Telling the story of 200 years  of White Mountain History
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         The People, Places and  Events that made
                       White Mountain History
  Visit White Mountain Prints and Graphics, 
  our separate website with over 300 images 

    Use the "White Mountain Maps" link at the left   
   to  learn about White Mountain Cartography  
   and  examine over 100 rare, early  maps of the 
   White Mountains.  

    An easy way to see what's on this site:  A
Table of Contents fully linked to all pages.
   There are over 70 Photo Albums with more 
   than 1,500 photos
. Or use the search box
   lower down this page.

    Subscribe to our periodic newsletter that will  
    keep you informed of additions to this site.

Donate to help support this website and 
   our work.

  Read our 
Mission Statement and learn more
  about us.

  Before heading out to explore Historic sites, please   read  Preserving Historic Sites

                                      RECENTLY ADDED

First Lands Purchased for the WMNF

10/3   History of the Christian Science Church at               Fabyans

5/14    Hastings, Maine, an abandoned logging town, is             now part of the White Mountain National Forest

11/5   The Glacial Ridge Road

7/17  The Livermore Tripoli Company was the only 
           company in the White Mountains to mine
           Diatomaceous Earth

7/13  We've added 3 more pieces to the
          White Mountain Music section.  One written for  
          the Glen House and two for the Crawford 
           House.  Also a video of an Edison Photograph.

6/26  The section on Abandoned Towns has been  
           expanded and now includes information on
           over 20 towns.  Start at the 
           Abandoned Towns page

6/25   Dartmouth College
Might Have Been in Landaff.
           Read the background of what might have been.

3/24  White Mountain Music  Listen to music that
           hasn't been heard in the last 100 years

3/22  History of Scenic Areas in the White Mountain
          National Forest

2/28  A Short Audio Slide Show about the Early  
          Summit Houses on Mt. Washington

2/22   Waumbek Junction

12/14  Metallak Hotel.  It blew down before
            it was completed.  Why?

11/10  Fabyan Guard Cabin

7/2    Cog Railway

6/25  Profile and Franconia Notch Railroad

5/30   Summit Hotels and Structures There were
           structures on several mountain summits

5/29   Bits and Pieces Interesting, little known bits
           of White Mountain History

5/22   Fabyan House, updated history and several
           documents relating to building the hotel.

3/19   All Eight of Franklin Leavitt's Maps of     
           the  White Mountains, as well as receipts for 
           printing some of the maps and other maps 
            he drew.

2/26   The Tenth NH Turnpike, with details of how
            early turnpikes were constructed.
2/20   Three Manuscript maps by Franklin Leavitt  
           (the only ones known to exist) have been
            added along with with scarce examples of
            his poetry.

2/12   We added a page with links to each of our
            Slide Shows and Videos

1/15   Video of the final demolition of  the last of   
            the paper mill buildings in Lincoln. 
            The end of an era.

12/11 Early Movies on Mt. Washington
           1904 Auto Race up Mt. Washington
           1905 First Glidden Tour

 11/29 History of the Profile House 
           with over 70  photos

10/24 Water-Powered Print Shop
at the Mt. 
           Washington Hotel.  On the 2010 Seven To
           Save List

 8/23   Redstone Granite Quarries, with two Photo
           Albums including over 80 pictures

7/31   Bretton Woods, 1884 uses photographs  
           and  maps to show the many buildings that
           once existed and the changing landscape



The White Mountains of New Hampshire were not settled until the late 18th century, long after the sea-coast and most other parts of New England.  It was not until the end of the French and Indian War, in 1763, that towns were granted and settlers arrived.  Most arrived with few possessions; many arrived on foot, and most had little, if any, extra cash.

They found rugged mountains, many rivers, lakes and streams, and virgin forest covering nearly the entire area.  The mountains made travel difficult; there were only a few ways through.  The first European settlers had to clear land for homes and farming, build rough homes, build mills to grind their grain and saw lumber for their buildings, and build roads.

 By the first quarter of the 19th century, many prosperous, but small, towns existed and the population was rapidly expanding.  Much of the prosperity came from utilizing the abundant forest resources. 

Over the next 100 years, enormous changes took place.  The Industrial Revolution forever changed the rural nature of the area.  Tourism developed into a major industry.      
      1838 Bartlett Print of the Willey House  (Courtesy of  
   Douglas Philbrook Collection, colored by Andrea Philbrook.)

Today's visitors to the White Mountains, and the White Mountain National Forest, see a healthy, green forest.  But where today we just see trees, there used to be whole towns that are now abandoned, there were hundreds of old mills, dozens of mines, miles of logging railroads, granite quarries, charcoal kilns, lime kilns, early hiking trails and shelters, early roads and turnpikes, and much, much more.

Visitors interested in exploring, first-hand, some of this history have much to choose from.  They can walk the streets of
abandoned towns, examine cellar holes and wonder about who once lived there; they can find numerous mill sites and dams; they can climb Mt. Washington on the oldest, continuously maintained hiking trail in the Untied States, built by the Crawford family in 1819; they can walk for miles along old railroad lines, they can ride tourist railroads that still travel on some of the old track; they can ride the Cog Railway-or as it's sometimes called-the Railway to the Moon; they can drive on a long section of an early 19th century turnpike; they can visit sites where Grand Hotels once stood and they can visit  three that survive; they can drive the Auto Road to the Summit of Mt. Washington; they can visit a unique granite mansion, and, if they'd like, they can visit the quarry in the woods where the granite was cut; they can visit one of the few horse cemeteries in the country, they can visit a Pet cemetery on the grounds of one of the Grand Hotels of yesterday; they can visit the graves of the Crawford family, they can visit the site of the Willey family tragedy.  And this is just the beginning.  And if visitors might worry about the amount of traveling seeing all this would entail, they might be surprised to learn that all the above, and more, is within a twenty mile radius of the Omni Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and most of the sites are within Crawford Notch.

This website will tell the story of many of these sites, along with dozens more.  We'll tell visitors where many of these sites are and we'll tell the stories of some of the men and women who made legend and history.

As you drive through the White Mountain Region, or look at photographs, consider that much of what you see is land that was once heavily logged, or burned over, or both. Over 800,000 acres are now managed by the Unites States Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture.

        There are many vintage photos on these pages.    
        Please read the Using This Site Page for hints on 

                         SUGGESTED READING :
Throughout this site you'll find  lists appropriate to the subject under discussion.

When asked to recommend one book on White Mountain History in general, nearly all  interested
in  the subject have the same answer: 
                           by Frederick Kilbourne

The book was originally published in 1916 and has
been reprinted a number of times.  Although almost
100 years old, it remains the most comprehensive
and accurate single volume on White Mountain History.

Also very important for research into early White Mountain history are the numerous Travel Guides, published from about 1828 on.

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