Alderic O. “Dick” Violette entered the telephone business on April 1, 1946 after returning from serving in the Army during WW II. He started his career at Merrimack County Telephone Company, the local independent telephone company serving the Warner, Bradford and Sutton Exchanges. His first day was spent running an open wire line from the Plains in Warner NH to Waterloo. He was fitted with climbing equipment and given instructions. In 1959 Dick became Plant Superintendent for a neighboring independent Hopkinton Telephone Company which served the Contoocook Exchange. In 1972 he came back to MCTCo as Vice President & General Manager. He also remained with HTCo and managed both companies. In 1977 the two companies merged and merged its work forces as well. His career spanned over 50 years where he did everything from digging pole holes by hand to running cables and splicing wires. He worked his way up through the ranks to the position of President & CEO of Merrimack County Telephone (or MCT Telecom as it was known then) and he retired in 1986. Dick ended his career as Chairman of the Board of MCT until it was sold to TDS Telecom on June 1, 2002.
Throughout his career Dick collected all sorts of telephone equipment, including phones, tools, books and related memorabilia. He always had it in the back of his mind that he would like to one day showcase his collection in a museum. The New Hampshire Telephone Museum Inc. was formed on May 10, 2001 and construction began on the museum building in 2003. In 2005 the Museum opened its doors during the Annual Warner Fall Foliage Festival and had over 500 visitors in that weekend alone.
Since then, the museum has hosted over 7000 guests from all parts of the country and world. It features nearly 1000 artifacts from Dick’s collectio, and 65 pieces from the collection of Gary Mitchell, one of Dick’s telephone counterparts from the Woodbury Telephone Company in Woodbury CT. Since opening we have received numerous other donated items from the public.
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