New Berlin Library and Museum

Founded: In 1807, from part of the town of Norwich. In 1853, part of the town was used to enlarge the town of Sherburne.

Hamlets within the town: Amblerville, Chenango Lake, Davis Crossing, Five Corners, Holmesville, New Berlin Center, Sages Crossing and South New Berlin.

Named after: Berlin, Conn. In 1821, the town changed its name to “Lancaster,” but returned to “New Berlin” the next year.

Current population: 2,682 (2010 U.S. Census)

Notable people: Helen Adelia Manville (1839-1912) was an American poet and littérateur. Anson Burlingame (1820-1870) was an American lawyer, a legislator for the Republican/American Party, diplomat, and abolitionist. He was also the United States’ minister to the Qing Empire.

Interesting fact: In 1899, the offices of Preferred Mutual burned to the ground, along with 11 other buildings in New Berlin. Ironically, Frank Holmes, founder of Preferred Mutual, carried no fire insurance on his business property, but he did rebuild the offices.

Industry past: The New Berlin Instrument Company produced Oboes, Clarinets and Bassoons for the C.G. Conn Instrument Co. until 1961. Founded in 1870, the I.L. Richer Co. was the largest privately-owned feed business in the Northeast. It both manufactured and sold feed until its business was sold in 2008.

Industry present: Preferred Mutual Insurance Agency, founded in 1896, was first known as the Preferred Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Chenango County. Today, it employs more than 270 people and operates in association with more than 450 independent agents. Golden Artist Colors, Inc. has been in New Berlin since 1980. Sam Golden, a retired paint maker, found himself “going to the barn (on his New Berlin property) to make paint for friends.” Since 1980, the company has developed more than 1,000 custom paints for artists, conservators, and many individuals and businesses requiring the special services of custom coatings. It also has a large warehouse in Norwich.