East Branch of the Pemigewasset River – White Mountains, New Hampshire
May History, White Mountains – Throughout the years, a number of historical events in the White Mountains happened in May. One event that took place over one hundred years ago still benefits us today, and New Hampshire lost an icon during this month in 2003. Included here are a few interesting May events.
The most significant event took place on May 16, 1918. On this day, President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 1449 creating the White Mountain National Forest in Maine and New Hampshire. Consisting of nearly 800,000 acres, the White Mountain National Forest attracts millions of visitors every year.
Cannon Mountain from Artist Bluff – White Mountains, New Hampshire
Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park – Located just south of Bald Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire, which I wrote about last week, is the centerpiece of Franconia Notch State Park, the state-owned Cannon Mountain ski area. Franconia Notch State Park would be much different today if Cannon Mountain wasn't included in a land purchase back in the 1920s. Rich with ski history, Cannon offers world-class skiing.
Did you know that the 6,440-acre Franconia Notch State Park, which includes Cannon Mountain, was privately owned up until the 1920s? The Profile and Flume Hotel Company owned most of it. The Flume House was located in the southern section of Franconia Notch and wasn't rebuilt when it burned down in 1918. And the Profile House was located in the northern section of Franconia Notch, and it burnt down in August of 1923. Each of these grand hotels lasted for about 70 years.
Old Man of the Mountain – 35MM
Old Man of the Mountain, Franconia Notch – On May 3, 2003, New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain, also known as "The Great Stone Face" and "The Profile" collapsed. The above image, taken around 2001, is one of only a few images I have left of the Old Man rock profile. This old grainy 35MM slide represents the Old Man I knew over the years. Long live the Old Man!
Discovered and first recorded in 1805 by a survey party, the Old Man of the Mountain profile was a natural rock feature on the side of Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch; it was the main attraction of Franconia Notch for 198 years. According to Moses F. Sweetser in The White Mountains Handbook for Travellers (1873), the two surveyors were Frank Whitcomb and Luke Brooks. However, there are a few different stories about who actually discovered the rock profile*.