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Lucy Crawford.

The history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket online

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welkin ring, and fell back on the floor. By this
time they had reloaded their gun and now issued
forth to renew the combat. But owing to the
bad state of the powder, they were unable to
lire the gun again. Perceiving the bear to be
gaining strength, and now showing signs of an
intention to retreat to the woods, after a few mo-
ments' consultation, they determined to make
another desperate effort to kill him with their
axes. Mr. Willey, after receiving strong assu-
rances from his boy that he would stand by him,
approached the bear a second time, and by one
well directed blow on his head, felled him to the
ground.

After passing Conway you will come into
Bartlett, and I will give you some account of the
early settlements there, as I received them from
Richard Garland, Esq., in his eighty-second
year. His intellect and memory is good now in
his advanced age, and he says that in December,
1783, he was one inhabitant among five who
came into that location, and that there were but
few inhabitants for a distance of thirtv-six miles,
17



194 HISTORY OF THE

mostly woods, seventy-five miles from Dover,
where they had to go for their provisions ; and
then thev had them to draw on a hand-sleicrh, in
the winter, over a little bushed path, without a
bridge : and the Roule, in Conway, when the
streams were open, went down the Saco river
in boats, or rather canoes, which they made out
of a large tree by digging it out and making it
large enough to carry several hundred weight,
and when they came to a place where the falls
prevented their passing, they would unlade their
boats and carry their provisions and boat until
they came to a smooth place again. At one
time the inhabitants got out of provisions and
sent for new supplies, and there came on a
heavy rain, and the Saco river was risen to
that height, they could not get back for some
time, and those they left of their families, had
to stint themselves to live on seven potatoes
per diem, until their return with provisions.
After some years this Mr. Garland had got a
small piece of land cultivated, and it then
needed ploughing, and two of his neighbors
offered him a team, if he could get a plough ;
he then went seven miles and borrowed the
nearest one, in the morning, brought it home on
his back, and his neighbor used it for him ;
while he the same day did a great day's work,
at piling timber ; and, at noon, he went one and
a half miles and bought fifty pounds of hay to
feed his team on, and this hay he carried home
on his back, and at night he carried this same
plough home on his own back which made him



WHITE MOUNTAINS. 195

diirty-one miles, and half the distance with a
load, besides doing a good day's work, and
then, as he says, was welcomed to partake of the
bounties which a kind wife had provided, and
then could sit down in their humble cot with her
and their family of young children, without fear
or trouble. As they at that period began to
raise enough to support their families, they had
only seventeen miles to go to mill, and in the
winter God provided them with a good bridge of
ice, and in the summer they crossed in canoes
the Saco river. His family in those days, as the
old gentleman says, was a happy one ; but he did
not realize it then as he now does, while he can
look back to that time when he would work hard
all day, and, at night, come in and take his sup-
per, and then he would in the evening return to
his work : and his wife, after putting her child-
ren to rest, would go out with him and pick up
the small brush and keep him a good light to
work by, until nine o'clock ; she then would go
in and make us a cup of tea, which we could
partake of together, and then w© could retire to
rest, happy in our humble engagements, trying
to get an honest living.

In 1790, in the month of June, Pequacket
being incorporated into towns ; Bartlett was in-
corporated, under Governor Bartlett, and called
after his name. In August, they had a town
meetinof and chose town officers. Jonathan Tas-
ker, first selectman ; John Pendexter, second ;
Thomas Spring, third ; Richard Garland, first
constable and collector of taxes in Bartlett. The



