ph.D. “We are committed to making precision medicine a reality
for Veterans and the nation.”
more information about MVP and VA research in general, visit
Truth About 70, Girls, 70
Gentile and Gerri Casey ham it up as the waitresses Fritzi and Melba
of the Cornucopia Cafe just off the Sussex Arms Lobby and just off
Broadway. Come see why the trouble with the world today is “Coffee
in a Cardboard Cup,” as The Pittsfield Players present “70, Girls,
are a lot of people who are asking what The Pittsfield Players fall
musical is this year. The answer is “70, Girls, 70.” The response
is, “What is the musical??”
So here’s the long story short: “70, Girls, 70” is a musical comedy
that my parents just happened to see some years back when they were
traveling. They came back to rave about the show. Dad couldn’t
really remember the plot and mom couldn’t quite remember how the
music went but they both loved it. I remember my mother, eyes
twinkling, saying” The best part is the cast is all OLD!” Why was
this the best part? “Because that’s who we have in The Pittsfield
Players, old people! Old people like me and Maye Hart and Mal
Cameron and Chet Fuller, Lena Luongo, Gerri Casey, the Gentiles, Dee
Dee Pitcher and Bea Douglas, Nella and Mike Hobson… we’re all old!
Well, sure some of us are older than others but it would be perfect
for us to do. And it’s funny because it makes fun of old actors
weren’t able to mount the show in mom’s lifetime but in the last few
years Maye Hart and dad kept pushing for me to direct it. So with
Jeff Gregoire’s assistance and Carole Neveaux and Dee Dee Pitcher on
choreography and Phil Breton accompanying on keyboard (plus a lot
more younger or newer cast members) we’re finally bringing you “70,
Girls,70”; a show about being old and sometimes beating the odds and
sometimes not; about being in love and being alive; about acting and
singing and dancing or limping. A show that you’re going to love
just like mom did. You may not know the music but you’ll fall in
love with the characters right away. Tickets, $17, are already
moving, get yours now for 70, Girls, 70; November 13 & 14 at 7:30
PM; Nov. 15 at 2PM; November 20 & 21 at 7:30 PM. Call (603) 435-8852
to reserve! You may also visit us online at
Street: In The Late 1940S And Early 1950S:
Submitted By Larry Berkson
requests seem to keep coming. This time it was about Main Street and
the occupants of the buildings in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Well, Mr. Mitchell, as opposed to today, it was an extremely busy
place, filled with shops, stores and huge single family residences.
There was so much going on that it will take two articles to cover
the subject. In Part I, I will discuss the northwest side of the
Beginning at the top of Factory Hill, was The Washington House which
evolved from town founder John Cram’s house. Next came the Union
Block, erected in 1876 after the Valentine’s Day Fire which leveled
the former building. The third floor was added in 1895. In the late
1940s and early 1950s it contained three businesses. On the left
side was the Pittsfield Savings Bank run by Courtland Paige. In the
center was the Paige Insurance Agency run by Gilbert Paige. On the
right side was a series of stores, the A & P grocery store, Joe and
Tony’s vegetable stand, and later other variety stores, such as
Boyd’s Market and now K-2. Upstairs there were at least two
apartments. One was occupied by the Chagnon family who had two
daughters, Cecile and Gloria, whereabouts now unknown. By this time
the Odd Fellows Hall on the third floor was no longer occupied.
came the Congregational Church also built after the conflagration of
Valentine’s Day, 1876. This was followed by what was known in the
olden days as the infamous “Fort Wilkins,” which was owned by the
eccentric dentist, barber and jack of all trades, G. G. Wilkins. He
ran a store there with a bear tied up out front. During the 1940s
through the 1960s it was occupied by Hemeon’s Store, run by Bob
Hemeon who retired to Maine and lived well into his 90s.
came Kenneth “Buster” Danis Barber Shop. Originally run by his
father “Fedo,” it was a hang-out for many men. The topic of
conversation was often baseball. A die hard Yankee fan, Buster often
threw out Bill Meyers, a die-hard Red Sox fan, after a loud and
vitriolic argument. One of the interesting features was the small
opening between the shop and Hemeon’s Store through which Buster
could order his cigarettes. Upstairs was an apartment occupied by
came the Green Block, formerly the Batchelder Block, built in 1887.
