History of The White Mountains --- Set 02
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
This is a continuation of the History of
the White Mountains --- Set 01
Also see my Mt. Washington Cog Railroad Photographic Special:
Part 1 (History)
My son Marshall snapped this shot we were going up Mt. Washington on the Cog
Historical Markers --- http://whitemountainhistory.org/Historical_Markers.php
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has placed over forty markers in the White Mountain Region. They cover a wide variety of subjects and present an interesting overview of people and events within the region. A wide time range is covered.
Photos of the markers by Dave Govatski and Rick Russack
Click on any marker to see a larger image.
I photographed this marker near the top of Mt. Washington
Looking down from Mt. Washington at the Breton Woods Ski Trails
Piles of stones like the one below mark the Appalachian trail above the tree
Shrouded Memories: True Stories from the White Mountains of New Hampshire
Paperback by Floyd W. Ramsey (Author)
Publisher: Bondcliff Books
Publication date: 7/1/2002
The New Hampshire Shopper ---
Note the Column of Links on the Left Side of the Page
Tourism and Hotels --- http://whitemountainhistory.org/Tourism.html
Before hotels were built in the White Mountains, travelers were served by taverns, which in the early days could have been quite primitive. Prior to about 1820, these early taverns catered to commercial traffic, mostly teamsters and farmers transporting excess produce to seaport towns and returning with imported goods that were not available locally. This traffic was substantial. The taverns tended to be along the rivers at ferry crossings, at road intersections and every few miles along the roads and turnpikes as they developed. Early travel journals are filled with references to these taverns-complimentary about some and quite negative about others.
As travel increased, many of the taverns expanded into hotels and as transportation improved, and as tourists began to visit the region, many of the hotels grew into the Grand Hotels. In several instances, businessmen, railroads and corporations built hotels unrelated to earlier taverns, to accommodate travelers. Some of the early tavern keepers were the first guides, escorting visitors to the mountains as early as 1819.
The links at the left will take you to pages that include the history of particular taverns and hotels as well as photo albums that document the buildings, the grounds, and changes over time.
The definitive book is Grand Resort Hotels of the White Mountains by Bryant Tolles.
For details on the early taverns:
On the Road North of Boston by Donna Belle and James Garvin
For an informative article from Outlook Magazine, click below:
The Grand Hotels, The Glory and the Conflagration
by Randall Spaulding
Balsams Grand Resort
Closed for Major Renovations from 2013-2015 or later
The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Balsams_Grand_Resort_Hotel
The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel is a grand hotel and ski resort located in Dixville Notch in New Hampshire, United States. The hotel covers 15,000 acres (61 km2) and features 95 kilometers of cross-country ski trails, an alpine ski area with 16 trails, five glade areas and a terrain park. There is also a 9-hole golf course and an 18-hole championship course called "Panorama" which was designed by Donald Ross. The Balsams is currently closed for renovations after being purchased by new owners for $2.3 million in December 2011.
Located along the old Coös Trail (now Route 26) through Dixville Notch, it first opened just after the Civil War as the Dix House, a 25-room summer inn established by George Parsons. In 1895, it was purchased by Henry S. Hale, a Philadelphia inventor and industrialist who had been a regular guest. He renamed it The Balsams, and over time enlarged and augmented the facilities. In 1918, Hale completed the Hampshire House, the towering wing which doubled the resort's capacity to 400 guests.
The Ballot Room of The Balsams is where Dixville Notch's presidential primary votes are cast just after midnight on the day of the New Hampshire primaries. These votes cast by Dixville Notch residents are among the first to be cast, counted, and reported national.
Mt. Washington as viewed from my desk (zoomed)
Mt. Washington Hotel and Resort
Mount Washington Hotel --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Washington_Hotel
. . .
The hotel was constructed at a cost of $1.7 million ($44.6 million in 2012 dollars) by Joseph Stickney, a native of Waltham, Massachusetts, who had made a fortune before the age of 30 as a coal broker in Pennsylvania. In 1881 Stickney and his partner, John N. Conyngham, had purchased the Mount Pleasant Hotel nearby from lumberman John T.G. Leavitt, a large early hotel that was later demolished. Subsequently, Stickney began work on his Mount Washington Hotel. He brought in 250 Italian artisans to build it, particularly the granite and stucco masonry. Construction started in 1900 on the Y-shaped hotel, which opened on July 28, 1902. At the opening ceremony, Stickney told the audience: "Look at me, gentlemen ... for I am the poor fool who built all this!" Within a year he was dead at the age of 64.
