Telling the story of 200 years  of White Mountain History

White Mountain Music

         Orchestra at the Mt. Kearsarge House, c.1875, Pease  

As early as 1858, music was written specifically for the Grand Hotels in the White Mountains.  Three pieces were written for the Crawford House, one for the Glen House, two for the Mount Pleasant, one for the Kearsarge House, etc.  Music was also written about the scenic gems of the region: the Old Man of the Mountain, the Glen, Franconia Notch, Mt. Washington, etc.

This music was performed at the hotels by resident orchestras hired by hotel managers.  The orchestras were an important part of life at the hotels and were heavily advertised at the time.

We have about two dozen pieces of White Mountain music and have uploaded a representative sample. Each is played in its entirety, as it was written.

Much of this music probably hasn't been heard for the last 100 years.   Some was written specifically for brass bands-wouldn't it be interesting to hear it played that way?

The pianist is Betty Nicholson.  It was recorded and prepared for uploading by Forrest Seavey.  The music is from  the collections of Douglas Philbrook, Bryant Tolles and Dartmouth College.

Editor's note:  At the bottom of this page is a video of
Hello Bluebird playing on an Edison cylinder phonograph.  The foxtrot was written for the opening of the Bluebird Pavilion in Colebrook, NH, c.1927. The band was known as Kaplan's Melodists.  We thank Roger Daniels, a collector of Edison cylinder phonographs and cylinder records for allowing us to share this bit of history.   (We know that this video does not exactly fit our Mission Statement but we think it's worth sharing in this day of digital music.)  The video recording was done by Forrest Seavey.
   The White Mountains
Galop was written by J. Chandler, copyright 1886.  The cover image, used here without credit, was an oft-copied image.


   The Glen House Galop was published in 1868,
copyright by G.D. Russell. Written for Col. Thompson.


   The Supper Bell Polka was one of three polkas  written specifically for the Crawford House, in 1868.  The polkas were performed by Gilmore's Brass Band, of Salem, Mass.  It was written by P.S. Gilmore and dedicated to Miss Mary. Taylor.


   The Breakfast Bell Polka is another of the three written for the Crawford House.  (The third which has not been uploaded) was the Dinner Bell Polka.)  This piece was also written by P.S. Gilmore and dedicated to Miss Marcia A. Winn.


   The Mount Washington March was written by
Will Nutting

   Four pieces of music, including The Old Man of The Mountain, were published by William A. Pond.  The cover image, reproduces with credit, a painting by John Kensett.

   The Call of The Woods was written for the Mt Pleasant Hotel Company and played at both the Mt. Pleasant and the Mt. Washington.

            Hello Bluebird was written for the opening of the

                Bluebird Pavilion in Colebrook NH, c.1927


Website Builder