White Mountains History & Culture – For the past couple of weeks, I have been photographing nineteenth century sites linked to the history and culture of the White Mountains. When photographing these abandoned sites, I am reminded that conservation is not just about protecting a parcel of land for guaranteed future recreation. Conservation is also about the preservation of artifacts and historical sites. Today I want to share with you some interesting traces of the past.
Above is one of my favorite artifacts of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948). It is located at the end of the Camp 9 spur line, close to Franconia Brook, in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. This artifact is possibly the hoisting system of an old steam-powered log loader. And more than likely it was used at the end of the Camp 9 spur line to load logs onto railroad log cars.
In the abandoned settlement of Peeling (Mt. Cilley Settlement) is the above stone culvert along the old village road. History states Peeling was the original settlement of Woodstock New Hampshire and was abandoned by the 1860s. I read this stone culvert was possibly built during the Peeling era. But I have my doubts because the area has been logged in the past. And loggers could have very well built it. Either way, it is tied to the past.
At first glance, the above piece, near the Sawyer River Logging Railroad (1877-1928), looks to be a "Diamond" smokestack from a locomotive. It does look like one, but I think it might be the top (spark arrestor) of an old mill building chimney. I have a history book of the old Livermore Mill, located on the Sawyer River Railroad, and a chimney of one of the mill buildings has a nearly identical piece on the top of the chimney.
Deep in Pemigewasset Wilderness at Stillwater Junction is the remains of the Anderson Brook gage (above) from the 1911 study. During the early 1900s, the United States Geological Survey built a handful of water gaging stations in the general area of Stillwater (Anderson Brook, Burnt Brook, and Shoal Pond Brook) to determine the effects of deforestation on stream flow. The above piece is no longer standing.
The East Branch & Lincoln Railroad split into two lines at Stillwater Junction. One traveled to Camp 19 and the other to Camp 21. A trestle was located below (foreground) this gage. It crossed the brook at an angle, and the railroad continued to Camp 19. Another trestle for the Camp 21 line was also located below this gage.
Above is the remnants of a splash dam, along Flume Brook, in Waterville Valley from the Mad River logging era. Splash dams were used to hold back rushing water during spring snow melt. When the gates were opened, the strong flow of the brook would push cut logs down the brook to the Mad River. I have not been to this site since Tropical Storm Irene, but I suspect what remained of the dam was destroyed by Irene.
The information included in this article is based on my research and observations. And my identification of these artifacts could be completely wrong. Please keep this in mind if you are here doing research. To license any of the above images for usage in publications, click on the image. And you can view more culture history images here.
Happy image making..