Posts Categorized: Abandoned Places



Identifying Artifacts, White Mountains

An axe head, a protected artifact, near logging Camp 2 of the abandoned Sawyer River Railroad (1877-1928) in Livermore, New Hampshire.
Axe Head – Livermore, New Hampshire
 

Identifying Historical Artifacts, White Mountains – If you are picking up trash in the New Hampshire White Mountains during the current human impact issue, please educate yourself about historical artifacts and the laws that protect them. I now know of two instances where do-gooders picking up trash removed artifacts, thinking they were trash, from the White Mountain National Forest.

Many of the metal objects (horseshoes, metal strapping, railroad spikes, stoves, tins, etc.), glass bottles, trestle remains, and numerous other objects along the White Mountains trail system are protected artifacts. These artifacts should be left where you found them; they help tell the story of the early settlers, farming communities, and logging railroads that once were in the White Mountains. The included photos show some of the various artifacts you could come across while out hiking.

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Abandoned Mills, White Mountains

Abandoned Mills, remnants of the Lincoln mill and East Branch & Lincoln Railroad era in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This circular saw mill blade is a protected artifact from the logging railroad and mill era.
Lincoln Mill Era – Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

Abandoned Mills, White Mountains – During the 1800s and early 1900s, cut-up mills, grist mills, sawmills, and various other types of mills were found throughout New Hampshire. And because of the abundance of water in the White Mountains, there was no shortage of water-powered mills in the region. This blog article showcases a handful of the abandoned mills in the White Mountains.

Because most of these abandoned mills are within the White Mountain National Forest, keep in mind the removal of historical artifacts from federal lands without a permit is a violation of federal law. And you can’t dig for artifacts at historical sites which means metal detecting anywhere in the National Forest is asking for trouble. Take only pictures and leave these unique places the way you found them.

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Crawford House, Gibbs Brook Dam

Crawford House c. 1906 in the New Hampshire White Mountains by the Detroit Publishing Company. Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection,[LC-DIG-det-4a13669].
c. 1906 Crawford House – Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-DIG-det-4a13669
 

Crawford House, Gibbs Brook Dam If you are familiar with New Hampshire’s forgotten grand resorts, then you know the historic Crawford House in Carroll. In 1828 Abel Crawford and his son, Ethan Allen built the Notch House near Elephant’s Head. It was destroyed by fire in 1854. The first Crawford House was built in the 1850s and destroyed by fire in 1859. And the second Crawford House, seen above in 1906, was built in 1859. It burned to the ground in November 1977. The history of the Crawford House property is a little confusing because some historians refer to the Notch House as the “first Crawford House” while others do not.

Numerous improvements were made to the Crawford House over the years. And at one point Saco Lake was enlarged and deepened (M.F. Sweetser’s 1876 White Mountains: a handbook for travellers guide). The resort was known worldwide, and notable guests include Daniel Webster, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Starr King, and a few presidents.

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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.

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Thornton Gore Hill Farming Settlement

Remnants of an old hay rake at Thornton Gore in Thornton, New Hampshire.
Old Hay Rake – Thornton Gore, New Hampshire
 

Thornton Gore Hill Farming Settlement – Many consider Thornton Gore or the "Gore” to be the northern section of Thornton New Hampshire in the area of where Talford and Eastman Brook meet. However, I am currently reading Family Farm by Dick Bradley. And he refers to farms that were located just north of Johnson Brook as being part of the Gore. That area seems to be a little further south of the area today’s historians consider to be the Gore. But because Bradley lived in the Gore, I would have to say his information is accurate.

My work is based on an 1860 map of Thornton by H.F. Walling, a couple of historic resources, and days of field research. And I have focused mainly on the area surrounding Talford and Eastman Brook. This section of Thornton Gore had a bunch of farms, a few mills, a school, two cemeteries, and a church. The 1860 map I am using shows at least twenty-two dwellings in this area.

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Updating The Culture & History Portfolios

Culture & history of the White Mountains. Remnants of an abandoned cellar hole at Thornton Gore in Thornton, New Hampshire during the autumn months. Thornton Gore is the site of an old hill farming community that abandoned during the 19th century. Based on an 1860 historical map of Grafton County this is believed to have been the P.P. Merrill homestead.
Thornton Gore – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Culture & History Portfolios – Every year during the month of December most of my time is spent doing “behind the scenes” work. This work (such as keywording 1000 images in the last two days) is not that exciting, but I need to complete it before the end of the year. This time of year is also when I update the image galleries on my website with new images I shot during 2016.

I am currently in the process of updating my culture and history portfolios. These portfolios showcase my documentary work that focuses on historic preservation in the New Hampshire White Mountains. They are intended to create awareness for the importance of preserving our past. And also to show a side of the White Mountains not often seen.

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Historic Stone Structures, White Mountains

Historic Stone Structures, remnants of the old 1800s Summit House (foundation) on the summit of Mount Lafayette in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Appalachian Trail travels across this summit.
1800s Summit House Site – Mount Lafayette, New Hampshire
 

Historic Stone Structures, White Mountains – In my work documenting historic sites in the New Hampshire White Mountains I have photographed some interesting and unique stone structures. Visiting an abandoned 1800s homestead in the middle of the forest is a surreal experience. And today I want to share with you some of the interesting structures that remain in the forest.

I realize that everyone interprets the term “historic” differently. So for this blog article, a historic stone structure is anything over fifty years old. And these structures can be anything from old cellar holes to abandoned stone staircases that seem to lead to nowhere. Keep in mind, historic sites are protected and should not be disturbed.

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Abandoned Dug Wells, White Mountains

Photo of dug wells. Colonel Lewis B. Smith site in Sandwich Notch in Sandwich, New Hampshire USA. This abandoned farmstead was occupied by three generations of the Smith family from the 18th century to the late 19th century.
Dug Well at Colonel Lewis B. Smith Homestead – Sandwich, New Hampshire
 

Abandoned Dug Wells, White Mountains – Today’s blog article focuses on a keyword. I chose one search term, abandoned dug wells, and searched my image archive for imagery that represents this subject matter. These keyword searches help identify the subjects I need more coverage of. As a photographer, creating an image of an abandoned dug well that is visually interesting can be a challenge.

The New Hampshire White Mountains are littered with abandoned eighteenth and nineteenth century homesteads. And many of these homesteads had a water source – the dug well. These wells were dug by hand to just below the water table and were lined with stones or other material to keep it from collapsing. If you find a dug well in the middle of the forest, there is a good chance you are in the area of an old homestead.

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