Near Gorham in Coos County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
The explorer Verrazano was the first European to view the White Mountains from his ship along the Atlantic coast in 1524. Darby Field was the first white man to climb Mt. Washington in 1642. The Indians called Mt. Washington “Agiochook” or “Dwelling place of the Great Spirit.” The original Mt. Washington Auto Road was opened as a carriage road in 1861. It is a private road providing public access to Mt. Washington (6288’), the highest peak in the Northeast.
Alpine Zone – elevation 4000’ and above
At these elevations, trees become dwarfed by the harsh weather, and are called Krummholz. This gives was to alpine vegetation similar to that found in the tundra of Northern Labrador. Over 110 species of alpine plants live in this zone. The Alpine Zone of the Presidential Range is an island of arctic vegetation in a temperate region.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Native Americans • Natural Features • Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1524.
Location. 44° 17.348′ N, 71° 13.479′ W. Marker is near Gorham, New Hampshire, in Coos County. Marker is at the intersection of White Mountain Road (State Highway 16) and Mount Washington Auto Road, on the right when traveling north on White Mountain Road. Marker is located on the east side of the highway, beside the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center parking lot, overlooking the Mount Washington Auto Road and the Presidential Range across the highway to the west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham NH 03581, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Ascent of Mount Washington (approx. 2.2 miles away); Northern Peaks of Presidential Range (approx. 4.1 miles away); Mount Washington Summit (approx. 4.1 miles away); The Old Hero (approx. 6.4 miles away); Mount Washington Cog Railway (approx. 6.6 miles away); The Ravine House (approx. 6.7 miles away); Stone Bridge (approx. 10.1 miles away); The Jackson Covered Bridge (approx. 10.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gorham.
More about this marker. This marker is a large composite plaque, mounted horizontally on waist-high metal posts.
Also see . . .
1. Giovanni da Verrazano. Francis I, King of France, was anxious to put out an exploratory expedition before his European competitors had claimed all of the New World. In January 1525 he authorized an expedition of four ships. Giovanni da Verrazano, a Florentine navigator, was chosen as pilot of one of these ships, the Dauphine. The expedition also had a second mission. Shortly after leaving France, three of the ships broke away and engaged in pirating expeditions against Spanish treasure ships. Only the Dauphine, under Verrazano's command, actually undertook a mapping and exploring expedition along the Atlantic coast of North America. Although Verrazano's most significant discoveries were along the middle Atlantic coastal region, his ship traveled as far north as Cape Cod and Nova Scotia. (Submitted on October 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Mount Washington, Highest Mountain in New England, First Recorded Ascent. Mount Washington's first recorded ascent was by Darby Field and two Abenaki Indian guides, who may not have gone to the summit, in June, 1632. He took 18 days to climb the peak from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Field reported lots of "shining stones" on the mountain, which prospectors assumed were diamonds until they proved to be just crystals. (Submitted on October 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. The History of Mount Washington Auto Road. The history of the Auto Road began in the wheat fields of Canada. There were huge crops to be shipped out in winter, but there was no ice-free seaport available. So, a railroad line was built from Montreal to Portland in 1851. It passed through Gorham and opened up the east side of the White Mountains to the tourist trade. In 1850, the railroad paid for rebuilding the road from Gorham into Pinkham Notch, financed the construction of the Glen Bridle Path to the summit of Mount Washington and started its own Alpine House Hotel in Gorham. The first Glen House, at the foot of the road, was completed in 1852; the same year that the first Summit House was built on Mount Washington. (Submitted on October 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 1, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.