View Full Version : 1926..... A Summer on the Dome

08-13-2011, 01:40 AM
When cleaning up some of my grandmother's possessions, I came upon a very old, ragged notebook filled with faint penciled script. It took me a while to realize that it was a daily journal written by my grandfather when he was a young man of 20 and working in Pinkham Notch. After picking my way through the pages, I felt that this story might be one that would interest those few who enjoy a bit of the history of our area. It is certainly not high drama, nor is it written to entertain an audience; but it does portray a snapshot of an era long gone.

“The year of 1926 has gone by. I, nor Clyde nor Raymond will forget those days when on the Dome, Dolly Copp Camp Ground or Wild River, the great times we had. Nor the time of down in Wild River with Forest Guard Dean Hale, Ranger Hale, and Lookout Arthur Hale”. – Howe Smith (Written by Clyde's brother, inside cover of notebook)

Saturday, July 3, 1926
Packed up tents and tools to point of trail above camp called “Cabbage” by USFS. Made camp, went over trail with Hale, spotted water bars.

Sunday, July 4, 1926
Went up Mt. Washington via Tuckerman’s Ravine Raymond Path. Lots of snow below headwall 50ft. banks. Clear day on summit, good view below. Took Pictures. Went home via Great Gulf to Camp Grounds.

Monday, July 5, 1926
Packed up food and dishes to camp. Started on trail work afternoon. Graded corner and cleaned water bars. Black flies were extra hard on us. Left camp at 6 O’clock for Gorham in thunder shower.

Tuesday, July 6, 1926
Nothing to pack today. Arthur Hale Carter Dome Lookout worked with us on trail. We moved big rocks from the path, put in water bars and fixed a good part of the trail halfway to spring.
Mr. Hale left us at 2 O’clock in the afternoon.

Wednesday, July 7, 1926
I went up to the fire lookout on the summit of the Dome. Good view, very clear below. Left Raymond 2 miles down on trail. Went back and down to Gorham. Jack was waiting at the end of the trail for us.

Thursday, July 8, 1926
We have worked in most a quarter mile of trail to a spring we planned to reach after three days work. This morning we packed up mail and few supplies for Guy Weeks in the lookout. Tonight we started from our camp on the trail. It is raining quite hard and the clouds are low on the Dome. We arrived here at the lookout 7:35. Kicked Guy out of his bed and got two mattresses.
We sleep in tower tonight. Just called up the girls. The wind is blowing very hard and the tower is shaking.

Friday, July 9, 1926
Slept in tower last night. Bad storm swept over the Dome. High winds moaned around, and rocked the tower like an earthquake. This morning the clouds are low and all signs point to a wet day. The valleys below cannot be seen. Not a good day to work on trail. Think we will go down to Gorham with Guy Weeks. We had a very good breakfast and feel fine.

Saturday, July 10, 1926
Cloudy and cold. Mist. Clouds hang low to the bases of the mountains. Forests are wet and in no danger from fires.
This is another day we cannot work.
Tried out our Ford. Went to Glen Ellis Falls in afternoon. Bad thunder shower tonight.

Sunday, July 11, 1926
Went to Glen Ellis. Saw Guy Weeks at Peabody River Ranger Sta. The weather looks promising again for trail work. Expect to do quite a stretch tomorrow after this rest.

Monday, July 12, 1926
Packed up supplies. Started at 8:00 O’clock entrance of trail.
Nice dinner of beans and potatoes and onions 12:00. Started work again 12:35.
Stopped work 5:30 to go to Gorham to make application for car license. Went up to ranger station 8:00 O’clock saw Guy Weeks and Arthur Hale. Met them on Camp ground.

Tuesday, July 13, 1926
Got up early 5:30. Arrived at trail 7:15, arrived at camp 8:15 and started to work. Dinner at 12:00, start work again 12:30, end of day 4:52.
We wonder about the health of one porcupine, and are terrible afraid of a bad case of acute indigestion.
First, it was a cardboard box, and one shovel handle. Now he must have a damn tough gut with no special regard to his diet for after the cardboard box and the shovel handle, there is now the end of one blanket, one lb. of butter and a piece of our tent.
We suggest lead pills for this gentleman.

