Undercast – Mount Osceola, New Hampshire
November History, White Mountains – Here in the White Mountains, November is one of the quieter months of the year. The autumn foliage season has come to an end, and winter is knocking on the door. Many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy this time of year because there is less foot traffic along our public hiking trails.
When it comes to White Mountains history, some interesting events happened in November. A family-run business put the town of Lincoln on the map, a road was completed, and fire destroyed a grand hotel. Included here are a few interesting events.
East Branch & Lincoln RR – Standing Utility Pole, Camp 17 Area
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Utility Poles – Telephone wires were strung from utility poles along the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948) to the numerous logging camps. In some areas along the railroad, side mounted wooden telephone peg holder pins nailed directly to trees were used in place of utility poles. Today, these utility poles are considered artifacts of the White Mountains logging era.
While this blog article focuses only on the abandoned East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, other logging railroads in the White Mountains used the same approach described above. And remnants of utility poles can still be found along some of the other railroads. However, as nature slowly reclaims the East Branch & Lincoln territory, standing utility poles are becoming a rarity.
Black Mountain at Sunrise – Lincoln, New Hampshire
2019 Year in Review, White Mountains – Another year is coming to an end! For the past few years, I have been posting my "ten favorite images of the year" at the end of the year. But I drifted away from this format last year, and I am going to do it again this year. While we all love viewing imagery of the White Mountains, the “my top 10 favorite photos of the year" blog articles have become to repetitive for me. So its time for a change.
This year I found myself thinking about how the White Mountains have changed my life. Like many of you, I am drawn to these mountains, and at this point in my life, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. But I realized that it wasn't just the mountains, photography has been a huge influence in my life. Photography has made me care about conservation, historic preservation, and the environment. The camera has taught me more about life than I think I will ever realize.
Suspension Bridge – Lincoln Woods Trailhead, White Mountains
Lincoln Woods Trail, White Mountains – There isn’t a grand story about how the Lincoln Woods Trail came to be, and the trail isn’t named for any famous person. However, this trail is the direct result of J.E. Henry’s historic East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948), and that is what makes it so unique.
The 2.9 mile-long Lincoln Woods Trails utilizes the railroad bed of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad. It begins along the Kancamagus Highway at the Lincoln Woods trailhead, crosses a picturesque suspension bridge (above), and travels along the west side of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, and after crossing Franconia Brook, the trail abruptly ends at the Pemigewasset Wilderness boundary.
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.
Big Coolidge Mountain – Lincoln, New Hampshire
2018 Year in Review, White Mountains – Another year is coming to an end! For the past few years, I have been posting my "ten favorite images of the year" at the end of the year. But I have decided to drift away from that format this year and do a year in review.
This year marks my 20th year working in the photography industry. And I have been reminiscing about where my cameras have taken me in life. The photography industry and outdoor recreation in the White Mountains has changed drastically over the last two decades. But the one thing that has not changed is my 40-50 pound backpack. While I may complain about a heavy backpack, because of photography I have visited some incredible locations in the White Mountains. Hopefully, I have another 20 years behind the camera.
South-facing View, Trestle 17 – Courtesy of the Upper Pemigewasset Historical Society
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle No. 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.
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.