Axe Head – Livermore, New Hampshire
Identifying Historical Artifacts, White Mountains – If you are picking up trash in the New Hampshire White Mountains during the 2020 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.
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.
Ellen's Falls (top section) – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Ellen's Falls, White Mountains – Ellen's Falls is a picturesque waterfall located on Hobbs Brook, about a mile upstream from its junction with the Kancamagus Highway in Albany, New Hampshire. And though I have read visiting these falls requires bushwhacking up the side of Hobbs Brook from the Kancamagus Highway, there is actually a gated Forest Road that can be used to reach the falls.
Hobbs Brook was probably named for one of Albany’s early settlers, Ruben Derban Hobbs who had a sawmill on the brook. But before Hobbs had his sawmill on the brook a man by the name of Ellen had a sawmill on the brook, and at the time locals referred to the brook as Ellen River. So it seems likely that Ellen’s Falls are named for him. At this point, I have found only one reference to Ellen.
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.
Ellens Falls – White Mountains, New Hampshire top section
Ellens Falls, New Hampshire – Located off the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in Albany, New Hampshire on Hobbs Brook, Ellens Falls is one of the many smaller waterfalls that often gets overlooked for one reason or another. I can only guess these falls go unnoticed because visitors are more interested in the easily accessible waterfalls along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway.