History of the White Mountains --- Set 3 (Franconia Notch)

Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

The north end of Franconia Notch is about 10 miles from our cottage as the crows fly
This north end lies between Mt. Lafayette and Cannon Mountain
This is a picture taken from our living room

Franconia Notch is often clouded over

With the camera zoomed slightly

Every nice day from my desk I can watch gliders over the Notch

Brayton Cottage is the historic name of our cottage

View of the clouded-over Notch from the Iris Farm down the road from our cottage
This is one of my favorite shots that would make a good picture puzzle

The south end of the Notch begins in the tourist town of Lincoln and ends ten miles or so south of  Franconia
The Notch itself is a New Hampshire State Park
Franconia Notch State Park ---

This picture was taken in early autumn from the north shore of Echo Lake

There are many climbing trails, scenic sites, historic sites, mountain lakes, waterfalls, and Cannon Mountain Ski Resort
Reviews of Franconia Notch State Park

Images for Franconia Notch State Park


Franconia Notch State Park --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franconia_Notch_State_Park

Franconia Notch State Park is located in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire and straddles 8 miles (13 km) of Interstate 93 as it passes through Franconia Notch, a mountain pass between the Kinsman Range and Franconia Range. Attractions in the state park include the Flume Gorge and visitor center, the Old Man of the Mountain historical site, fishing in Echo Lake and Profile Lake, and miles of hiking, biking and ski trails. The northern part of the park, including Cannon Mountain and Echo and Profile lakes, is in the town of Franconia, and the southern part, including Lonesome Lake and the Flume, is in Lincoln.

The park is home to Cannon Mountain, a state-owned ski resort started in the 1930s. The mountain is named for a rock formation in the shape of a cannon found on the summit, but the "Old Man of the Mountain" formation was by far the more famous; it collapsed in May 2003. Cannon is also famous for being one of the most challenging hills in New England. It boasts an aerial tram, which runs year-round, ferrying sightseers to the summit in the summer time and skiers in the winter. At the base of the tramway is the New England Ski Museum, with exhibits on the history of alpine skiing in New England and America.

On the west side of the notch, halfway up the side of Cannon Mountain, is Lonesome Lake, an easy day hike up the Lonesome Lake Trail from the state park's Lafayette Place campground. The Lonesome Lake Hut, one of numerous well-kept huts throughout the White Mountains that are maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club, is found at the southwest end of the lake, near its outlet. Huts offer meals and lodging (reservations are recommended).

Opposite Cannon Mountain, on the east side of the notch, are the Eagle Cliffs, so named for the eagles that sometimes roost there. The Greenleaf Trail, a hiking trail, winds around the south side of the cliff and up to Greenleaf Hut, another AMC hut. East of Greenleaf Hut and outside of the state park is the 5,249-foot (1,600 m) summit of Mount Lafayette and the Franconia Ridge Trail (also the Appalachian Trail). The Appalachian Trail continues north to Mount Washington and eventually to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Beneath a waterfall in the Pemigewasset River is a granite pothole about 20 feet (6 m) across known simply as "the Basin". It was scrubbed out by stones dragged (and eventually deposited) by the retreating North American ice sheet, and since made smooth by 15 millennia of rapidly whirling pebbles and grit. Below the Basin is "Old Man's Foot", a distinctively shaped rock formation, also the natural result of Pemigewasset's erosive energy.


Franconia Notch Hiking and Trail Map --- http://www.nhstateparks.org/uploads/pdf/FranconiaHikingMapAllWeb_2010.pdf


Franconia Notch Weather --- http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/overview/NHSPFN


Franconia Notch Motels and Hotels --- http://www.franconianotch.org/lodging/motels-and-hotels.aspx


Central Mountain Biking Map --- http://www.trails.com/activity.aspx?area=11643


Franconia Notch Parkway --- http://granitehighways.com/gallery.php?page=franconia_notch_parkway

The Franconia Notch Parkway winds its way through Franconia Notch. In this northbound view from the trailhead parking lot is Cannon Mountain on the left and Eagle Cliff in the distant background.