Wednesday, July 14, 1926
It looked like rain this morning, but we started for work early. The clouds lifted by noon.
Done quite a piece of trail today. Struck the turn by the telephone line. Black flies were an awful bother in afternoon.
Killed porcupine below Carter Slides. Took a few pictures today. Work is getting more interesting as we go further up the trail. Better view of Presidential Range and the forest the trail goes through is wilder.

Thursday, July 15, 1926
Killed porcupine. Fixed turn by telephone line. We consider it very good. Black flies are thick. The west is clouded over the Presidential Range signs of rain.

Friday, July 16, 1926
Got up on trail very early. Graded trail 300 ft above telephone line curve. Put in a few water bars. Went up to Carter Slides for water.

Saturday, July 17, 1926
Did 300 ft. more of trail today. Went up to the fire lookout tower on the Dome at noon hour. Guy Weeks was painting. Today was clear and we had a very good view of the country in Maine and the Presidential Range. The snow in Tuckerman’s Ravine still hangs and does not seem to have changed much since July 4th.

Sunday, July 18, 1926
Went up to Norton Mills by way of North Stratford, Island Pond. Clear day, had good trip. Norton is a very pretty place although it seems to be quiet.

Monday, July 19, 1926
Packed up supplies. Nothing doing today except a little work on trail in afternoon.

Tuesday, July 20, 1926
Ted Jones is with us today, arrived at camp a little later than usual. Ranger Hale came up and joined us at dinner. Raymond and I went to work on trail and Ted Jones went on up to the fire lookout. Hale and I went as far as the Carter Slides spotting water bars. Saw plane that flew over Dome.

Wednesday, July 21, 1926
Nothing but work and black flies.

Thursday, July 22, 1926
Work and flies.

Friday, July 23, 1926
Work and flies.

Saturday, July 24, 1926
Had company for dinner. Girl from Clearwater Fla. Man, woman and boy from Malden Mass. Did good days work on trail struck a pretty rocky and stumpy washout on trail. Guy Weeks went up in the lookout today.

Sunday, July 25, 1926
Went 140 miles in our car today through Franconia & Crawford notches. Stopped in Bretton Woods at Mt. Washington Hotel. Saw “Old Man of the Mountains”.
Today was a nice clear day. The car had a knock but we went through the two notches and around the Presidential Range through Bartlet and Jackson up over Spruce Hill and home.

Monday, July 26, 1926
Went up to work with people from Lynn Mass. A woman, man, a little boy and girl. They were very pleased with the new trail and as it was their first trip up a mountain they had to stop every twenty feet to take in the scenery. Which is very good especially where the trail goes through spruce timber and on the trail above our camp and the Carter Slides. Did quite a piece on the trail today. Raymond stayed down to work on car. Howe and I went up to the lookout tower to stay for the night. Had supper with Guy Weeks (fish chowder). The night is clear and the lights from cities and towns 100 miles around can be seen. The Cape Elizabeth Light at Portland ME. is plainly seen flashing in the distance.
The moon rose at 9:00. It was a red moon and looking over the great distance below us from the lookout it was a great sight, reflecting the Atlantic Ocean and lakes for miles around down in Maine. The lights of Berlin were the brightest.
The snow below the headwall in Tuckerman’s Ravine stood out against the blackness of the mountain when the moon shone on it. The lights in the summit house were bright, and cars coming down the carriage road made a great flash of lights. Went to bed by moonlight shining in through the windows of the tower.
We are sleeping on top of the world.

Tuesday, July 27, 1926
Got up early at 6:00, had good breakfast. Went up over Mt. Hight with Guy Weeks. The morning is clear. Went to work at 7:00. Did about 200 ft. of trail today, got by rough spot.
Party of girls and fellows from some camp came down from Dome late in afternoon. Came up from Carter Notch huts. Went down at 5:00 met Jack and Ted Jones at trail entrance.

