March History, White Mountains

White Mountains, March history; Scenic view from the summit of Mount Tecumseh in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire during the spring months. This mountain is named for the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh (1768–1813).
Mount Tecumseh – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

March History, White Mountains – When it comes to the history of the New Hampshire White Mountains, throughout the years, March was an active month. In fact, so many historical events took place during this month listing all of them would require more time than I have. So included here are just a few interesting events that happened.

A few of the more significant March events are President William Howard Taft signing the Weeks Act on March 1, 1911. And the Appalachian Mountain Club’s second meeting on March 8, 1876; at this meeting, it was voted to allow women to join the club. Both of these events impacted the White Mountains greatly.

White Mountains, March history, Flat Mountain Pond Trail, near Flat Mountain Ponds, in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. This trail follows the old logging railroad bed of the Beebe River Railroad.
Flat Mountain Pond Trail – Beebe River Railroad, New Hampshire
 

In March 1917, the New Hampshire legislature approved the incorporation of the Beebe River Railroad. Including sidings and spur lines, this logging railroad was roughly 25-miles long. It began off the Boston & Maine Railroad in Campton, followed the Beebe River drainage up into Sandwich, and ended near logging Camp 12 at the base of Mount Whiteface in Waterville. Some of the spruce harvested by this railroad was used in the manufacturing of airplanes during World War 1. The last load of timber hauled on this railroad was in 1935.

Autumn foliage along Jefferson Notch Road in Thompson and Meserves Purchase, New Hampshire.
Jefferson Notch Road – Thompson and Meserves Purchase, New Hampshire
 

An act to survey and locate, and construct Jefferson Notch Road was approved by the state of New Hampshire on March 22, 1901. Jefferson Notch Road begins off Base Road in Crawford's Purchase. It travels through Chandler's Purchase, Thompson and Meserve's Purchase (above), Low and Burbank's Grant, and eventually ends at Valley Road in Jefferson. Built in 1901-1902, and open for usage in 1902, the purpose of the Jefferson Notch Road, known as Jefferson Notch Highway in the early days, was to connect the Crawford House with Jefferson Highlands. Along this dirt road is the highest elevation reached by a public highway in New Hampshire.

Cascade on Whitehouse Brook in Franconia Notch of Lincoln, New Hampshire on a spring day. This cascade is just below where the Appalachian Trail (Cascade Brook Trail) crosses Whitehouse Brook.
Whitehouse Brook – Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire
 

Benton MacKaye, born on March 6, 1879, in Connecticut, is referred to as the father of the Appalachian Trail. He proposed the Appalachian Trail in a 1921 article, and he is responsible for organizing the first Appalachian Trail conference in Washington, D.C., in 1925. He was also one of the co-founders of the Wilderness Society. Its believed that a visit to the White Mountains in August of 1897 helped form his wilderness values.

Artifacts (horseshoes and peavey) at an old logging camp along the abandoned Woodstock & Thornton Gore Railroad in Livermore, New Hampshire.
Abandoned Logging Camp – Woodstock & Thornton Gore Railroad
 

The short-lived Woodstock & Thornton Gore Railroad, operated by the Woodstock Lumber Company, was incorporated in March 1909. It began at the Woodstock Lumber Company’s sawmill on the western bank of the Pemigewasset River in Woodstock. From the mill, it traveled roughly 7 miles into the Eastman Brook drainage, traveling through the northern portion of Thornton, ending in Livermore.

Autumn foliage from along the Boulder Loop Trail. This trail is located off of the Kancamagus Highway (route 112) in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Boulder Loop Trail – Swift River Railroad Territory
 

Two other lumber operations involving railroads were also formed during the month of March. The roughly 6 mile long Little River Railroad, incorporated in March of 1891, was in operation from 1893-1900. And incorporated in March of 1903, the Swift River Railroad Company was in operation from 1906-1916.

To license any of the photos in this blog article for publications, click on the photo. And read more about the White Mountains 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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2 Responses to “March History, White Mountains”

  1. Leigh

    Hello Paul, I enjoy reading your blog, often gleaning a place to find waterfalls to paint. Have you ever searched out old Thompson's Falls off Passaconaway Road? It leads from the Moat Mineral Site Trail-long abandoned for vehicles. Benjamin Champney painted it and I am seeking more information about the actual trail-how easy to find and hike for us aging ones. So any more information you can share would be be appreciated. Take and care and keep the photography blog coming. Leigh

    Reply
    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Leigh,

      I have only been to Thompson’s Falls, off Passaconaway Road, once in my life, and that was many many years ago. I vaguely remember it was easy to reach using one of the Forest Roads and a trail. But it is has been so long that I can’t give you exact directions to it. If you do some searching online, you should be able to find directions to it.

      Hope this helps in some way..

      Reply

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