Welcome to the photoblog of Erin Paul Donovan, a professional photographer located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire USA.
Specializing in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography mainly in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Image archive consists of forgotten history and landscape scenes of the White Mountains and New England region.
White Mountains, March History – When it comes to the history of the New Hampshire White Mountains, throughout the years, March was an active month. In fact, so many historical events took place during this month listing all of them would require more time than I have. So included here are just a few interesting events that happened.
A few of the more significant March events are President William Howard Taft signing the Weeks Act on March 1, 1911. And the Appalachian Mountain Club’s second meeting on March 8, 1876; at this meeting, it was voted to allow women to join the club. Both of these events impacted the White Mountains greatly.
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.
Historic Logging Camps, White Mountains – Most of this summer season I have been documenting history and culture subjects in the New Hampshire White Mountains. The last few blog articles have been historical in nature so today I am going to continue with this theme and introduce you to the late nineteenth and twentieth century camps of White Mountains logging era.
Some consider the artifacts that remain on National Forest land to be nothing more than junk. But I see them as a window to the past that allows us to, to some extent, see what life was like for the men who worked and lived in the forests of the White Mountains during the twentieth century.
Harp Switch Stand, New Hampshire – Popular during the early days of railroading, the harp style switch stand was a manually operated railroad switch, which allowed trains to transfer to another section of track. This was accomplished by a railroad worker pushing or throwing the long bar (above).
During the railroad era, harp switch stands were used on many New Hampshire railroads, including the logging railroads. Most of the harp switch stands along the logging railroads were removed in the 1900s when the railroad track was picked up, but a handful of them were left deep in the backcountry of the White Mountains. Now considered historical artifacts these switches are a reminder of the land destruction that once took place in the White Mountainsmany years ago.
Celebrating 100 years of Wilderness Protection. The above images are why I feel the Weeks Act is so important. Without it who knows what condition the White Mountains of New Hampshire would be in today.
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