Telling the story of 200 years  of White Mountain History
                                    Jefferson Turnpike
The story of the Jefferson Turnpike should be read in conjunction with our page on the 10th New Hampshire Turnpike.  They were planned at the same time by some of the same people.  Eleazar Rosebrook built portions of both turnpikes and our page about him has details about this Turnpike.

The Jefferson Turnpike was incorporated by the state in 1804, just a year after the 10th was incorporated.  It's charter says it was to run from the western end of the 10th NH Turnpike, over Cherry Mountain to Jefferson and then on to Lancaster.  Obed Hall and Stephen Wilson, both incorporaters of the 10th, were incorporaters of this road.  The road would be fourteen miles long.

It appears that the Jefferson Turnpike was opened for business in June of 1811.  On June 1,  Eleazar Rosebrook's day book records a charge of $2.00 for " fixing the Jefferson Turnpike Road to the 10th Turnpike"

The Jefferson Turnpike did not last long as a toll road.  As was the case with the 10th NH, the August 1826 storm that killed members of the Willey family, also did substantial damage to the Jefferson Turnpike.  The Turnpike was not repaired but it would seem that the road may have remained in use for horses or possibly wagons.  Ethan Allen Crawford's day books make frequent mention of "work on the Mountain Road" or "work on the Cherry Mountain Road".

Although it's life as a toll road was brief, it survives today and can still be driven on.  It's the Cherry Mountain Road and nearly of all of it is in the White Mountain National Forest.  The Cherry Mountain Road is maintained as a seasonal road by the Forest Service.  It's probably the longest surviving piece of a 19th century turnpike in New Hampshire.

Suggested Reading:
Two books deal with early roads in depth.  In addition, nearly all of the individual town histories have chapters on roads.

"On The Road North of Boston" by Donna-Garvin and James Garvin discusses the taverns and travel conditions as well as providing a great deal of information on the roads and turnpikes. 

"The Turnpikes of New England" by Fredric J. Wood contains information on the New Hampshire turnpikes, as well as other New England states.  It's particularly useful in that it makes clear which turnpikes, although chartered, were never actually built.
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