Wednesday, July 23, 1926
Went to work on Dolly Copp Campgrounds digging rubbish holes. There are 7 of them and the first two we dug today are so full of rocks and big ones that come up to 300 or 500 or 1000 lbs. It takes some lift to get them out of a hole 6 feet deep.
In the afternoon we carried lumber for Arthur Hale. We finished our holes but busted one long handled shovel to do it.

Thursday, July 29, 1926
Rain this morning. Did not go up to work till afternoon.
Dug two more holes in afternoon. Rocks are very plentiful, and they still measure up to standard size of ½ ton or more.

Friday, July 30, 1926
Dug two holes today and that’s that.

Saturday, July 31, 1926
Finished what we did not do yesterday.

Sunday, August 1, 1926
Ted Jones left today for Bean Town. We wonder if he has any corns in the rear, as he spent most of his vacation on that special part.
Took ride up to Glen Ellis Falls. Evelyn was with us. We took a few pictures. Came back minus a windshield. Had a great time. Today was some warm but we cannot kick at old Sol. It is much better than 30 or 60 below and just right at 94 above.

Monday, August 2, 1926
Finished work on Camp ground today. Hurrah! Back to the woods and the old trail tomorrow if it don’t rain.
We were up to the Ranger station tonight playing the victrola.
Had a good time but still I feel there is something lacking.

08-13-2011, 01:42 AM
Wednesday, August 4, 1926
Well, both had a nice ice cool bath in 19 Mile Brook this morning below the slides. It gives pep and strength to the muscles.
Hurrah! The wind is blowing hard and the flies are gone so far that we honestly hope it will be time for snow to fall before they get back, but no luck some wise babies hang to the trees. Built a big piece of trail today. We are working up to the slides. Change camp tomorrow and sleeping quarters to the tower on the Dome.

Thursday, August 5, 1926
Changed camp today to Zeta Notch. I packed up tent, tent fly, and blankets. Raymond carried supplies, and Howe carried pack of dishes and miscellaneous junk. Our camp in the notch is 1 ½ miles from our old camp.
Truman Hale the district Ranger and our boss was up, said our work was good and is going to place us on the construction of the tower.

Friday, August 6, 1926
Slept in tower last night. Raymond & Howe and I. The night was clear, could see Cape Elizabeth light off Portland Maine.
Got up to see sunrise in morning over Atlantic. The day is clear. Went down over Mt. Hight after having breakfast with Guy Weeks. Built a piece of trail today but it is very hard to go ahead very fast.

Saturday, August 7, 1926
Came up trail with partys of three and one of a fellow from South Carolina and Washington.
Guy Weeks came down for water. The spring on the slides does not seem to run very good this year.
This afternoon we started down trail while clouds came down low and floated by us. The Dome was soon covered and we got the full benefit of a thunder shower from start to finish. Lightning struck branch of tree above my head. We all went to the movies tonight.

Sunday, August 8, 1926
North Sutton on Lake Sunapee, southern part of the NH state today. Took road over Gorham hill from Jefferson to Twin Mt to Franconia Notch and Plymouth. Had a little mix up on roads at Danbury and Potter Place.
Arrived home 1 AM Monday morning. Showers today. Could not see “Old Man of the Mountains” or any other things worthwhile.

Monday, August 9, 1926
The wind is blowing hard today. It is very cold on the slides.
One party of 20 girls from some camp came up at 4:00 O’clock. They were all very good looking from 18 to 20 yrs. old.
Today moved a large rock, built a little cross-over, dug a ditch, built 200 ft. of trail.

Tuesday, August 10, 1926
Only one man and woman went up trail today – foreign people. Built 200 ft. more of trail today. We are slowly working up to the slides. It is very hard to put in any good footing for a horse trail. Met Hut Master of Carter Notch camp on way down tonight.
Had auto crash on way to Berlin near Dawson Place. Knocked in gas tank and bent tire carrier. My father was thrown out of the car track and Raymond and I was thrown our in the road in front of two cars, one coming from Berlin and one from Gorham.
Thought father was hurt badly. Took him to Berlin in car that crashed us. Dr. McGee said he is OK, but the shock had made him lose his head for a time.

