“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bretton Woods in Coos County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)

Crawford Notch

"A Great Artery"

Crawford Notch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By TeamOHE, June 3, 2019
1. Crawford Notch Marker
A main route to Mount Washington was through Crawford Notch, which follows the Saco River to Saco Lake-just southeast of here. Like much of the rest of northern New England, Crawford Notch was part of the homeland of the Abenaki tribe of Native American people; it saw its first European visitors in 1771. Thirty-three years later, in 1803, the Tenth New Hampshire Turnpike opened through the Notch connecting with turnpikes running north and west. It was a vital link between the upper Connecticut River Valley and the seacoast, in particular Portland, Maine, and a major route for goods going north and agricultural and forest products going south. In 1875 the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad, which had to be blasted out through the Notch's sheer stone cliffs, opened in the same corridor, providing direct access for visitors to the west side of Mt. Washington. In the 20th century, the Teddy Roosevelt Highway running from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon was routed through the Notch where today U.S. Route 302 is located.

The romantic pass of the Notch is a great artery, through which the life-blood of internal commerce

Crawford Notch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By TeamOHE, June 3, 2019
2. Crawford Notch Marker
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is continually throbbing between Maine, on one side, and the Green Mountains and the shores of the St. Lawrence, on the other.

The Crawford Family
The Notch was named for Abel Crawford; he and his family were key early promoters of the area. innkeepers, guides, turnpike builders and investors. Crawford arrived in 1792 and built a cabin just north of here but soon moved 12 miles south into the Notch and eventually established an inn. In the Notch, the Crawford family constructed the Notch House and Crawford House, the latter one of the White Mountains' grand hotels. Their first homestead remained in the family and also became an inn; it was later the site of the Fabyan House and rail station three quarters of a mile to the north of here.

The next morning, the light smoke was seen stealing from the cottage chimney up the mountain side. Within, the fire was yet smouldering on the hearth, and the chairs in a circle round it, as if the inhabitants had but gone forth to view the devastation of the Slide, and would shortly return, to thank Heaven for their miraculous escape.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) "The Ambitious Guest” 1835 (based on story of the Willey Family)

The Willey Tragedy
The Notch was central to the history of White Mountains tourism in another respect. In August 1826, Notch innkeepers

Mount Washington Hotel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By TeamOHE, June 3, 2019
3. Mount Washington Hotel
Samuel and Polly Willey, their children, and two hired hands abandoned their house to escape a landslide that ended up killing them but leaving their house entirely unscathed. The Willeys' mysterious fate inspired poems, books, articles, and paintings- adding to the mystique of the area and greatly increasing tourism. In the years that followed, writers, artists, and scientists were drawn here to experience the "sublime” - the wild, untouched scenery of the White Mountains. Today much of this scenery is within Crawford Notch State Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. A significant historical month for this entry is August 1826.
Location. 44° 15.241′ N, 71° 26.985′ W. Marker is in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in Coos County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 302 and Mt. Washington Hotel Road, on the left when traveling north on U.S. 302. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bretton Woods NH 03575, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mount Washington (here, next to this marker); The Mount Washington Hotel (here, next to this marker); Executive Councilor Raymond S. Burton (here, next to this marker); Mount Washington Hotel / Bretton Woods Monetary Conference (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Crawford Family
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(approx. Ύ mile away); Zealand and James Everell Henry (approx. 2.6 miles away); Crawford House (approx. 3.1 miles away); Crawford Depot (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bretton Woods.
Also see . . .
1. Crawford Notch State Park. (Submitted on December 18, 2020, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Crawford Notch (Wikipedia). (Submitted on December 18, 2020, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 15, 2020, by TeamOHE of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 15, 2020, by TeamOHE of Napoleon, Ohio. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 4, 2022