ABOUT BERLIN, NH

 

From the “The city that trees built” to the city where trees power the entire state of NH

Photo of a polluted sky in Berlin, NH
Logging on the Androscoggin River - Berlin, NH
Run off from the former paper pulp mill in Berlin, NH

Berlin is a city situated along the Androscoggin River in Coos County in northern New Hampshire. Located on the edge of the White Mountains, the city’s boundaries extend to the White Mountain National Forest, which serves as a breathtaking backdrop for this quaint New England city.

Berlin’s main industry in the early 20th century was paper pulp manufacturing, which has been in a long decline since that time. As jobs left the area, the population decreased and now is at about half its peak of more than 20,000. When the paper pulp mills closed more than 600 people were without work. This led to a dark period in Berlin’s history, as a large part of their work force was now forced to collect unemployment. Many Berliners had no choice, but to sell their homes, because employment opportunities were so scarce.

The environmental consequences of operating a paper pulp mill for so many years were staggering. The Androscoggin River was polluted with dangerous, volatile chemicals and the “wash out” area across the bridge from the mill was filled with foam and other debris that was not only unsightly, but also highly toxic and resulted in an unpleasant, chemical odor, noticeable from miles away. This did not help Berlin attract new businesses or industries.

Because of Berlin’s proximity to the north woods of NH, it was an ideal location for a biomass power plant. Burgess BioPower bought the shuttered paper pulp mill and converted it into a modern, clean burning, biomass plant that has provided many much-needed jobs to the area. Now the only thing you can smell in downtown Berlin is a distant scent of clean burning wood. And that wash out area across the bridge and the Androscoggin River? Clean and crystal clear.

Berlin has gone through some growing pains over the years, but it is now poised to attract more business, in the way of tourism, and new homeowners to its community with a renewed sense of hope. If you visit Berlin, you will notice immediately that the people are some of the friendliest, nicest people you will ever meet. They are hard working, proud people with a rich history that are now looking forward to a brighter future.

Main Street Berlin NH Street Sign
Early morning in downtown Berlin NH
ATV competition in Berlin NH
Workers on lunch break during the Route 16 reconstruction project, Berlin NH
ATV jamboree in Berlin NH
Berlin NH waterfront park
American flag downtown Berlin
Beautiful homes in Berlin NH

INTERVIEWS

Find out what Berlin was like after the pulp mill closed and before Burgess BioPower opened.

We asked some Berlin, NH city officials, residents and business owners to share their thoughts about Burgess BioPower’s impact on their lives and their community. Click the button below to watch the videos and read the transcripts.

TAKE ACTION

What can you do to make a difference?

We have some important, straightforward advice for NH Legislators, Coos County Business Owners & Residents, and NH Residents. Click the button below to find out what you can do.

TAKE ACTION

What can you do to make a difference?

We have some important, straightforward advice for NH Legislators, Coos County Business Owners & Residents, and NH Residents. Click the button below to find out what you can do.