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.
Russell-Colbath Homestead – Passaconaway, New Hampshire
Russell-Colbath House, Passaconaway – The Russell-Colbath House is a 19th-century historic house along the Kancamagus Highway in an area known as Passaconaway in Albany, New Hampshire. Albany was first chartered in 1766 under the name Burton and then renamed Albany in 1833. This old house holds the fascinating story of Ruth Priscilla Russell: the grand old lady of Passaconaway.
In the early 1800s, Austin George moved his family to Passaconaway. But tough times would force the George family to abandon the homestead and move to Bartlett in 1815. Their homestead was located just to the east of where the Russell-Colbath House now stands. What became of the George's dwellings is not completely clear. Because of its close proximity to the Russell dwelling and the George family connection, the Russell house is also referred to as the George House.
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.
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.
Middle Sister Tower – Albany, New Hampshire
Middle Sister Groundhouse, New Hampshire – The Middle Sister Groundhouse is a fire lookout tower located on Middle Sister Mountain, along Middle Sister Trail, near Mount Chocorua, in Albany, New Hampshire. According to the Forest Fire Lookout Association it was in operation from 1927-1948. A groundhouse fire tower differs from a typical fire tower in that the lookout cabin is built on the ground, not atop of a tower.
Today, the foundation remains intact and some odds and ends linked to the groundhouse can be found at the site. And a Forest Service radio repeater is inside the foundation, which can be seen in the above image. You can see what this fire tower looked like when it was still in operation here.
Greenleaf Hut – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Greenleaf Hut, Mount Lafayette – Some love' em and some hate' em! I have listened to some very heated debates over the years as to why the huts should or should not exist. Personally, I believe they offer travelers an excellent opportunity to explore the mountain region. And they do make make great photo subjects.
One of the more picturesque huts in the White Mountains hut system is the Greenleaf Hut on the side of Mount Lafayette. The hut opened in July 1930 (+/-) and was named in honor of Colonel Charles Henry Greenleaf, who ran the Profile House in Franconia Notch.
Russell-Colbath House – Albany, New Hampshire
Russell-Colbath Historic Homestead, Albany – The Russell Colbath house is a 19th century homestead located at the Passaconaway Historic Site along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway (Route 112) in Albany, New Hampshire. The homestead has walking trails, flower gardens, and an interesting graveyard.