Abandoned Elbow Pond Community

Elbow Pond during the summer months in Woodstock, New Hampshire. Species of fish in this pond include chain pickerel, yellow perch and smallmouth bass. This area was part of the Gordon Pond Railroad, which was a logging railroad in operation from 1905-1916.
Elbow Pond – Woodstock, New Hampshire

Abandoned Elbow Pond Community – A few years ago, I documented the abandoned Elbow Pond cabin community in Woodstock, New Hampshire. This small cabin community was in the area immediately surrounding Elbow Pond. And it shouldn't be confused with the nineteenth and early twentieth-century farming settlements or logging railroad that were once in the area.

Elbow Pond is at the end of Elbow Pond Road, a seasonal dirt road off Route 118. It is a mid-sized pond with a maximum depth of around 32 feet. And the species of fish found in the pond include chain pickerel, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass.

Pond during the autumn months in Woodstock, New Hampshire. Species of fish in this pond include chain pickerel, yellow perch and smallmouth bass. This area was part of the Gordon Pond Railroad, which was a logging railroad in operation from 1905 - 1916.
Elbow Pond – Woodstock, New Hampshire

The area around the pond is undeveloped, and when standing on the boat launch, no homes can be seen on the hillside, or in the immediate area (above). And though the pond is relatively close to Route 118, the road noise is minimal. To gain full appreciation of this secluded pond, you have to turn to the forest for the story.

Remnants of a dwelling at the abandoned cabin settlement surrounding a pond in Woodstock, New Hampshire.
Bed Frame – Elbow Pond Community, New Hampshire

In the 1970s, before the area was added to the National Forest, private cabins were located on Elbow Pond. The area was also part of the Gordon Pond Logging Railroad, which was in operation from 1907-1916. The remnants of the cabins can still be found. And for the railroad buffs, during times of low water, the old railroad bed can be seen in the backside of the pond. Beaver activity has flooded the area since the early 1900s, and the railroad bed is now underwater.

Remnants of a cooking stove made by Magee Furnace Company, Boston, Mass at the abandoned cabin settlement in Woodstock, New Hampshire.
Magee Furnace Company Stove – Elbow Pond Community, New Hampshire

Today, not one cabin remains around the pond, and only the ones who venture around the pond will find evidence of a forgotten time that was not so long ago. It is not your typical historical settlement in the White Mountains, but it allows us to see how the landscape of Elbow Pond once looked.

An abandoned cabin settlement in Woodstock, New Hampshire.
Servel Gas Refrigerator – Elbow Pond Community, New Hampshire

One of the more interesting pieces is the Servel Gas Refrigerator above. These types of refrigerators were used in hunting cabins, cottages, and remote areas where there was no electricity. Because of its location, it may or may not have been used in one of the old cabins. It could have been dumped here.

Abandoned 1950s Chevy in forest near pond in Woodstock, New Hampshire.
Abandoned 1950s Chevy – Elbow Pond, New Hampshire

Elbow Pond is your classic picturesque White Mountains pond that attracts fisherman, hikers, kayakers, and photographers. I can appreciate the fact that the area is now part of the National Forest, and it is not built up with cabins. When looking for solitude in the White Mountains, Elbow Pond is the kind of place I seek out. And it has the bonus of some interesting history.

To license any of the above images for usage in publications, click on the image. And you can view more images of the abandoned side of Elbow Pond here

Happy image making..


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12 Responses to “Abandoned Elbow Pond Community”

  1. Lionel Merville Gordon

    Can't recall if any of my family members had a cabin on Elbow but do remember   them in the late forties and early fifties bringing me up there as a child to fish and party. The wooden boats were very heavy. Have always been attracted/fond of Elbow and have fished, hunted and hiked in the area over the years. My grandfather Raymond who founded Indian Head may have visited the area at some time but not sure. Roger and Janice's son Johnny  my cousin, who lived on Lost River road had made a video of the Elbow area years ago using a drone. Remember exploring some of the cabins before they were dismantled or taken away and the last remnants of a old wooden rowboat could be seen back then at the entrance of Glover brook. If anyone wants complete peace and quiet and the enjoyment of nature, Elbow is the place to go. In the near future I will visit once again. Thank you Erin  for sharing your stories and photo's for all to enjoy. Now if only Elbow could talk…….

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Lionel,

      Thank you for sharing all this information about Elbow Pond. Its excellent! The Elbow Pond area is one of my favorite places in the White Mountains; it is so peaceful. I suspect your grandfather, Raymond, visited the pond.

  2. Patrick

    Is this located across the pond? I’m all for bushwhacking, but from satellite photos the brook looks swampy on both ends. Can you cross without getting wet?

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Patrick,

      The cabin community was located around the pond. And it is very wet in some areas. If you have a kayak, you can paddle across the pond.

  3. Debbie hanson

    The Smith family my grandparents had a camp on the second pond  we would go up for fun times with the grandparents, aunts and uncles. We would fish from the dock with grandpa. So much fun. I have pictures from that time not  many but a few. Sadly they have passed and I haven't been back.

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for sharing your family memories. Elbow Pond is an awesome pond, and I love exploring the area. You should revisit Elbow Pond one of these days. It looks very different now (not one cabin remains).

  4. Carol Clark

    Erin,  my family and grandparents all had camps  at Elbow Pond.  As children we would spend summers up there. In the winter we would snowmachine in and dig holes in the ice to fish during the winter.  We would row the boat across the pond to the other side to the freshwater spring and get water. If you walked up in there used  to be a freshwater spring with the bathtub at the end of it that we would get water from. I do have a question about that 1950s Chevy. Is that on the first pond or on the second pond? If it’s on the second pond that may be my uncles truck.   We used to go out daily by the channel and pick blueberries and my grandmother would make blueberry muffins, blueberry cake, etc. Some days we had to work around the Bears that were out getting the berries also but she kept saying keep on picking their not gonna bother you !

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Carol,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I love hearing the family stories about Elbow Pond. It sounds like it was an awesome place when the cabins were still standing.

      For the Chevy – I would consider it to be on the first pond (the pond that has today’s boat launch on it). It looks to have been modified to be a “woods truck”. And it has dual wheels on the back.

      This must be the bathtub you are referring to (see link below).


  5. Jody saulnier

    My family had a cabin there.In the winter we would snow mobile there and stay over.The wood stove kept us toasty. In the summer we had a canoe and looked for bearers. Our spaniel would try to swim with them.

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Jody,

      No kidding! That must have been fun times. Have you been back to Elbow Pond since your family had the cabin there? If not you should visit the area, not one cabin remains on the pond.

      The area around the pond is very peaceful, and it is a wonderful place to enjoy nature.

      Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Christine

    thanks for taking time to write this. Photos are great. 

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      I am glad you enjoyed it. Elbow Pond is an interesting area to explore and photograph. And it is a great area to snowshoe during the winter season.


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