Posts Tagged: history



Pemigewasset Wilderness, Random History

One of the stone abutments that support the abandoned Trestle No. 16 in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of New Hampshire.
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.

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Presidential Range, Random History

Presidential Range from Eisenhower Wayside Park along Route 302 in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. Mount Washington is off in the distance snow-capped.
Presidential Range – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Presidential Range, Random History – The Presidential Range in the New Hampshire White Mountains is known worldwide for having some of the worst weather in the world. And the main attraction of the range is the mighty Mount Washington. At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. And with the famed Appalachian Trail traveling through this scenic mountain range, it is a busy area.

The first recorded ascent, Darby Field in 1642, and fatality, Frederick Strickland in 1849, on Mount Washington has been well-publicized and is known among outdoor enthusiasts who play in the White Mountains. And because of the significance of these events, some of the history surrounding the Presidential Range is overlooked. So included here are a few tidbits of history about this fascinating mountain range.

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Random Trail History, White Mountains

Mount Washington from the Camel Trail in Sargent's Purchase of the New Hampshire White Mountains.
Camel Trail – Mount Washington, New Hampshire
 

Random Trail History, White Mountains – Think about these White Mountains history facts for a moment. Crawford Path is the oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America. Trail maker Charles E. Lowe and Dr. William G. Nowell built Lowe’s Path in 1875-1876. Nathaniel Davis, son-in-law of Abel and Hannah Crawford, built Davis Path in 1845. Nathaniel L. Goodrich (1880-1957) is considered to be the founder of peakbagging in the White Mountains.

In this era of outdoor recreation (camping, fishing, hiking, etc.) the ones who explored the New Hampshire White Mountains before us are being forgotten about. So today’s blog article focuses on random tidbits of history surrounding the White Mountains trail system.

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Forgotten Lincoln, New Hampshire

RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire during the autumn months. This resort occupies the site of the old mill complex that J.E Henry and Sons built in the early 1900s.
RiverWalk Resort – Village of Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

Forgotten Lincoln, New Hampshire – On January 31, 1764, Governor Benning Wentworth granted 24,000 acres of land to James Avery of Connecticut and others. Avery was also granted the town of Landaff on the same day. None of the grantees lived in Lincoln, and it is likely that they never visited the township. Lincoln was named after Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, 2nd Duke of Newcastle, 9th Earl of Lincoln.

Per the charter, the grantees failed to settle the town in time. And in 1772 the Governor declared the Lincoln charter a forfeit and re-granted Lincoln, along with most of Franconia, to Sir Francis Bernard and others. The name of the new township was Morristown in honor of Corbin Morris, one of the grantees.

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Forgotten Woodstock, New Hampshire

Mirror Lake in New Hampshire during the summer months.
Mirror Lake – Woodstock, New Hampshire
 

Forgotten Woodstock, New Hampshire – Chartered in September 1763 by Governor Benning Wentworth, the town of Woodstock was first incorporated as Peeling. The charter, consisting of 25,000 acres, was granted to Eli Demerit and others and was divided into ninety-eight equal shares. In 1771, the land was regranted to Nathaniel Cushman and others and divided into seventy equal shares and renamed Fairfield. Then in 1773, it was regranted as Peeling back to some of the original proprietors. The name was changed to Woodstock in 1840.

Today the mountainous landscape of Woodstock is picture perfect. And the village of North Woodstock gets so much recognition that you would think North Woodstock received its own charter. But it didn’t and is part of the Woodstock charter. Much of the town's history is well known, but some of it has been forgotten. And this blog article focuses on a few of the forgotten historical features of Woodstock.

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February 1959 Plane Crash, Pemi Wilderness

Memorial for Dr. Ralph E. Miller and Dr. Robert E. Quinn in the Thoreau Falls valley of the Pemigewasset Wilderness in Lincoln, New Hampshire. The doctors successfully crash landed their plane on February 21, 1959 in this location along the abandoned railroad bed of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad. They survived for four days before dying of exposure.
Abandoned Section of the Thoreau Falls Trail – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

February 1959 Plane Crash, Pemigewasset Wilderness – On Saturday, February 21, 1959 a Piper Comanche airplane took off from the Berlin, New Hampshire Airport, around 3:30 p.m., destined for Lebanon, New Hampshire Airport. The pilot was Dr. Ralph E. Miller and his passenger was Dr. Robert E. Quinn. Both were doctors affiliated with Dartmouth Medical School.

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Willey Brook Trestle, World War 1 Guard Duty

Crawford Notch State Park - Willey Brook Trestle along the old Maine Central Railroad in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. The Mt. Willard Section House was located just to the right of the trestle. This railroad is now used by the Conway Scenic Railroad.
Willey Brook Trestle – Crawford Notch, New Hampshire  
 

Willey Brook Trestle, World War 1 Guard Duty – Many know of the Willey Brook Trestle along the old Maine Central Railroad in Crawford Notch, but some of the history surrounding the bridge is not widely known. And to appreciate this article, a little railroad history is needed.

Chartered in 1867 as the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad, reorganized as the Portland & Ogdensburg Railway in 1886 and then leased to the Maine Central Railroad in 1888 and later abandoned in 1983. Since 1995 the Conway Scenic Railroad, which provides passenger excursion trains, has been using the track. The building of this railroad through the rugged terrain of Crawford Notch was an amazing feat during the 1800s. Above is a photo showing the landscape of the Willey Brook drainage.

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