On the left side was Greens Drug Store, founded by Charlie Green but
later taken over by his daughter Margaret “Babe” and son-in-law
Alfred Jenisch. It had an old fashion soda fountain. I remember
Florence Philbrick and my sister among others who worked there. On
the right was the First National Store run by Clarence “Toot” Daley
and later the A&P run by Melvin Severance. Upstairs there were three
apartments, one occupied by my grandfather Barney Berkson who ran
his store, Barney’s Clothing, there until moving down to Depot
Street. The third floor was occupied by a series of secret societies
including the Pythian Sisters.
Elm Street was a building occupied by Montgomery’s men’s clothing
store on the left and Mayland Foss’s Jewelry Store on the right.
Upstairs there were apartments, occupants unknown to me.
next building was Volpe’s Grill, which had its beginnings in the
next building attached to the Opera House Block, location of the
present flower shop run by Ginny Hayes. It was one of the better
restaurants in town, along with Grace’s Lunch on Elm Street. There
were apartments upstairs. It was destroyed by fire in June 2009.
little building attached to the Opera House was occupied by Cotton’s
Flower Shop which later moved across the street into the old John
Opera House itself was built in 1883 by Charles H. Lane. On the left
was the Public Service office. Then came Dustin’s Store which sold
dry goods. The next was John Varney’s Meat Market. Later he took
over his parents’ business, the Chichester Country Store. On the
right was the Pittsfield National Bank run by Herbert Fischer.
second floor of the Opera House Block contained apartments, in one
of which the Courtland Paige Family lived for a while. There my
sister and I were baby sat while my parents attended the gala events
on the third floor—plays, dances, singing, magic acts, graduations
etc.-- and even roller skating races in the early years. Indeed, it
was the town’s social center for decades. There were also offices on
the second floor, one occupied I believe by a dentist. The third
floor was removed in 1963.
the Opera House Block came Dustin Park with its World War II
Memorial and Green Bandstand. Next was and is St. Stephen’s
Episcopal Church, built in 1863, with the undercroft added by R. C.
Foss in 1975. This building was followed by the little Mobil Gas
Station run by Dosilva “Tee” Bouchard from its construction in 1939
into the early 1950s.
later replaced by a larger station operated by Ralph Esburnett. In
1976 the building was torn down and replaced by the bank building
still standing there today.
Carroll Street John Perkins and family occupied the old Tuttle
Mansion erected in 1875 by future New Hampshire Governor, Hiram A.
Tuttle. There Mr. Perkins, an undertaker, ran his funeral business.
The parlor and waiting rooms were magnificent. He performed his work
in the attached barn.
next building was a private residence owned by Superintendent of
Schools George Holloway, and for many years in the early days the
home of the esteemed Dr. John Wheeler. I’ll never forget Mr.
Holloway’s nasty little black dog that always chased me on by
bicycle as I rode by.
Second Advent Christian Church, attended religiously by a small
congregation which included Beverly Adams and her children Margie
and Arthur, and Ruth Cram and family was next. The building was
erected in 1891, a partial basement added in 1912, the attached
stable converted into rooms in the 1920s, a new basement room added
in the 1960s and a complete undercroft in 1996.
church was followed by the Old Meetinghouse which was occupied by
the town offices on the first floor and the upper floors by various
organizations such as the Masons, Red Men and Boy Scouts. First
occupied in 1789 by the town and Congregational Church, it became
the exclusive property of the town in 1841. In 1881 the third floor
was added by the Masons for their use. After the fire of 1984 it
remained unoccupied for several years until the end of the decade
when it was restored as the Pittsfield Community Center.
