September History, White Mountains

September history, Ordination Rock in Tamworth, New Hampshire. This is where the Rev. Parson Samuel Hidden was ordained on September 12, 1792 and became the first settled minister in Tamworth.
Ordination Rock – Tamworth, New Hampshire

September History, White Mountains – When it comes to White Mountains history, two significant events took place in September. One event took place took along Route 3 near Lincoln on a September night in 1961. And the second event, which happened in 1964, involves President Lyndon Johnson making conservation history. Included here are a few more interesting events.

Ordination Rock in Tamworth is where Rev. Parson Samuel Hidden was ordained on September 12, 1792, and became the first settled minister in Tamworth. He is buried in the cemetery located next to Ordination Rock.

September, Ripley Falls on Avalanche Brook in Hart's Location, New Hampshire. The Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail travels pass this scenic waterfall.
Ripley Falls – Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

Named in honor of Henry W. Ripley, the 100 foot Ripley Falls in Crawford Notch is one of the more picturesque waterfalls in the White Mountains. In the book “The Connecticut by Daylight” by Thursty McQuill, published in 1874, is a copy of an entry made in the Old Crawford House register. Dated September 10, 1858, the entry verifies Henry W. Ripley and Mr. Porter found two unique water features on Cow Brook (today’s Avalanche Brook). And though they were aware of the brook’s name, they call it Ripley’s Brook, and the ravine the brook is in they call Porter’s Ravine.

Gordon Fall on Snyder Brook in Randolph, New Hampshire during the summer months.
Gordon Fall – Snyder Brook, Randolph

In September of 1875, William G. Nowell, a 19th-century trail builder, named Snyder Brook for Charles E. Lowe’s dog (ref: 1915 Appalachia Vol.13). Lowe was also a 19th-century trail builder and mountain guide. Lowe and Nowell are credited for building Lowe’s Path in 1875-1876, one of the oldest trails in continuous use in the White Mountains.

Jim Liberty Cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This cabin is located along the Liberty Trail about a 1/2 mile from the summit of Mount Chocorua. It was built in 1934 and is secured down by two large chains. It is located at the site of the old Peak House.
Jim Liberty Cabin – Mount Chocorua, New Hampshire

The Jim Liberty Cabin (above) on Mount Chocorua occupies the site of the Chocorua Peak House. David Knowles and Newell Forrest acquired the Peak House site in 1892 from Jim (Dutch) Liberty. They replaced the original Peak House that Jim Liberty built with a three-story Peak House. It opened to the public in 1892. And even though the Peak House was anchored to the rock with steel cables and chains, it was blown off the mountain during a windstorm in September 1915. It wasn’t rebuilt.

Moose on the edge of Nancy Pond, which is located within the Nancy Brook Research Natural Area in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.
Nancy Pond – Nancy Brook Trail, New Hampshire

Originally opened by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) in 1938, the Nancy Brook Trail was destroyed in September of 1938 by the Great New England Hurricane. In 1960 crews from Camp Pasquaney, a boys camp on Newfound Lake, rehabilitated it under the direction and supervision of the WMNF.

Hiker on footbridge, which cross Franconia Brook along the Lincoln Woods Trail in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Old abutments from Trestle No. 7 of the old the East Branch & Lincoln Logging Railroad (1893-1948) are used to support this bridge.
Trestle No. 7 Site – East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Franconia Brook

There were two trestles built at the Franconia Brook crossing (above) along the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad. Each trestle serviced different areas of the railroad in today’s Pemigewasset Wilderness. Built in the early 1900s, probably 1905, and abandoned in 1947, the second trestle No. 7 serviced the Upper East Branch of the railroad. There is some discrepancy as to when the last log trains traveled over this trestle, but it may have been in September of 1947.

Betty and Barney Hill Incident - Supposedly near this area in Lincoln, New Hampshire on September 19-20, 1961 Betty and Barney Hill had a close encounter with an UFO and two hours of lost time. This was the first widely reported UFO abduction report in the Untied States.
Betty and Barney Hill Incident – Lincoln, New Hampshire

One of the more fascinating stories linked to the White Mountains took place in September 1961- the Betty and Barney Hill Incident. Supposedly, while driving south on Route 3 near Lincoln, on the night of September 19-20, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill had a close encounter with an unidentified flying object (UFO) and two hours of "lost" time. This was the first widely reported UFO abduction report in the United States. To make this incident more interesting, the now abandoned Lyndonville Air Force station in Vermont supposedly reported an unidentified flying object sighting just a few hours before the reported abduction of Betty and Barney.

Entering Dry River Wilderness sign along the Mount Eisenhower Trail in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA during the summer months.
Presidential Range – Dry River Wilderness – Mt Eisenhower Trail, New Hampshire

On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson made conservation history when he signed the Wilderness Act. Written by The Wilderness Society’s Howard Zahniser, the signing of the Wilderness Act created the National Wilderness Preservation System, and 9.1 million acres in 13 states were immediately designated as wilderness. Today the Wilderness Act / National Wilderness Preservation System protects over 109 million acres across the United States. Official wilderness has the highest level of protection for federal lands.

There are six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest; the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness, the Great Gulf Wilderness, the Pemigewasset Wilderness, the Presidential Range – Dry River Wilderness, the Sandwich Range Wilderness, and the Wild River Wilderness.

To license any of the photos in this blog article for publications, click on the photo. And you can read more about the White Mountains here.

Happy image making..


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Donovan, Erin Paul. “Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch.” ScenicNH Photography LLC, 25 Jun 2019,

Donovan, Erin Paul. “Snyder Brook Waterfalls, White Mountains.” ScenicNH Photography LLC, 19 Jul 2019,

Donovan, Erin Paul. “East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 7.” ScenicNH Photography LLC, 08 Apr 2017,

Donovan, Erin Paul. “Definition of Wilderness, White Mountains.” ScenicNH Photography LLC, 29 Jul 2017,

2 Responses to “September History, White Mountains”

  1. Kevin Grant

    Hi Erin, great article. If you've never been the radar base on East mountain vt is quite fascinating. 

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      HI Kevin,

      I am glad you enjoyed this blog article.

      Yes, I have been to the Radar Base on East Mountain in Vermont. Very cool and interesting place!

      Hope you are doing well. 🙂


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