196 HISTORY OF THE

next winter they had a school ; Moses Bigelow
was the first teacher of this school, of about fif-
teen schools, and now they have their larg"e
schools, which will averai^e, in the year 1844,
over one hundred and fifty scholars, and they
have one hundred and fifty voters in this small
valley amidst these mountains. There was a
time when one of these inhabitants had s:ot en-
tirely out of meat, and came to this Mr. Garland
for some to carry into the woods, while he went
■and found some moose to make meat for his fam-
ily. Mr, Garland gave him half he had him-
self, and then the man steered along- for the
woods, and in a few days, he returned as rich as
any man could be seemingly with news of having
killed lijijht moose, fine and fat. He then cave
Mr. Garland three hundred pounds of this meat,
provided he would take a hand-sleigh and go
bring in in, which he did, and he now says that
a bigger man never need be than he was then
with this supply, great as it was, of meat. As
they had began to make a road, some people in
Portland offered to give any man a barrel of
rum, if he would get it up through the Notch, and
Capt. Rosebrook volunteered his services, went
to Bartlctt with his horse and car, and on the
other side of the Saco made a raft, rolled on
this proffered barrel, and then stood in water up
to his knees, and with a long pole pushed it
across ; he then, with the assistance of others,
this Mr. Garland was one, put it upon his car
and carried it up through the Notch, at least as
much of it as was left through the politeness of



WHITE MOUNTAINS. 197

those wlio helped manage the atTair. This was
the first article brought up through where the
road goes now, and the- first article of loading
ev^cr brought down, was a barrel of tobacco,
raised in Lancaster, by one Titus Brown, and the
road was so crooked, they were forced to cross
the stream, as Mr. Garland says, thirty-two times
to get from Bartlett to the top of the Notch,
where now is the Notch House and the Post
Office, where Thomas J. Crawford now lives.
The first white child born in Conway, was Jere-
miah Lovejoy, eighty-two years ago. Leaving
Conway you will pass along through Bartlett
till you come to Hart's Location. This was
located to Thomas Chadbourne, by Governor
Wentworth, under the crown of Great Britain,
for services rendered by Chadbourne in the old
Indian wars, and was called Chadbourne's loca-
tion. Chadbourne sold it to Richard Hart, for
$1500, and then the name was changed to
Hart's Location. Then you will come against
Sawyer's Rock, which comes down near the
river, so that there is just room for the road ; and
this derived its name from the circumstance of
Nash and Sawyer, when they first were bushing
the path for a horse to travel in, through the
Notch ; they got down as far as here, and camped
for the night, and in the morning they emptied
their junk bottle of its contents, and Sawyer
broke it against the rock, and gave it the name
of Sawyer's Rock, and it has ever since borne
that name. And this was the first Tempeiance
mcetine on the Saco river, or, so far as mv re-
17^



198 BISTORT OP TBB

membrance is concerned, in history, in the
White Mountains.

Some time after tliis there were two men rid-
ing on horseback, by the names of Blake and
Mouhon, and they saw near the rock two moose
•at play. They sprang from they horses and
frightened them. They attempted to jump the
rock, but the men having the advantage, caught
■one of them by the hind leg, and with a jack-
knife, cut ofT his heel cords, and hamstrung him.
They tlien went up and cut his throat ^ and as
they were travelers and had not the nneans of
saving the meat, they went down to Bartlett, and
gave it to the inhabitants, who were glad to re-
■ceive it. This happened, father thinks, forty
years ago.

There are in this Location eight voters and
twenly-six children under sixteen years of age,
and they had a school house built in 1844. It
accommodates only four familes, on account of
the distance they live apart, and the rest have to
board their children from home, if they give
them a chance for a school.

Then you will come up to my father's. Here
the stage stops and changes horses. Here the
traveler may stop for a time, if he chooses, as
Mr. Davis, last season, made a horse path from
his house to tlie top of Mount Washington. This
was done with considerable expense to him, and
for no other reason, than to accommodate those
who might prefer going from there on the moun-
tains, as they had several fine views in going
that way. lie charges the same as others do