Wednesday, August 11, 1926
Stayed down today. Went to circus in Berlin. Gentry Bros. Took in Big Show and the side show. Good action, and clean looking animals.
Today is very hot and setting on the board seats under the big top was no holiday.
Came home to supper and went up again in evening with Roger Spencer.

Thursday, August 12, 1926
Packed up supplies. Worked over a large section of trail today. There are two bad spots and about 100 ft. before we reach slides.
I stayed up to sleep in tent tonight. Raymond went down for driver’s license.
Had two visitors, one at 8:00 when a porcupine stuck his nut in the door. I hit him with the axe and he went flying down the trail.
A little after, another visitor came. This time a bobcat that screeched and made quite a time about his discovery that the tent was occupied. The clouds had settled down in the notch and it was so dark that I could not see to shoot. If I put my hand out in front of me I could not see it or the shadows of trees ten feet in front of the tent.

Friday, August 13, 1926
Went to work early this morning. The clouds are floating by in patches. Went up on the slides for water. The clouds are heavy here rushing up from the valleys. Cannot see far around me.
When the sun breaks through I can see the blue sky so guess today will be fair. Mt. Washington and the whole Presidential Range is buried in a cloud bank. Finished trail to slides today.

Saturday, August 14, 1926
Rain this morning cannot work till afternoon. Very heavy showers.
Went up in afternoon to start work on fixing bridge. Thought we would have ride after supper but as usual our hard luck is with us. The lights were out and we gave up our trip to go to the movies. Pretty good picture, “Peacock Feathers”.

Sunday, August 15, 1926
Spent the day at home. Took one ride in car to Camp grounds and Ranger Sta. Lights of car are OK now so went up again in evening to Ranger Sta. Mr. Collier of Forest Guard of York Pond District was there. Played victrola.

Monday, August 16, 1926
Built bridge 1 ½ miles up on trail. Pack horses came up today with load. Collier of Arizona Cowboy fame is the one to handle the old boys. After building bridge packed our grub up to camp and cleaned out place above the first slide where there was another slide started. Rain in afternoon and heavy wind, was very strong and was hard to walk against.

Tuesday, August 17, 1926
Horses packed up food supplies yesterday. Today started in hauling up steel girders for reinforcing tower. One more day will finish trail we expect. I stayed up in tower tonight with Arthur Hale. The night was cold temperature down to freezing. High winds blowing, and clouds rushing up the mountain and covering the Dome after 8:30.

Wednesday, August 18, 1926
Horses packed up more steel today. We still think that it will take one more day on trail. Went to work early this morning. Raymond came up with supplies. Many people on trail today.
Went down with Raymond on report that my check was ready. Heard strange rumor tonight of an expected marriage of my old pal, sounds kind of foolish considering the man in the case. “There is one in every part of the world”.
Get me???
Every sailor in every port.

Thursday, August 19, 1926
Came up on trail this morning through Carter Notch by AMC Huts and up over Dome to our trail. Worked hard to finish trail.
Ranger Hale came up tonight. Went down trail before dark to 19 Mile Brook bridge. Took car into Gorham. Jack brought us back in the old bus. Went up trail to Dome by moonlight. The night is very clear and cold. We can see the trail plainly except in the spruce timber, where it is darker than H. We start on tower reconstruction tomorrow.

Friday, August 20, 1926
Got up early this morning. Had a very good breakfast. Started work on tower. Our crew is Ranger Hale, Arthur Hale fire lookout, Raymond, and I. Put in 2 girders and six struts. Quite a number of people up today. Can see for many miles today everything is clearly outlined. Saw four fires. Three off National Forest. Lookout Hale reported one near North Conway. Our new job calls for a lot of climbing around but we all like it fine.

Saturday, August 21, 1926
The summer is going fast. We all realized that this morning early. Temperature down to freezing, cold wind.
The day is clear, can see country around for many miles. Five fires today, 2 in Maine and 3 in NH. Strengthened east side of tower with new steel. Went to Gorham with Ranger Hale. Movies in evening “Tongues of Flame” featuring Tom Meighan.