There are several heads carved naturally inside the Notch
These include the Watcher, Indian Head, and the (former) Old Man in the Mountain


Inside the Flume Gorge that has a lot of wooden walkways and seemingly endless stairs
This is my son Marshall in the Flume Gorge

More of Bob Jensen's and son Marshall's Flume Gorge pictures ---


The Basin


After a Long Hike to the Bridal Falls


How Bette Davis met a future husband on a hike to the Bridal Falls


Boise Rock



"Profile & Franconia Notch Railroad," by Paul Moccia, whitemountainhistory.org ---

The Profile & Franconia Notch Railroad opened in 1879. It was conceived and constructed in response to the need for swift and safe transportation of wealthy and newly emergent middle class vacationers to the resort hotels of the western slopes of the White Mountains. Entrepreneurs Richard Taft and Charles H. Greenleaf had purchased the Flume House in 1848 and the Lafayette House in 1852, and had built the Profile House in 1853, the same year that the White Mountains Railroad reached Littleton. Following the business model of the day, the White Mountains Railroad was leased almost immediately upon its completion by the expanding Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, thereby facilitating direct connections to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and other eastern cities to the heart of the White Mountains. Prior to the building of the P&FN RR however, the only way of reaching the hotels in Franconia Notch and the natural attractions of the area, such as the Flume and the Old Man of the Mountains, was by stagecoach, either from Plymouth (later from N. Woodstock), or from Littleton.

The Civil War brought a halt to all tourism-oriented construction in the White Mountains, but by the 1870s development had resumed. The BC&M extended service to Bethlehem and bought the leased WMRR outright in 1873. They opened the Mount Washington Branch from Wing Road, in the northern part of Bethlehem, to Fabyan in 1874. (A remarkable activity when one realizes that this construction took place in the aftermath of the financial panic of 1873, which was caused by a speculative bubble in railroads.)

Also in 1874, the
Gale River Lumber Company constructed a standard gauge logging railroad approximately three miles into the woods, towards Franconia Notch, from the south bank of the Ammonoosuc River, at Pierce Bridge in Bethlehem. This railroad ended operations in 1878 when the logging was completed, setting the stage for the Profile & Franconia Notch RR.


Taft and Greenleaf saw the end of Gale River lumbering operations as their opportunity to secure rail service to their hotels, and in that same year, they incorporated and surveyed the P&FN RR to run south from Pierce Bridge to the Flume House, following the route of the old logging railroad to its end, then extending it. They built their railroad as a narrow gauge line, (with a 36-inch track gauge) presumably to speed construction and minimize expenses. Construction began in the fall of 1878 and the 9.46 miles of railroad was opened to an elegant little station at the Profile House in June of 1879. There was a passenger shelter at the Profile Golf Links and a wye track at both ends of the line for turning engines. The line was never extended to the Flume House.

At Pierce Bridge, the P&FN built a covered bridge over the Ammonoosuc to bring their narrow gauge trains over the river to meet standard gauge BC&M trains on the north bank, and to facilitate transfer of passengers, baggage and freight. This connection was named Bethlehem Junction.  Two narrow gauge, wood burning, locomotives, Echo and Profile, were bought to provide service between Bethlehem Junction and the Profile House.

Two years later, the P&FN extended its line west from Bethlehem Junction to serve the Maplewood and other hotels along Bethlehem Street. This 3.38 mile branch extended to Park Avenue in Bethlehem, with an intermediate station at the Maplewood Hotel, opened in July 1881. This necessitated purchasing a third locomotive, known as Bethlehem, and additional passenger cars.

Following the railroad consolidation practice of the day, the BC&M was leased by the Boston & Lowell Railroad on July 1, 1884. A long, drawn-out, political railroad war raged at this time in the New Hampshire legislature, and eventually, the New Hampshire Supreme Court declared the Boston & Lowell lease of the Boston, Concord & Montreal to be invalid, for obscure reasons. The newly divorced BC&M then secured approval to merge with the Concord Railroad (Nashua - Concord) to form the Concord & Montreal Railroad in 1890.

