Bill Currie, formally of New Berlin, donated a box of pictures, books, and documents connected to Brooker Hardware Store and the Brooker Family to the New Berlin Library. Bill Currie’s father, William Currie, bought Brooker Hardware Store from Bert J Brooker in 1948. Brooker’s Hardware was located at 12 Genesee Street in the Village of New Berlin.
All of the items donated belonged to Bert Brooker (1877-1977), his first wife Estelle MacFarland Brooker (1901-1927) or his second wife Mina Hayward Brooker (1877-1971). Opening the UPS box was like opening a time capsule. The pictures and documents depict the Brooker family’s life in New Berlin between 1901 and the 1930’s.
Mina Hayward kept a journal of of local newspaper clippings dated between 1899 and 1917. This journal, being too delicate to display, has been copied. The copies are available for research in the New York History room. A set of elementary primer books dated between 1807 and 1822 are on display in the museum. Various pictures are being framed for display in the museum. A display of the Brooker Hardware Store sign and pictures of the store is being planned in the museum.