Sunday, August 22, 1926
North Sutton again today. Went through Franconia Notch, saw “Old Man of the Mountains,” “The Indian Profile”. Passed Newfound Lake, quite a sheet of water. Took state road through Franklin. Fair day had two blowouts. Took pictures in North Sutton of boys camp on lake and Penacook Indian Totem. Came home through Franconia again. Saw stone face by moonlight. Arrived home 11:30.

Monday, August 23, 1926
Went up trail this morning with Ranger Hale. Packed up glass for window in tower and few provisions. Clouds hang low over Dome. Very dense on top.
Worked in clouds all day with cold wind blowing. Started on south side of tower. Clouds are still around us tonight. It is getting colder.

Tuesday, August 24, 1926
A year ago today went up Mt Washington via Raymond Path through Tuckerman’s Ravine. The day was clear and hot.
Today the clouds are around us on the Dome and it is raining hard. There is a gap in the clouds now and parts of the valley and mts. in the west can be seen, but it closes in again and the wind blows harder than ever from the southwest. Everything is damp and wet. Have not worked today. One day lost.

Wednesday, August 25, 1926
Got up early 5:30. The morning is clear except for clouds masses in the valleys and on the Presidential Range. Clouds rose at noon and closed in. Showers in afternoon and evening. Today we used press drill to bore eight holes in iron sill that holds up building on tower. Pack horses brought up bags of sand for cement work on standards. Called up Raymond after supper. The clouds are around us yet.

Thursday, August 26, 1926
Got up 5:30. It looks as if we might have a clear day. Cloud masses are in the valleys, and not every mountain is capped. Ragged masses of clouds on Presidential Range. Clouds are floating up through Carter Notch and Wild River valley. Also up the valleys of Spruce and Cypress brooks and 19 mile brook.
Finished steel work around tower this morning. The clouds have settled around us again and it is raining. We expect Mr Currier Assistant Forest Super. It looks like a wet afternoon. 11 o’clock the clouds are breaking up. Sun is shining through.
Well, old Sol gave up the ghost, the clouds are down again and it rains harder than ever. The pack horses did not come up today. Started work on stairs. Mr. Currier is with us.

08-13-2011, 01:43 AM
Friday, August 27, 1926
Today is fish day, so they all say. But up here over 400 feet in the air it just means one more day in the blanket of clouds that have been down since Monday AM. They have lifted many times to give us a view of the rest of the mountain and forest below us, but not for long. It settles down in a dense mass, and one cannot see 10 ft from the tower. However, we have managed to work in these clouds and buck up against the high winds that sweep over here. Started steel work on first stair landing. Sawed steel struts and cross braces. Mr. Currier went down tonight.

Saturday, August 28, 1926
Got up early. Very cold wind blowing from northwest. Hard to stand on tower. Started paint work. Painted upper sill under building. Lots of company in afternoon - city birds who talked about dinner and dress suits.
Went down tonight with Ranger and Arthur Hale. Went to pictures in evening. “The Plastic Age”. Took a ride up to Berlin after pictures.

Sunday, August 29, 1926
Good clear day with wind. All were undecided where we would go today. Stayed at home till afternoon.
Jack took me over to Randolph Station. Went up to Mt Madison Huts via Valley Way. Cut over Upper Bruin trail to Airline trail. Went over to AMC Huts and up over cone of Madison, down Osgood ridge trail to Dolly Copp Camp grounds.
The Osgood ridge trail brings back to me memories of a day in June when I was not alone like today. However the past is dead and gone but hard to forget such happiness.

Monday, August 30, 1926
Went up to Dome again to start another week’s work. This morning was clear with a strong wind blowing in the valleys. Now on the Dome, as I sit in the tower, outside it is blowing a sixty mile gale, the tower rocks and the cables snap in the wind. It is clouding up in the west over the Presidential Range. I am alone on the Dome. Ranger Hale and Lookout Hale have not come up yet. One fire today near Mt. Pleasant in Maine, off Nat’l Forest.
The clouds are down, three people have just come up from Carter Notch. The wind is blowing harder lifting the trap door up and letting it slap down in the tower. People stayed overnight in tower. I slept in cabin. The night was very cold and it rained hard.