His wife, Carolyn Stickney, summered at the hotel for the next decade, adding the Sun Dining Room with guest rooms above, the fourth floor between the towers, and the chapel honoring her late husband. Under its capable first manager, John Anderson, the hotel was a success. But the advent of income tax, Prohibition, and the Great Depression curtailed the hospitality business. In 1936, Mrs. Stickney's nephew, Foster Reynolds, inherited the hotel, which closed in 1942 because of World War II. A Boston syndicate bought the extensive property for about $450,000 In 1944. The Bretton Woods monetary conference took place that year, establishing the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The owners were paid $300,000 for the loss of business and promised a daily room charge of $18 per person for the 19-day conference.
The Mount Washington Hotel and Resort is one of the last surviving grand hotels in the White Mountains, and includes an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, as well as a 9-hole course on its facilities.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
The hotel opened for its first winter season in 1999. Before that year the hotel would close to guests late in the fall and open in the spring. The entire hotel was overhauled before the winter, with efficient windows installed in the entire hotel.
In January 2009 the Mount Washington Resort completed a 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) addition that includes a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) spa and a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) conference center.
In November 2010 it was revealed that CNL is seeking to trademark the Mount Washington name. CNL said they were just directing their efforts against other hotels in the area that have the mountain's name and not other businesses that also have it.
Continued in article
Fire on the Summit of Mt. Washington in 1908 --- http://whitemountainhistory.org/Fire_On_Mt.html
On the night of Thursday June 18, 1908 all the buildings at the Summit of Mt. Washington, with the exception of the original Tip Top house, were destroyed by fire. The damage was extensive: the Summit House Hotel, the printing office and press of “Among The Clouds”, the cottage, the stage office, the Signal Station, the train shed and a portion of Cog Railway track, were destroyed. It would be seven years before a new Summit House would be built.
The exact cause of the fire was never determined. Railroad crews had been working that day, getting the buildings ready for the first day of the season, June 29. It was a bright, sunny day, and the work crew descended the mountain by train at about 4:45. All was in order. Shortly before the workmen left, a group of young hikers from Berlin arrived, planning to spend the night in the Stage office.
Apparently, the fire was first noticed by the hikers, one of whom later said that they had seen flames coming from a window of the hotel. They entered the hotel but were unable to put out the fire. They were unable to call down to the Base Station, as the telephone had been disconnected and four of the hikers started down the carriage road to alert men at the Glen House.
Because of the placement of the Base Station, the railroad employees were not able to see the summit, and did not know of the danger. The first word of the fire was relayed from the nearby Fabyan House. A number of people at the hotel, staff and guests, saw the glow on the mountain but assumed it to be sunlight. The hotel clerk saw the flickering of the light and understood the situation. He called Colonel Baron, manager of the hotel and he called the Base Station. Superintendent Horne, in charge of the work crew, had a train made ready and a crew went up the mountain. As they approached the Gulf tank, the men saw the hotel almost consumed by flames and realized they could not take the train to the summit. They left the train near that point and when they arrived at the summit, they saw the roof of the hotel was already gone and the fire was spreading. The train shed had been destroyed, the stage office had fallen in, and the “Among The Clouds” building was burning. Shortly after they arrived, the Signal Station caught fire from embers from the train shed. The crew from the Base Station could do nothing but watch as the fire progressed. When the flames were seen from the Glen House, a crew started up the carriage road and met the four young hikers who were coming down to try to get help. But nothing could be done. By midnight the fire had burned itself out. All that remained were the old, unused, Tip Top house and two stables, which were located below the summit.
Continued in article
Early Movies on Mt. Washington 1904 and 1905 --- http://whitemountainhistory.org/Early_Movies.html
Thomas Edison began producing movies in 1894. In 1895, one of his employees left and with others, formed the American Mutoscope Company. A few years later, the company changed its name to the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, or the Biograph Company, as it was commonly called. Interestingly, at least three of the early Biograph movies were shot on Mt. Washington, or nearby.
The earliest of the three, a short film by the Biograph Company, of the Fabyan House coach at the summit of Mt. Washington, apparently no longer exists, or if it does, its location is unknown. It’s existence is known only from articles about it in “Among The Clouds”. However, copies of the other two exist and are presented here for your enjoyment.
“Automobiling Among the Clouds”, showing the first auto race up Mt. Washington, was produced by the Biograph Company in 1904. The race, known as “Climb to the Clouds” was one of the earliest auto races in this country. It took just slightly over 24 minutes for the winner, Harry Harkness, driving a Mercedes, to reach the Summit and claim the trophy. (In 1998, the record was set at 6 minutes and 42 seconds.)
Click here to see the entire 5 1/2 minute movie
Click here for Road Map of the Tour
The second film records participants in the first Glidden Tour departing the Mt. Washington Hotel in July, 1905. Thirty-three contestants departed from
and three days later arrived at Bretton Woods and the New York Mt.Washington Hotel. Most participated in that year’s “Climb to the Clouds”. The Manchester Union was strongly opposed to the event, and wrote as follows: “To our mind, the whole thing has been an almost entirely unmitigated nuisance. The lives and property of perfectly harmless people have been seriously menaced; the laws willfully disregarded; and for no earthly reason rather than to afford amusement to a lot of strangers. There seems no reason at all why the people of the community should be subjected to such things.
