National Historic Marker Day Celebration Held In New Berlin
Published: May 2nd, 2023
By: Kelli Miller

National Historic Marker Day celebration held in New Berlin Commerce Chenango President and CEO Sal Testani and Chenango County Historian Henry Drexler stand with New Berlin Mayor Peter Lennon as he cut the ribbon in the Village of New Berlin on April 28, in celebration of the restoration of five historic markers. Gilbert Harrington from the Historical Society and Unadilla Valley Future Farmers of America (FFA) student stand nearby. (Photo by Kelli Miller)

NEW BERLIN — National Historic Marker Day celebration started with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 12 p.m. on April 28 in the Village of New Berlin at the John P. Usher marker in front of the park. Five historic markers in the village were repainted, coated and re-installed.

The celebration was held in conjunction with the Chenango County Historical Society (CCHS) and the Chenango Chamber of Commerce. New Berlin Mayor Peter Lennon, Commerce Chenango President and CEO Sal Testani, and County Historian Henry Drexler were present.

Gilbert Harrington from the Historical Society, Sophia Baio, Ms. Jessica DeVries, students from Unadilla Valley Future Farmers of America (FFA) and village community members also joined the celebration.

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New Berlin Mayor Peter Lennon said, “The project of refreshing the five historic markers was a collaborative effort among Tepco (from Bainbridge, who did the sandblasting); renowned artist Lori Wilson and eight year old Sophia Baio, who donated their talents to painting the signs; and Ted’s Body Shop in New Berlin who donated their time to put a protective coating on the signs.”

This year, CCHS collaborated with the Town of New Berlin, celebrating the newly refurbished markers in the community with the ribbon cutting ceremony along with scavenger hunt and 'take a selfie' at each New Berlin marker with a $25 amazon gift card prize awarded.

“A special thanks go to Jessica Moquin and the Chenango County Historical Society who helped turn this five sign dedication into a fun event: Don Brown and the Chobani cup truck also made it special,” Lennon said.

“Lori Wilson not only did the painting, but made the coordination necessary to bring this project for concept to reality. Finally, I thank our Village Department of Public Works (DPW), who provided the logistics to make it all happen,” he added.

Various repainted Markers included the following: New Berlin’s documented first settlement in 1790 and famous citizen Anson Burlingame, born in New Berlin, November 14, 1820 and later became Ambassador to the “Far East” while under the Lincoln Administration; Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher who also was under the Lincoln Administration and practiced Law with John Hyde between 1837 to 1839; A historic law office marker; two railroad line markers; and a marker documenting the early 19th century (about 1808) Episcopal Church.

These Markers highlight New Berlin’s proud history of events and recognize people and places that played a significant role in the Nation’s history.

Lennon said, “The New Berlin we call home may have a future Ambassador or Secretary of the Interior growing up here today. Yes, In New Berlin.”

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The National Historic Marker Day fun and family friendly celebration was originally created by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and is held the last Friday of every April. The event brings communities together to maintain their markers by cleaning or painting them which provides the opportunity to preserve history.