Random History, White Mountains

Mount Monroe with Mount Washington in the background from the Appalachian Trail (Crawford Path) in Sargent's Purchase, New Hampshire during the last days of summer.
Darby Field, First Ascent – Mount Washington, New Hampshire
 

Random History, White Mountains – My work as a photographer has allowed me to explore and document many historical sites in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And it really has changed the way I view the White Mountains. It amazes me that Darby Field made the first ascent of Mount Washington in 1642. And farming settlements and grand resorts were scattered throughout the region in the 1800s.

With outdoor recreation at an all-time high in the White Mountains, it is important to create awareness for the region's history. The more history we outdoor enthusiasts know about an area, the more attached we become to the area. And because of this connection, it inspires us to get involved with conservation. And yes, there will always be some that feel the history is insignificant, but that is for another day. Today’s blog article consists of a few random tidbits of history.

Autumn foliage along Mount Clinton Road in Crawford's Purchase, New Hampshire. Completed in 1901, the Mount Clinton Road is the southern division of the Jefferson Notch Road. Built in 1901-1902, in two sections, the purpose of the Jefferson Notch Road was to connect the Crawford House with Jefferson Highlands.
Mount Clinton Road – Crawford's Purchase, New Hampshire
 

Mount Clinton Road in Crawford's Purchase is a classic New England backroad. Completed in 1901, the Mount Clinton Road is the southern division of the historic Jefferson Notch Road. Built in 1901-1902, in two sections, the purpose of the Jefferson Notch Road was to connect the old Crawford House with Jefferson Highlands. The highest elevation reached by a public highway in New Hampshire is along Jefferson Notch Road.

Beecher Cascade in the New Hampshire White Mountains during the spring months. Named for Henry Ward Beecher, this small cascade is located just below Pearl Cascades on Crawford Brook, near Avalon Path. Henry Ward Beecher was the first pastor of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York.
Beecher Cascade – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Beecher Cascade on Crawford Brook, just below Pearl Cascades, is named for Henry Ward Beecher. Henry Ward Beecher was the first pastor of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York. During the 1800s he vacationed in the White Mountains for a number of summers. And he was known for doing sermons at the Twin Mountain House in Carroll. An August 1875 New York Times article references that an estimated 1,500 people attended one of his sermons at the Twin Mountain House.

Mad River Logging Era - Artifact near the splash dam on Flume Brook in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. This artifact is possibly part of the cut-up mill that was located in the area of logging Camp 5. Cut-Up Mills were used to cut logs into four foot lengths. From 1891-1946 +/-, this area was logged, and up until 1933 log drives were done on the Mad River to move logs down to Campton Pond.
Mad River Logging Era – Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
 

The above artifact is possibly part of the cut-up mill that was near the splash dam on Flume Brook in Waterville Valley. Splash dams were used to hold back rushing water during spring melt. And when the gates were opened the strong flow of the brook would push four foot cut logs down the brook to the Mad River. From 1891-1946 this area was logged, and up until 1933 log drives were done on the Mad River to move logs down to Campton Pond.

In the early years of the Wilderness Trail, in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of New Hampshire, the trail began on the south side of the EB&L Railroad’s trestle No. 17 and followed much of the old railroad bed to Stillwater Junction. At the first crossing of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River above Camp 18, a cable car was used during the 1940s to cross the river. These are likely remnants of the old cable car.
Cable Car – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

In the early years of the Wilderness Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness, the trail began on the south side of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad’s trestle No. 17 and followed much of the old railroad bed to Stillwater Junction. At the first crossing of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River above logging Camp 18, a cable car was used during the 1940s to cross the river. Above is likely remnants of the old cable car.

Sunrise along the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112), which is one of New England's scenic byways located in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA.
Sunrise – Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
 

Considered a scenic byway, the Kancamagus Highway is about 35 miles long. It was opened in 1959 after two dead end roads, one in Lincoln, and the other in Conway were connected. This scenic road is known worldwide for its outstanding autumn foliage. Sunrises along the road are also pretty good.

Site of the Willey House Station along the old Maine Central Railroad (near Ethan Pond Trail) during the spring months in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. The railroad burned down this section house sometime in the 1980s.
Willey House Station – Hart's Location, New Hampshire
 

Often confused with the Mt. Willard Section House, the Willey House Station was along the old Maine Central Railroad, near Ethan Pond Trail, in Crawford Notch. The railroad burned down this section house sometime in the 1980s. The foundation is still in place.

Remnants of an abandoned homestead along Tunnel Brook in Benton, New Hampshire. This area was once known as Coventry, and based on an 1860 historical map of Grafton County this is believed to have been the Jonathan Hunkings homestead. This is also the site of the old Parker House, a small hotel that operated from 1904 to about 1930.
Tunnel Brook Road – Benton, New Hampshire
 

The area around Tunnel Brook in Benton was once known as Coventry. And based on an 1860 historical map of Grafton County the foundation above is believed to have been the Jonathan Hunking’s homestead. This homestead is unique because it is also the site of the old Parker House, a small hotel that operated from 1904 to about 1930.

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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