Take for instance the record of the run from
Concordto -- 18 miles in 40 minutes! Have they the right to do such a thing? Take a list of accidents they caused: an old man thrown out of his wagon and his arm injured, while his horse ran away and smashed the wagon and harness to bits; a collision with a lumber wagon and the driver of the automobile hurt; a horse and a mowing machine badly frightened and cut up. All these things without redress offered or obtained from the man who owns the machine. The newspaper went on to suggest that if the drivers returned to Nashua the following years, perhaps the speeders should spend a few days in jail. New Hampshire
Click here to see the entire 8 minute movie
Continued in article
Nordic Village Resort
Early Cabins and
Tourist Camps ---
Fabyan House With photo album
With photo album
Grand Hotel to be but it blew down before it was completed.
Profile House With Photo Album
Mountain View Grand Hotel
I took this photograph on a cold July 4, 2011 when we spent two nights at this nearby hotel
Mountain View House --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_View_Grand_Resort_and_Spa
. . .
After the Civil War, tourism became popular in the White Mountains, especially with the arrival of the railroad. In 1865, William and Mary Dodge first accepted boarders into their home. By 1866, the couple officially opened an inn called the Mountain View House. Over the years, several additions were built, which by 1884 could accommodate over 100 guests. The facilities were greatly enlarged to accommodate over 200 guests in 1911 and 1912, when the iconic belvedere tower was added to the facade.
As an established member of the elite White Mountain resorts, the Dodges continued to expand and improve "The View", as it was called, including nearly doubling the hotel capacity to 300 beds and seating for 450 in the dining hall. Sports and conference facilities were added, and the real estate was expanded to over 3,000 acres (1,200 ha).
The property remained in the family until it was sold in 1979, giving rise to the claim of being "the oldest resort in the US to be owned and operate by the same family living on the same property."
But the new owners proved unsuccessful; it closed in 1986 after 122 seasons and went into foreclosure, with the furnishings auctioned by the bank in 1989.
Attitash Mountain Village and Ski Resort
White Mountain Hotel
Sunset Hill House Hotel just down the road from our cottage
Old Sunset Hill House Resort (mostly torn down in 1973)
Sunset Hill Hotel Resort History Set 01 ---
After the Sunset Hill Hotel Resort was nearly all demolished in 1973, our cottage (before it was ours)
was moved in 1977 from the golf course across a tennis court and up to where the former hotel site.
I show pictures of the preparation work prior to the moving the cottage and its four fireplaces
Next I show pictures of the move to the new site
Next I show the pictures of a 1980 spectacular fire on one of the remaining three cottages
Eastern Slope Inn
North Conway Grand Hotel
Mountain Club on Loon and Ski Resort
Lodge at Jackson Village
Erika in the Front Lawn of Our Cottage
A winter shot from behind an overgrown indoor plant we later had to haul off
Will Summer 2014 ever arrive?
I had to lay window screens over our rock garden because
deer are returning every day to nose under the snow
and eat our sleeping phlox beds
The phlox may look beat up in Spring 2014
Making snow on Cannon Mountain where I can see them skiing if I use binoculars
Sunrise Behind Mt. Garfield
Set 1 photographs of hotels near our cottage ---
Photographs of the Trapp Family and Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont
Set 1 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Tidbits/Mountains/Set01/MountainsSet01.htm
Set 2 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Tidbits/Mountains/Set02/MountainsSet02.htm
This set includes White Mountain hiking trail photographs
Bob Jensen's Favorite Pictures of Mt. Lafayette 10 Miles Distant
With nine pages quoted from Bill Bryson's traumatic climb up Mt. Lafayette
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (Anchor Books, 2007)
History of the White Mountains --- Set 01
Mt. Washington Cog Railroad Photographic Special:
Part 1 (History)
More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and
Over 70 Historical Photographs --- http://photos.whitemountainhistory.org/AlbumHomeView.aspx
Blogs of White
Mountain Hikers (many great photographs) ---
the archive of John Compton's blogs at the bottom of the page at
AMC White Mountain Guide: Hiking Trails in the White Mountain National
Find Hiking Trails --- http://www.traillink.com/?gclid=CPPLy8-wt7ECFYNx4AodR2QAsQ
On May 14,
2006 I retired from
Trinity University after a long and
wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was
generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My
wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---
Jensen's Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations
address is 190 Sunset Hill Road, Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
Our cottage was known as the Brayton Cottage in the early 1900s
Sunset Hill is a ridge overlooking with New Hampshire's White Mountains to the East
and Vermont's Green Mountains to the West
Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
Bob Jensen's Home Page --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/