Continued in article

Profile House With Photo Album 




The nature-sculpted Old Man in the Mountain before he collapsed
Many years of water and ice widened the cracks in his granite foundation
His head tumbled down the mountain shortly after we moved to New Hampshire

This is a trail marker on the climb up Mt. Lafayette


Several of 60 ski trails on Cannon (where Bode Miller learned to ski)


I took this photograph of Echo Lake from the back window of the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram

These are shots of the Notch from the top of Cannon Mountain's Rim Trail

Along the rim trail there's a lookout of the Franconia Notch Parkway


Cannon Mountain Videos


The Alpine Village of Mittersill has a chair lift to to top of Cannon Mountain
Mittersill History --- http://www.mittersillresort.com/history.php

Mittersill Alpine Resort was founded by the Baron Hubert von Pantz in 1945, the Mittersill Alpine Resort and Village has a Tyrolean heritage and traces its roots directly from the aristocracy of Austria. The von Pantz family was one of the older noble families during the Hapsburg dynasty. Originally awarded their first title prior to 1450 by the Roman Empire, for five centuries they owned a monopoly on the iron mines of central Europe. As a result of World War I, The War to End All Wars, Austria changed forever as the Hapsburg Empire was reduced from a prosperous country of 65 million to a small country of 6 million in economic ruin.

The young Baron von Pantz lived through these turbulent years with reckless abandon, which became the character trait that enabled him to surround his life with glamorous and exciting people. In 1934, he bought Countess Larisch Wallersee's medieval castle, Schloss Mittersill in The Alps located in the Pinzgau Valley in Tirol, Austria. The Baron converted the castle into the Mittersill Club as an escape to the European grandeur of the past, and many of the royal families of Europe and the wealthy socialites of America frequented the Club. The normal dining attire of the Club was Tyrolean jackets and pink Club ties. The normal daily activities were stag hunting, horseback riding, tennis, swimming and fishing. There the Baron could enjoy his three greatest pleasures: auto racing, skiing and grand entertaining.

The original Mittersill club came to an abrupt end on March 13, 1938, when Nazi Germany invaded Austria. The Baron escaped to America in what can simply be called an exhilarating exodus, in keeping with the von Pantz family motto, "Luck is Stronger than Iron."

Baron von PantzThe flamboyant Baron came to Franconia, New Hampshire to recreate his dream and built Mittersill Alpine Resort and the surrounding village chalets in the authentic Austrian style with the grand opening in 1945. The chalets were sold to private owners who still maintain the unique Tyrolean theme. The Baron's dynamic personality and unique background brought America's elite society to the immediately successful Resort. He brought European style skiing to America. In 1964, the Main inn was expanded into the grander scale Resort of today. In 1969, the Baron sold the Resort to relatives and retired to Austria.

Continued in article

This Mittersill hotel is a time-share where Lucile Ball and her husband Desi ARnaz
once trashed the bar in a wild party



Franconia Notch History and Guide
by Sarah N. (Brooks) Welch (Author)

A visitor's guide to Franconia Notch: History, geology, and folklore of this national natural landmark in New Hampshire's White Mountains
by Paul T Doherty (Author)


List of New Hampshire state parks

List of notches in New Hampshire

Kancamagus Highway

Skiing in New Hampshire --- http://gonewengland.about.com/od/skinewhampshire/


Bob Jensen's Photographs of the White Mountains

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

History of The White Mountains --- Set 02

Bob Jensen's photo set on White Mountain Hiking Trails ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Long Trail Photographs (the Green Mountains of Vermont)
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?title=Long Trail Photographs 
Oldest Long Distance Hiking Trail in the United States

February 18, 2012 message from my good friend Barry Rice in Baltimore

In the last 28 months, The Baltimore Sun has published all three of my submissions in the Travel Section of the print edition. The most recent was last Sunday. You can see them using this link even if you donít have a Facebook account:


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 ---

Bob Jensen's Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
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   

Our 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/