Built by James Everell Henry, the East Branch and Lincoln Railroad (EB&L) is considered to be the grandest and largest logging railroad operation ever built in New England. In 1892, the mountain town of Lincoln, New Hampshire was transformed from a struggling wilderness enclave to a thriving mill town, when Henry moved his logging operation from Zealand. He built houses, a company store, sawmills, and a railroad into the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River Watershed to harvest virgin spruce. Despite the departure of the last EB&L log train from Lincoln Woods by 1948, the industry's cut and run practices forever changed the future of land conservation in the region, prompting legislation like the Weeks Act of 1911 and the Wilderness Act of 1964. Today, nearly every trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness follows or utilizes portions of the old EB&L Railroad bed.
With the use of black and white and color photographs, this book explores the history of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, while showing the abandoned railroad as it looks today. Beginning in the village of Lincoln, then documenting the early years of the railroad, this work is laid out in chronological order following the path of the railroad and the woodsmen as they moved throughout the East Branch country to harvest spruce.
About the Author: Author Erin Paul Donovan is a professional photographer based in Lincoln, New Hampshire. He specializes in historic preservation and environmental conservation photography, and has been documenting the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad for a number of years. His work has appeared in numerous publications worldwide; including Backpacker Magazine and Readers Digest, and in publications by the Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Countryman Press, National Forest Foundation, Rizzoli International Publications, and The Wilderness Society. You can learn more about Erin Paul and his photography work here.