WHITE MOUNTAINSr 199

for guiding travelers up the mountains. Gen-
tlemen and ladies also can ascend. Then you
will, after leaving father's, come to what is call-
ed the Old Notch House, which place was set-
tled, uncle William says, about fifty-three years
ago, by one Mr. Davis, who first began there.
Since which period, others have lived there for
a short time, until Samuel Willey bought the
place, and repaired it. He with his family lived
there, till that dreadful night in August, when
all were destroyed by the great storm, described
in the |foregoing pages ; then John Pendexter
built the barn, and that stands there still, and he
improved it. Others have lived there, by turns,
until last season Mr. Fabyan made thorough re-
pairs, both on the house and stable, and this sea-
son he has built a new frame for a house, sev-
enty feet by forty, for himself, when by next
season, he may be prepared for company that
visiting the mountains, wish to spend a portion
of their time at the Willey House. This place
which is now nothing but sand and gravel, was
over a beautiful valley, covered with maple, and
there used to be a great quantity of sugar made
there. And then you will come up through the
Notch to Thomas Crawford's, called the Notch
House. He has a road to the mountain, nearly
in the same place I first traveled, which was the
first path ever made to the top of Mount Wash-
ington. You will pass along to where a man
and his wife were once traveling, with one horse,
in what used to be called a pung, and met in
their way a moose. The snow was deep, and



200



HISTORY OF THE



he thinking he had a right to his path, refused
to turn out ; but when they came near, the
moose jumped over the whole concern and just
cleared the woman's head.

Then from the Notch four miles will bring
you to the old Rosebrook stand, where once
stood, in or near the road, a shed seventy feet
long ; and as some hunters were pursuing a
moose, he came into the road and went directly
through this shed, passed on by the house, and
made for the river, and went down the falls, dis-
locating one of his knee joints. The hunters
' followed about three miles, caught him and made
a grand feast of him. It was in those days no
uncommon thing to find these animals at any
time when they were hunted for.

This ancient Rosebrook place is thirty-six
miles from Conway, eighteen from Lancaster,
eighteen from Franconta, and a good road we
now have over Cherry Mountain, where once
was a good turnpike, and it may be traveled
with safety, both summer and winter towards
Jefferson ; this place, also, is eighteen miles
from Littleton ; and stages run six times a week
alternately, coming from Conway Mondays,
Thursdays, add Saturdays — resting on Sundays,
and arrives at either place, at night, fifty-four
miles apart ; and when you get to the old Rose-
brook Place, you are in the most romantic scen-
ery, perhaps, this side the mountains.

The reader may suppose me partial to this
place, and well he may, as I have lived here so
long, and have seen good times with my friends.



WHITE MOUNTAINS. , 201

who extend all over the land in every direction ;
and from this place, also, we have a good horse
path to Trinity Height, the summit of Mount
Washington. Nearly seven miles of this road
is over a comparative level surface, and two and
one quarter miles is on rising ground ; and many
have seated themselves on a horse at the house,
and never dismounted until they have been to
the top of the mountain and returned. This can
be accomplished in six to nine hours. Parties
often stop by the way and fish for trout. These
in old times were plenty, and of large size ; but
in this day, having so many fishing for them,
they do not have time to grow very large before
they are called for. But they are excellent, ail-
though small. Trout is the only kind of fish
caught in these cold streams about the Hills, and
not much game is left excepting deer, which
live here yet, and are caught now and then by
having good dogs to find and follow them until
tired out — sometimes the dog kills them, some-
times the hunter. Sometimes they are driven
to the meadow, sometimes to the Pond, where
thev are hunted after in canoes, and taken or
killed.

As in the Providence of God, every thing
changes in this world, the weather now is not so
cold as it formerly was ; we have now scarcely
a week of steady cold, when, in former times,
I have heard grandmother say, she has seen six
weeks at a time that neither the heat from her
log cabin, nor the sun would soften the snow so
much as to cause one drop of water to fall from



202 HISTOIIY OF THE

tlie eaves of the house ; and we now seldom
have over two feet of snow at a time, and in
years past it was no uncommon thing to have
from six to nine feet. I have fscen nine feet
measured upon a level surface, and have known
the snow to fall in less than twenty-four hours,
twenty-seven inches. Yet we have early and
late frosts in the spring, and early frosts in the
fall, which prevents our raising such things as ,
the frost injures ; but we generally can raise
jTood oats and potatoes, and somtimes wheat, rye
and peas. In 1820, I raised some round corn,
but have never since had any get ripe. There
is not a better place in New England for cattle
and sheep, than this. Goats and mules would
do well, but they are too troublesome.

