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

Elbow 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 Elbow Pond area is undeveloped, and when standing on the boat launch no homes can be seen on the hillside, and 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 Elbow 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 surrounding Elbow Pond 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.

The 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 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 Elbow 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 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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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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8 Responses to “Abandoned Elbow Pond Community”

  1. 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.

    Reply
    • 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).

      Reply
  2. 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 !

    Reply
    • 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).

      http://bit.ly/2Gg7o5f

      Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  4. Christine

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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply

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