Village of Wildwood, New Hampshire

Site of the Wildwood settlement along Route 112 in the town of Easton, New Hampshire. Wildwood was a logging settlement during the 20th century along the Wild Ammonoosuc River. The first Civilian Conservation Corps camp authorized in New Hampshire was also located at Wildwood.
Wildwood – Easton, New Hampshire
 

Village of Wildwood, New Hampshire – When it comes to the abandoned villages in New Hampshire, the logging village of Livermore is often included in the conversation. But the story of the lesser known village of Wildwood is a fascinating piece of White Mountains history. The area known as Wildwood is located along the Wild Ammonoosuc River in the general area of the junction of Route 112 and Tunnel Brook Road in Easton, New Hampshire. Today’s Route 112 travels through Wildwood.

Easton was incorporated into a separate township by an act passed in July 1876. The section of Easton known as Wildwood was once part of Landaff and before that part of Lincoln. And the scenic Wild Ammonoosuc River, known for the early log drives done on it, flows through Easton.

Remnants of a sawmill that was located at the site of Upper Bunga dam along the Wild Ammonoosuc River in the abandoned logging village of Wildwood in the town of Easton, New Hampshire. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company, did log drives on the Wild Ammonoosuc to move logs to the Connecticut River.
Old Sawmill Site – Wildwood, New Hampshire
 

During the mid-1800s, before the Fall Mountain Paper Company took over Wildwood and before Easton was a township, Wildwood had operating sawmills. The Fall Mountain Paper Company would purchase a large tract of land in this area and at least four of these sawmills in the late 1880s-1890s. One of the sawmills purchased was Eastman Lumber Company’s water-powered sawmill, which employed twenty-five men.

Remnants of what is believed to be the upper reserve dam, “Little Dam”, along the Wild Ammonoosuc River in Woodstock, New Hampshire. This log driving dam was used during the late 1800s and early 1900s by the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company, to move logs to the Connecticut River.
Upper Reserve Dam – Wild Ammonoosuc River, New Hampshire
 

In March 1893, the New Hampshire Senate and House of Representatives approved an act that allowed the Fall Mountain Paper Company to make improvements to the Ammonoosuc River and its tributaries in the towns of Bath, Haverhill, Benton, Landaff, Easton, and Woodstock for river logging. The Fall Mountain Paper Company would become part of the International Paper Company in 1898.

Remnants of what is believed to be the Upper Bunga dam along the Wild Ammonoosuc River in the abandoned logging village of Wildwood in the town of Easton, New Hampshire. This log driving dam was used during the late 1800s and early 1900s by the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company, to move logs to the Connecticut River.
Upper Bunga Dam – Wild Ammonoosuc River, New Hampshire
 

Dams were needed on the Wild Ammonoosuc River to control the flow of water during the log drives. There were at least three dams on the Wild Ammonoosuc in the Wildwood area – Upper Reserve Dam known as “Little Dam”, Upper Bunga Dam (above), Lower Bunga Dam; and there was a fourth dam downriver at the village of Whitcherville, the Whitcherville Dam.

Remnants of what is believed to be the Lower Bunga dam along the Wild Ammonoosuc River in the abandoned logging village of Wildwood in the town of Easton, New Hampshire. This log driving dam was used during the late 1800s and early 1900s by the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company, to move logs to the Connecticut River.
Lower Bunga Dam – Wild Ammonoosuc River, New Hampshire
 

The log drives were done during the spring, and a large crew of men worked the log drives. They began on the Wild Ammonoosuc River, and the logs were driven down to the Ammonoosuc River and then to the Connecticut River. The last log drive was in 1911.

The abandoned logging village of Wildwood along the Wild Ammonoosuc River in Easton, New Hampshire. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company, did log drives on the Wild Ammonoosuc to move logs to the Connecticut River.
Old Cellar Hole – Wildwood, New Hampshire
 

Wildwood was a typical logging village; it had a schoolhouse, post office, sawmills, and a handful of other dwellings. Today, little remains of Wildwood, but hidden along the edge of Route 112 old cellar holes can still be found. In the above photograph, the depression is an old cellar hole.

Abandoned logging camp along a tributary of the Wild Ammonoosuc River, on the side of Mt. Blue, in Benton, New Hampshire USA. This is probably a 1900s logging camp of the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company. The removal of historical artifacts from federal lands without a permit is a violation of federal law.
Abandoned Logging Camp – International Paper Company
 

River logging and railroad logging are similar in that both relied on the woodsmen to harvest the timber from the mountainsides. Logging camps were setup on the mountainsides to harvest timber from Mount Moosilauke, Mount Blue, and other mountains in the area. And teamsters would drag the logs down the mountains to the river. Artifacts (above) from International Paper Company’s logging camps can still be found in the forest.

The Wild Ammonoosuc River in Easton, New Hampshire. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Fall Mountain Paper Company, which later became the International Paper Company, did log drives on the Wild Ammonoosuc to move logs to the Connecticut River.
Cribbing – Wild Ammonoosuc River, New Hampshire
 

If you look closely at the above photo, you will see old cribbing in the Wild Ammonoosuc River. All the known dams in Wildwood are accounted for so what this cribbing was part of is unknown. It could be remnants of an old bridge or an unknown dam. And there is also the possibility that it has something to do with the building of Route 112, which is about 40 feet away.

Remnants of the Civilian Conservation Corps Wildwood Camp along Tunnel Brook Road in Easton, New Hampshire USA. The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States.
Civilian Conservation Corps Camp – Wildwood, New Hampshire
 

Wildwood is the site of the first authorized Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in New Hampshire. The Civilian Conservation Corps was a successful public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States. The CCCs built many of the bridges, roads, and trails in the White Mountains region. The Wildwood Camp was open from 1933-1937.

Black Brook in Easton, New Hampshire USA during the spring months. This is possibly Black Brook Falls.
Black Brook – Easton, New Hampshire
 

Today, the area surrounding Wildwood has recovered from the logging era, and the Wild Ammonoosuc River and its tributaries are incredibly peaceful. And the new craze is panning for gold on the Wild Ammonoosuc. But with the exception of the schoolhouse, now a private residence, almost nothing remains of this logging village.

Site of the Wildwood settlement along Route 112 in the town of Easton, New Hampshire. Wildwood was a logging settlement during the 20th century along the Wild Ammonoosuc River. The first Civilian Conservation Corps camp authorized in New Hampshire was also located at Wildwood.
Route 112- Easton, New Hampshire
 

A campground and picnic area bear the Wildwood name, and a few private homes now occupy the area, and in 2006 a state historical marker (first photograph) was placed at Wildwood. But as one drives this lonely stretch of Route 112 in Easton, there is little reason to pull over. And most drive through a piece of White Mountains history without evening knowing it.

To license any of the above photographs of Wildwood, click on the photograph. And you can view more abandoned villages 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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4 Responses to “Village of Wildwood, New Hampshire”

  1. Steve Alden

    Thanks Erin for all your research as well as the photos.  I'm surprised to see the cribbing and remains of dams as it seems most of them elsewhere have been washed away over the years.  Love the moss-covered shoe.  How did that not deteriorate long ago?

    Reply
    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Steve,

      Wildwood is a great area! It is surprising that the cribbing for the dams are still in place and visible after all these years. You can actually see some of the cribbing from the Upper Bunga dam on Google earth. The CCC campsite (where the shoe is) looks to have also been a dumping ground for “trash” after the camp closed, so its very likely the shoe is not that old.

      Reply
  2. Nicole Tewksbury

    Thanks so much I can't tell you how many times I've driven by this and never knew that there was an actual community there.  Nice !!

    Reply

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