Broadway was painter Edward “Brush” and Zula Riel’s home occupied by
their large family. Next came the Fred and Mary Newell Place,
occupied by two school teachers, Ida Fowler and Grace Marden. It was
followed by a brick apartment building. In the early 1950s the
right-hand one was occupied by my fifth grade school teacher, Mrs.
the brick building were a series of residential homes, the first a
two-story apartment building owned by Ernest Barnes, the bottom
floor of which was occupied by “Toot” Daley and family. It was
followed by the old Charles H. Lane Place, then owned by the
Remington Family, the Albert and Dora Page Place, the Ernest and
Emma Barnes Place, later occupied by the Cheneys, and the Delmore
French Place, later occupied by Willard and Evelyn Bishop.
Pledge Four Million Dollars To End Veteran Homelessness
Commitment is Part of VA and Community Partnership
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is strengthening community and
non-profit partnerships to better serve Veterans. The Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America (BPO Elks)
today announced that it has committed $4 million over a 4-year
period to help end Veteran homelessness.
partnership and pledge embodies the mission of MyVA, launched last
year to transform VA by putting Veterans in control of how, when and
where they wish to be served. In order to achieve transformation,
the Department has been reaching out to community partners working
to meet the needs of Veterans.
part of this partnership, the Elks will work with VHA staff on pilot
programs in the cities of Washington, Chicago and New York City. In
addition, the organization is calling on the group’s 800,000
members accross the country to support efforts to support homeless
Veterans in their communities. The Elks have a strong tradition of
service to VA. In this fiscal year alone, approximately 1,300 Elks
members volunteered more than 117,000 hours of service at VA
so excited about partnering with the Elks on this important issue
impacting far too many Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert A.
McDonald. “As we move closer to our goal of ending Veteran
homelessness, partnerships like these will be critical to ensuring
that all Veterans have access to safe and affordable housing.”
goal is to provide the tools and support necessary for homeless
Veterans to transition successfully into healthier and more stable
lives,” said Mary Morgan, Director of the Elks National Veterans
Service Commission. “Most Americans agree that Veteran homelessness
should not exist, but few people know how they can help.”
more information about VA’s homeless initiatives, visit
For more information about the Elks’ service to Veterans, visit
Guild – October 2015
October meeting of the Dorcas Guild of the First Congregational
Church of Pittsfield began with a call to order and welcome to the
14 attendees by President Nancy Fogg.
begin a time of devotions, hostesses Corine Miller and Carolyn Davis
offered the “short version” of the 10 Commandments from Exodus 20 as
well as the “10 Commandments on Human Relations.” They also read, “A
Lesson from Geese.” All joined in “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Vaughan passed around some cards for signing; Nella Hobson read some
correspondence. The September 2015 minutes were approved as written,
as was the treasurer’s report.
food basket brought by Peggy Jacobs went to Reny Boyd and will go
next to Evelyn Sheehy Richard. The mystery package brought by Reny
was won by Bev Murdough.
Discussion followed about a new refrigerator needed. A motion was
made and approved to donate funds for this purpose. Motions were
made and approved to donate to various charities. A copy of our
program guide was again circulated for any corrections.
Refreshments provided by Corine and Carolyn consisted of delicious
apple cake with whipped cream and ginger cookies with pumpkin dip.
During our time of refreshments, discussion of our Christmas Fair
proceeded with Gail Ann Newton describing the details of the
luncheon. A sign-up sheet for the items needed was circulated with
any additional items to be solicited by Gail Ann. Nancy discussed
the other aspects of the fair including set up, staffing and clean
coming Sunday, October 18, the Guild will host the Fellowship. Next
month’s meeting, November 10 at 7 pm, will include our “sock hop” –
bring new socks to give to charity. Wednesday work group continues
each week 10 am to 2 pm. All ladies are welcome.
Program: Pittsfield Historical Society Calendars
Larry Berkson and Bill Provencal for their presentation on the
calendars produced annually since 2003 by the Pittsfield Historical
Society. All these calendars, with more than 150 photos depicting
and describing Pittsfield’s colorful history, will be on display.
Many of the older calendars along with the new 2016 calendar will be
available for purchase for $10 each. The program begins at 1:00 PM
on Thursday October 22nd at the Pittsfield Community Center. The
Josiah Carpenter Library and the Pittsfield Historical Society are
collaborating for this presentation.