Posts Categorized: White Mountains Railroads



East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 17

Trestle 17, East Branch & Lincoln Railroad- trestle No. 17 was located along the Upper Branch of the railroad in today's Pemigewasset Wilderness. It spanned the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River near the site of logging Camp 17.
South-facing View, Trestle 17 – Courtesy of the Upper Pemigewasset Historical Society
 

East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 17 – Built in the early 1900s, probably 1906-1908 (one source states 1908) trestle 17 was located along the Upper East Branch of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad in New Hampshire. It spanned the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River near the site of logging Camp 17. Camp 17 was on the south side of the trestle. This trestle is within today’s 45,000-acre Pemigewasset Wilderness.

A log landing and a short siding for the landing were located on the north side of the river in the area where a hiking trail formerly accessed the 180 foot suspension bridge. The above undated photograph shows loaded log cars on the trestle with the log landing in the foreground. And the cutover slopes of a spur of Mount Hancock can be seen in the background.

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EB&L Railroad, Narrow Gauge Line

This map shows the general layout of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad’s “Narrow Gauge”. The EB&L Railroad was a standard gauge railroad, but in 1901 J.E. Henry and Sons attempted to use a narrow gauge line at Camp 8 to harvest timber from the slopes of Whaleback Mountain. This roughly 1.25 mile +/- long line,  consisting of a series of switchbacks, traveled into the Osseo Brook drainage. It lasted only for a few years and was discontinued after a brakeman was killed when a loaded log car ran out control down the track.
1900s EB&L Narrow Gauge Railroad – Courtesy of the Upper Pemigewasset Historical Society
 

EB&L Railroad, Narrow Gauge Line – In operation from 1893-1948, the East Branch & Lincoln (EB&L) was a standard gauge railroad. But in 1901 J.E. Henry and Sons attempted to use a narrow gauge railroad to harvest timber from the Whaleback Mountain (Mt Osseo) area. With the exception of a May 1902 article by Albert W. Cooper and T.S. Woolsey, Jr. in Forestry & Irrigation little is known about this short-lived railroad. There are only a few photos (above) of the railroad, and over the years the actual location has been in question.

The difference between standard gauge and narrow gauge railroads is the spacing between the rails. The spacing on standard gauge railroads is 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inches, while the spacing on narrow gauge railroads is 3 feet 6 inches (this can range some). Narrow gauge railroads usually cost less to build and operate, but the major drawback is they can't handle heavy loads. The logging railroads in the White Mountains preferred the heavy standard gauge lines for hauling timber.

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Beebe River Railroad, New Hampshire

Beebe River Railroad country - Reflection of autumn foliage in Kiah Pond in Sandwich, New Hampshire on a cloudy autumn day.
Kiah Pond – Beebe River Railroad Country
 

Beebe River Railroad, New Hampshire – In January 1917, the Publishers Paper Company sold the Beebe River land tract (around 22,000 acres) to the Parker-Young Company. And in March 1917, the New Hampshire legislature approved the incorporation of the Beebe River Railroad. Also in the same year, the Woodstock Lumber Company, an affiliate of Parker-Young, built the Beebe River sawmill and mill village in Campton.

From 1917-1924, the Woodstock Lumber Company and Parker-Young operated the mill and railroad. Including sidings and spur lines, the 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.

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East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 7

Foot bridge along the Lincoln Woods Trail which crosses Franconia Brook in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Hikers enter into the Pemigewasset Wilderness on the righthand side of this bridge. Old abutments from Trestle 7 of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948) are used to support this foot bridge.
The First Trestle 7 – Courtesy of the Upper Pemigewasset Historical Society
 

East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 7 – During the days of the East Branch & Lincoln (EB&L) Railroad, there were two trestles built at this crossing of Franconia Brook (above). And each trestle serviced different areas of the railroad in today’s Pemigewasset Wilderness. The first trestle 7, known as the original trestle 7, seen above, was unique because horses used the lower deck to cross the brook.

The first trestle was built in the early 1900s, probably 1902, and it serviced the Franconia Brook and Lincoln Brook Branches of the railroad. It was used until 1911. The second trestle was built, probably in 1905, just below the first one and it was abandoned in 1947. And it serviced the Upper East Branch of the railroad (the area surrounding the East and North Fork branches of the Pemigewasset River).

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Logging Era Artifacts, White Mountains

Logging era artifacts along the abandoned East Branch & Lincoln Logging Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This artifact is a Harp Switch Stand that has been abandoned deep in the forest.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

Logging Era Artifacts, White Mountains – Today’s blog article focuses on an image keyword search term. I chose the search term “logging era artifacts”, and searched my image archive to see what imagery I have available that represents the New Hampshire White Mountains logging era. The below commentary and imagery showcases this search term.

A major portion of the White Mountains history evolves around the late 19th and early 20th-century logging era, and pretty much in every corner of the White Mountains artifacts from the logging era can be found. And while some have no interest in the history of the White Mountains we all have to appreciate what came out of the logging era, the Weeks Act.

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Gordon Pond Railroad, New Hampshire

Silhouette of mountains at sunrise along Route 112 in Woodstock, New Hampshire USA. This area was part of the Gordon Pond Railroad, which was a logging railroad in operation from 1905-1916.
Gordon Pond Railroad Territory – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Gordon Pond Railroad, New Hampshire – Owned by the Johnson Lumber Company (George Johnson) the Gordon Pond Railroad was a logging railroad in the towns of Lincoln and Woodstock New Hampshire. It was in operation from 1907-1916, and it was roughly fifteen miles long. And even though the railroad was only about fifteen miles long it is one of the more complicated logging railroads I have documented.

The history books cover the paper trail of the Gordon Pond Railroad fairly well, so there is no reason for me to repeat that information here. If interested, you can view a map of this railroad here. With that being said I will give you a quick run down on the abandoned Gordon Pond Railroad. And then take you on a photo tour of how the railroad looks today.

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Swift River Railroad, New Hampshire

Autumn foliage from the Boulder Loop Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Boulder Loop Trail has excellent views of the Swift River Valley. During the autumn months is the best time to hike this trail.
Swift River Valley – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Swift River Railroad, New Hampshire – The Swift River Railroad was a logging railroad in the Swift River valley of the New Hampshire White Mountains. It was operated by the Conway Company and was in operation from 1906-1916. The railroad began in Conway, at the Conway Company’s sawmill, and traveled up the Swift River valley following the Swift River and much of today’s Kancamagus Scenic Byway. It ended somewhere beyond Pine Bend Brook, below Mount Kancamagus.

It is hard to envision the Swift River valley (above) stripped of its timber. But for ten years, this area was heavily logged which is only a part of the history surrounding this valley. To absorb all the history of this valley in one blog article may be overwhelming so I will briefly touch base on two other interesting features of this area.

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