Logging Era Artifacts, White Mountains

Logging era artifacts along the abandoned East Branch & Lincoln Logging Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This artifact is a Harp Switch Stand that has been abandoned deep in the forest.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

Logging Era Artifacts, White Mountains – Today’s blog article focuses on an image keyword search term. I chose the search term “logging era artifacts”, and searched my image archive to see what imagery I have available that represents the New Hampshire White Mountains logging era. The below commentary and imagery showcases this search term.

A major portion of the White Mountains history evolves around the late 19th and early 20th-century logging era, and pretty much in every corner of the White Mountains artifacts from the logging era can be found. And while some have no interest in the history of the White Mountains we all have to appreciate what came out of the logging era, the Weeks Act.

 View along the Appalachian Trail during the summer months in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This trail follows the old bed of the Zealand Valley Railroad, which was a logging railroad in operation from 1884-1897.
Appalachian Trail – Zealand Notch, New Hampshire
 

It is often overlooked that James E Henry, known for his East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, also built the Zealand Valley Railroad (1884-1897) through Zealand Notch which is an amazing accomplishment considering the terrain. Though not a traditional artifact, to some extent, I consider railroad beds to be artifacts. If you are hiking the Appalachian Trail this year, you will be hiking the above section of the Zealand Valley Railroad.

 Logging era artifacts (two-man crosscut saw) along the Gordon Pond Railroad in Kinsman Notch of New Hampshire. This was a logging railroad in operation from 1905-1916.
Gordon Pond Railroad – Woodstock, New Hampshire
 

Back in the early days of logging, chainsaws were not used, and the cutting of timber was done with axes and two-man crosscut saws like the above one. This particular crosscut saw (an artifact) represents the Gordon Pond Railroad, which was in operation from 1907-1916. A hundred years ago it was work to cut down a tree.

Abandoned logging camp, on the side of Mount Blue, in Benton, New Hampshire. This is probably a 1900s logging camp of the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company.
Fall Mountain Paper Company Camp – Benton, New Hampshire
 

Every area of the White Mountains that was logged had logging camps. These camps were located along the logging railroads and were scattered throughout the valleys. Today, artifacts are the only indication that some logging camps ever existed. At some point in time, artifacts from the logging era will disappear into the earth. It is going to take many years for this to happen but it is going to happen.

Remnants of the powerhouse in the abandoned town of Livermore. This was a logging town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries along the Sawyer River Railroad in Livermore, New Hampshire. The town and railroad were owned by the Saunders family. This site is loaded with interesting logging artifacts.
Ghost Town of Livermore – Sawyer River Railroad, New Hampshire
 

Can you imagine how different the landscape of the White Mountains would be today if the logging era didn’t happen? There would be nothing for us to see at the abandoned village of Livermore (above). I think the White Mountains would be a little boring without the historic logging artifacts.

To license any of the above images for usage in publications, click on the image. And you can view more images of logging era artifacts 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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