Railroads tame the White Mountains
Rivers as roads for lumber
In New England, limber and pulp mills traditionally got their wood from logs harvested in the winter and floated downstream during spring floods.
Enterprising lumber baron
J.E. Henry built a railroad that made it possible for timber to reach the mills the same day it was cut, all year long. Lumber or paper could be at market within the week, turning a quick profit.
“There’s no secret about this business of ours. We own the land and the timber and we’re making every dollar out of it we can.”
George Henry, J.E.’s son and partner
Logging on a massive scale
This wild and restless land had never been harvested prior to the 1880s because the rivers were too swift and rocky to run logs downstream. With the coming of the railroads, all that changed.
Outcry and renewal
Public outcry over Henry’s logging practices, which were typical of the time, led to the eventual creation of the National Forest – and conservation and renewal of the lands his company had damaged.
A mountain of lumber by rail
The East Branch & Lincoln and the Hancock Branch railroads carried over 600 million board feet of lumber out of these mountains from 1893 to 1948. That’s enough to fill a line of railcars from here to Phoenix, Arizona.
This Scenic Byway was built on the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad bed to the hairpin turn at Hancock Overlook. The road was eventually completed all the way to Conway in 1948.
Location. 44° 3.44′ N, 71° 38.083′ W. Marker is in Lincoln, New Hampshire, in Grafton County. Marker is on Kancamagus Highway, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. The Marker is at the entrance to the Loon Mountain Resort. Marker is in this post office area: Lincoln NH 03251, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Loon Mountain (here, next to this marker); The Bear Show (approx. 2.6 miles away); The First Passenger Carrying Aerial Tramway in North America (approx. 2.6 miles away); Borasaurus (approx. 2.6 miles away); Quinten E. Mulleavey (approx. 2.7 miles away); Clark's Bridge (approx. 2.7 miles away); Betty and Barney Hill Incident (approx. 3.1 miles away); Vietnam Veterans (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lincoln.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 23, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 23, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.