We can now go to Portland and back with a
team, in from six to eight days ; in old times, it
has taken twentv-two davs to s;o from Lancas-
ter to' Portland, and back : and the snow was so
deep at one time that they were obliged to leave
their horses seven days in one place before they
could be moved. The average time of snow in
the fall is about the first of Novvembcr, and it
goes off generally the first of April, so that about
the middle of May, we here begin to plough and
prepare our ground for raising such things as the
climate will permit. Fowls do well here, such
as ducks, geese, chickens ; and the turkey here
is excellent. We have kept pigeons, but they
never seemed to increase to do much, only
serving to amuse the children. Bees^do well
here and are common in the woods. They



WHITE MOUNTAINS. 203

make the best flavored honey, as they have such
a variety of wild flowers to extract their sweets
from. As for pork, we do not raise enough here
to support our own famihes ; but depend on buy-
ing, principally, for our own use. There is
some maple sugar made in different places about
these mountains, but little in comparison to what
there was in former times. And the probable
amount of trout caught from one year to another,
according to my judgment, in the Amanoosuc
and Saco rivers, is from six to seven hundred
weight. The average weight is from four ounces
to eight. There have been some caught here,
forty years ago, that would weigh four and five
pounds, and many and large ones now are found
in the vicinity, in several directions. And sal-
mon have been taken here, fifty years since, of
ten pounds weight. Three or four hundred dif-
ferent Alpine White Mountain plants are found
about here ; and there are still found on some of
the slides, near the Willey, or old Notch House,
handsome minerals or crystalized quartz. There
used to be great quantities of fur taken round
these mountains ; but wild animals have all
been hunted so much, they are getting to be
scared ; but there is some sable or martin, and
some few other animals caught every year. I
will give the minutes of the weather.



ii04



WHlTJi MOUNTAINS.



cn



^ 03



09



05






1844.
July 22.
" 23,
" 24,
" 25,
" 26,



3S


87


67


78


49


79


52


66


38


70



60 July 27

66 " 28

60 " 29

51 " 30

56 '* 31



28
30
54
50
64



68
78
78
71
66



56
54
63
64
58



Qq



1S45.

January 30,

*' .31,

February 1 ,

" 2

3,



*8

15

♦22

*33

*34



t9

O



10
*1
*2
*6

*8









69



*4 February 4,

*5 " 5,

*21 " 6,

*12 " 7,

*6 ♦« 8,



♦2

20

6

2

♦1



10

IS

2

4
6



*Below zero.



05






4

14
2
1
3



This is the register of the thermometer for A.
D. 1844 — 5. When, on the whole, we had a
moderate winter, for this part of the countiy, and
the summers, in general, are not so warm as
they were formerly. As the land is cleared,
perhaps the winds in summer having greater
range, render the atmosphere more pleasant;
and in winter, snow that used to fall upon the
stumps and bushes, and all level places, is blown
off by the winds, and there is generally a cooler,
more dry, and salubrious air.



ERRATA.

45 page, for diary, read dairy.

46 *' '* gound, read ground.

50 " " accuiiistoined, read accnstomed.
53 *' •' oiinilar, read similar — for aid, old — for
seme, came.

67 " " ticket, read thicket.

68 " " them, then.

74 " " conlradicute, read contradicte — hart-
sick, heart-sick.

85 " "by the wind, read from the wind.

89 •' " spead, read spread.

143 " " closel, read close.

189 " 11th line, for Conway, read Concord.

196 " 16th " '• light, read eight.

198 " 6th " " they horses, read their horses.

202 " 12th " " round, read sound.

203 *' 26th " " scared, read scarce.

There are numerous errors, grammatical and typograph-
ical, still uncorrected, which the reader will please rectify.
The disadvantages under which the work went to press —
illegible manuscript — want of time — the proof sheets not
having been read by the author, &c., &c., will, we trust,
be a sufficient reason for the manner in which it appears
before the public.



-t'^





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Online LibraryLucy CrawfordThe history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket → online text (page 13 of 13)