First settled in 1631, Berwick is the ninth-oldest town in Maine. Its unique location on the border of Maine and New Hampshire has served as one of the most popular gateways between the two states for centuries. Berwick was home to Gen. John Sullivan, a military officer in the Revolutionary War, and James Sullivan, the seventh governor of Massachusetts. Berwick was also the site of the country’s first sawmill, powered by the Salmon Falls River. In the 1800s, sawmills gave way to cotton mills, all which continued to depend on the river for their livelihood. In 1935, Berwick became the headquarters of Prime Tanning, which grew to be the country’s most dominant leather tannery. Today, Berwick is shifting its focus back to the river, not as a means to support factory life, but rather as a place to gather and engage in community activities. Berwick traces the history of a town that has overcome economic hardship and looks to continued revitalization in the future.
About the Author
Jessie Taylor is a Berwick resident who has worked with the Downtown Vision Committee since 2013. With the goal to revitalize Berwick’s image as a riverfront community, Taylor has assembled a collection of photographs to inspire and engage the community.