Trestle No. 16 (2010), East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Pemigewasset Wilderness
Pemigewasset Wilderness, Random History – This designated wilderness is the result of one the greatest conservation laws ever passed; the Wilderness Act, which has protected over 109 million acres across the United States. While the history of New Hampshire's Pemigewasset Wilderness mostly revolves around the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, the railroad is not the only interesting piece of history surrounding this unique region of the White Mountains. This blog article features random tidbits of history about this one of a kind designated wilderness area.
One of the grandest pieces of New Hampshire logging railroad history, trestle No. 16 (above) collapsed in late May or early June 2018. Spanning Black Brook, it stood for over 100 years and became a favorite attraction among outdoor enthusiasts. Logging railroads were built to be temporary and its remarkable that this trestle stood for as long as it did. The last log train rolled over this trestle most likely in the summer or fall of 1946.
Presidential Range – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Presidential Range, Random History – The Presidential Range in the New Hampshire White Mountains is known worldwide for having some of the worst weather in the world. And the main attraction of the range is the mighty Mount Washington. At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. And with the famed Appalachian Trail traveling through this scenic mountain range, it is a busy area.
The first recorded ascent, Darby Field in 1642, and fatality, Frederick Strickland in 1849, on Mount Washington has been well-publicized and is known among outdoor enthusiasts who play in the White Mountains. And because of the significance of these events, some of the history surrounding the Presidential Range is overlooked. So included here are a few tidbits of history about this fascinating mountain range.
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.
Owls Head – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
Definition of Wilderness, White Mountains – The Pemigewasset Wilderness is governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. And because it is designated wilderness, it has the highest level of protection for federal lands. The recreational opportunities, historical value, and educational platform the Pemigewasset Wilderness offers will educate outdoor enthusiasts for many years to come. It is important that visitors to the region know that the six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest are managed differently than the rest of the National Forest. This is where the Wilderness Act comes into play.
Cannon Mountain from Artist Bluff – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park – Located just south of Bald Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire, which I wrote about last week, is the centerpiece of Franconia Notch State Park, the state-owned Cannon Mountain ski area. Franconia Notch State Park would be much different today if Cannon Mountain wasn't included in a land purchase back in the 1920s. Rich with ski history, Cannon offers world-class skiing.
Did you know that the 6,440-acre Franconia Notch State Park, which includes Cannon Mountain, was privately owned up until the 1920s? The Profile and Flume Hotel Company owned most of it. The Flume House was located in the southern section of Franconia Notch and wasn't rebuilt when it burned down in 1918. And the Profile House was located in the northern section of Franconia Notch, and it burnt down in August of 1923. Each of these grand hotels lasted for about 70 years.
Franconia Notch from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park – Located a short distance from Echo Lake in Franconia, New Hampshire is another great location where photographers will have no problem creating images. Even though some hiking has to be done to reach the summit of Bald Mountain the views of Franconia Notch are worth the short hike.
Back in the 1800’s a carriage road lead to just below the summit of Bald Mountain. The 1859 second edition, of “The White Mountain Guide Book” (Eastman's White Mountain Guide) references that a carriage road had been built the “present season” from the highway, north of the Profile House, to the summit of Bald Mountain. The same description also states that the mountain had been little visited up until that point.