Smith and Town Printers Gets Approval to Expand

Family Members are Key Supporters of WMRR Club

 by Edith Tucker
The Berlin Reporter

November 13, 2013

BERLIN — Smith and Town Printers, LLC, received unanimous approval from the Planning Board on Thursday night to increase the square footage of their Main Street building by a little more than 25 percent by constructing a 25- by 40-foot two-story addition.  Three members of the Godbout family — brothers Mike and Matt and their widowed mother — own and operate the company.

Phil Bedard of Couture Construction explained to the Board that the first floor would be concrete and the second, stick-built, topped by a steel roof.

Smith and Town recently purchased a high-quality 13-ton Komori four-color press that handles paper up to 20-by 29-inches in size.

The Japanese-made printing press, bought at auction from a company that was taken was taken over another printer to create redundancies, will join two Heidelberg presses and various modern copying machines. The Komori is now in storage and likely the needed construction work will not be finished until early summer.

The new-to-us press will allow us to print large color format work more efficiently,” explained Mike Godbout of Milan in a Sunday afternoon phone call. Most of Smith and Town’s customers are within a 100-mile radius, he explained. Jim Clark is Smith and Town’s salesman.

Sylvia Poulin, who owns an abutting building, attended the meeting to say that she has no problem with the project.  Poulin heads up the City’s Main Street program, and she is a leading cheer leader for keeping as much business as possible down town.

According to Smith and Town’s webpage, printing at 42 Main Street goes back to the early 1900s, when owners John Smith and Harry Poley moved their business from 74 Main St. to 42 Main St.

The business was then known as The Franklin Printery and prided itself on being able to turn out at the shortest notice the product of its skill from the smallest card to the large posters, using the highest grade of stock to the greatest value for the least money.

In 1929 Harry Poley struck out on his own, however, and John Smith went into partnership with Ernest Town, who was a printer at the firm.   The partners continued in business until 1956 when John Vezina, a Smith and Town linotype operator purchased the firm and operated it for the next two decades in which the industry experienced many changes.

In 1976 Roger Godbout, a darkroom technician who worked for John Vezina, and then-bookkeeper Mona Landers, became business partners Both operated the business for several years until Landers sold her share to Roger and his wife, Rachel.

They then became sole proprietors. Roger died suddenly in 1999 in a helicopter crash, leaving his survivors to operate the business.  The trio and its experienced staff continue to maintain customer service and provide professional graphic design and prompt printing and copy services.


The WMRR Club congratulates the Godbout family on their business expansion.  The family has been a supporter of the club for many years
starting with their late father Roger Godbout.  Roger was instrumental in establishing many of the club trails that are still in use today
including trails on Cates Hill and Corridor 19 to Milan. 

Mike Godbout is currently the Vice President of the club and Matt Godbout does all of the club trail reconstruction work with his two excavators,
bulldozer and dump truck.  Smith and Town printers was also a major contributor to the Emergency Response Vehicle project. 

We appreciate the support of the Godbout family who are always willing to help regardless of the project and we wish them all the best on their expansion.

The plaque above was originally mounted at the start of the southern end of the Cates Hill Trail.  It was removed when the State took over
the land where the sign was posted because trails in that area were renamed by the state. 

In the background is one of Matt's excavators which recently completed a total rebuilding of the Cates Hill Trail  The plaque was recently
moved to its new location on Cates Hill Road to commemorate this trail rebuilding effort..   

 [WMRR Home]