Franconia Brook Trail – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
2017 Favorite Images, White Mountains – Another year is coming to an end. Can you believe it! It is that time of year when I look back on a year's worth of photography and share with you the images that stand out to me from 2017. But instead of doing my "ten favorite images of the year", like in previous years, I am going to do a year in review this year.
It has been a great year both in my professional life and personal life. But 2017 has been one of the strangest years I have ever had as a photographer. Over the last few years, I have been working on a few long-term photography projects. And one of these projects that focuses on the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad is currently being put into book format and will be published in the summer of 2018. And because of this the bulk of my field time this year didn’t involve photography, it involved mostly verifying information for the book.
Storm Clouds over Owl's Mountain Head from Bondcliff, New Hampshire
Owl's Head Mountain Fire August 17, 1907 – During the late 1800s and early 1900s, logging activities from railroad logging contributed to a number of forest fires in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Sparks from locomotives were responsible for starting fires along the railroads. And the logging slash (unwanted part of the tree left behind after an area is logged) left on the mountainsides fueled the forest fires.
The infamous August 1907 Owl’s Head Mountain fire in the Pemigewasset Wilderness was started by a lightning strike on the eastern side of Owl’s Head Mountain in an area that had been previously logged by J.E. Henry and Sons. The included color photographs show the general area of where the forest fire took place.
The First Trestle 7 – Courtesy of the Upper Pemigewasset Historical Society
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle No. 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).
Unidentified Artifact – East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948)
Can You Identify These Artifacts – When documenting historic sites in the New Hampshire White Mountains one of the biggest challenges I face is trying to identify some of the artifacts I photograph. In the big picture of my historical work, identifying what the artifact is and its purpose is important. And because of this, I have to do an extensive amount of research on some artifacts.
So I want to share with you some of the artifacts I have come across that I have yet to identify. I suspect a few of you out there can identify these artifacts. And I would be thrilled if you would share your knowledge with me. I plan on adding a few more artifacts I have yet to identify to this blog article in the future.
Downes-Oliverian Brook Ski Trail – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Interesting Finds, White Mountains – My documentary work of historic sites takes me to many areas of the White Mountain National Forest. And I have to admit I have come across many things that I just can’t explain. And today I want to share a few of these interesting finds with you.
What intrigues me about the history of the White Mountains is researching the who, what, and when of an area. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to research every oddity I come across. And I have done little research on the included finds. Hopefully, this summer I can do some research on them.
Heritage Sign – Benton, New Hampshire
Preserve History, Don't Remove Artifacts – Here in New Hampshire, outdoor recreation is growing at an alarming rate. And there has been a surge of people exploring historical sites in the White Mountains. As a conservation photographer, I am obligated to create awareness for the laws that protect our American heritage. For historic preservation to be successful, it is imperative that we promote the protection of historic sites.
As you explore the abandoned cellar holes, farming communities, logging camps and other historic sites in the White Mountain National Forest, please keep in mind that the removal of historical or archaeological artifacts from federal lands without a permit is a violation of federal law. The destruction of artifacts and historic sites is also a crime. And keep in mind, you can’t dig at historical sites. So metal detecting anywhere in the White Mountain National Forest where there could be artifacts is risky business. See the links at the end of this article for the laws that protect these special places.
Franconia Brook Trail (old railroad bed) – Pemi Wilderness, New Hampshire
Trails of the Pemigewasset Wilderness – At 45,000-acres, the Pemigewasset Wilderness (the Pemi) is one of six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest. Wilderness areas are governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. And they are managed much differently than other parts of the National Forest.
Permanent improvements are not allowed, trail work is minimal, and there are strict guidelines when it comes to man-made structures in designated wilderness areas. Bridges are a convenience in wilderness areas, not mandatory. And bicycles are not allowed in these areas, and trail work can only be done with non-motorized hand tools. Preserving the natural character of a wilderness area is the objective.