Tuesday, August 31, 1926
Today is the last day of this month. On the highest hardwood forests in these mountains summer has already passed, leaves are falling and water freezes.
The clouds are down this morning and the wind is blowing cold from the northwest and as hard as ever.
Clouds cleared at 10 AM, wind is still at it. Two parties came up from the Notch. I am alone on the Dome tonight – can see for many miles around – lights below. Very high wind and cold.

Wednesday, September 1, 1926
Very cold this morning, but clear. Got telephone call from Hale “coming up”.
Hale got up here at 1 PM with pack horses. Started work on cutting out stairs. Very high wind and cold - was forced to quit. Cut wood and put up new bed in tower. Rain tonight, clouds are coming down again with the usual cold northwest wind.

Thursday, September 2, 1926
Clear cold morning. Water is froze two inches thick in tub and tank, white frost on ground.
Old Sol warmed things up at noon, went down 2 miles to get water. Packed up 5 gals.
Started painting again in afternoon, wind has let up a bit. Many people up today. Very clear day, no haze to spoil it.
Reported one fire today in soft wood timber, southwest side of Kearsarge Mt. near North Conway.

Friday, September 3, 1926
After all our bad weather, clouds, cold winds, and rain, we have put the floor in the first landing and painted a little more on the tower today.
It was very cold today and cloudy, not such a clear day as yesterday. Not many people up today. Pack horses with provisions were up for the last time. All the summer friends are going fast. Collier is back in the York Pond district with Koopman, and the old packer on the trail is gone today.

Saturday, September 4, 1926
This summer there has been 340 people on Carter Dome who have registered their names in the lookout’s book in the tower since July 1st. Many people who have been here have not registered, at such times when in rainy weather the lookout was down. Worked on stairs today and punching holes in steel.
Went down to Gorham. Pictures in evening. Tom Mix in “No Man’s Gold”. Good picture. Te Jones arrived from Boston tonight to spend Labor Day.

Sunday, September 5, 1926
Another trip to North Sutton on lake Sunapee through Franconia Notch. Many cars coming through from Mass. Ran into snow storm in Franconia on way home from head of Notch to Twin Mt. Ted Jones was with us today, lots of fun. Got home 2 AM. Two blowouts on Gorham Hill. Cold winds were blowing, bad outlook for this time of year.

Monday, September 6, 1926
Today is Labor Day and some day – just rain, rain, and cold.
Laid around all day. Folks from Roxbury Mass staying at Hayes. Was at their home last fall – time of races on Rockingham Speedway at Salem NH.
Went to movies in evening. Reginald Denny and Laura LaPlante in “Skinners Dress Suit” very good picture and shows what a woman can do when she loves her husband and cares for him to help him succeed.

Tuesday, September 7, 1926
Came up mountain this morning to spend another week on tower. Warm weather in lowlands, cold on Dome. The forests are getting lonesome. There seems to be something missing in my life.
Irene and Evelyn Young went home today. Schools are started. I am mighty glad that these civilized prisons for the body and cripple maker of outdoor life cannot claim me.
I will miss Ray’s sisters for they are very nice girls, and one is hard to forget.

Wednesday, September 8, 1926
Today is clear and warm. Raymond came up the trail today with a young fellow from Roxbury Mass. He shows the effects of a city in his fresh talk and ways.
Done quite a bit of painting on tower today. Went down with Ray and Roxbury to bring up supplies tomorrow.
Went to pictures in evening. “Fig Leaves”, very good expression of women’s clothes in that “she hasn’t a thing to wear”, her favorite saying.
Plane flew over Dome this morning.

Thursday, September 9, 1926
Came up trail this morning with supplies. Tore down old tower today, one pair of stairs and first landing built.
Tonight, I am alone in the tower. The clouds are down and it is raining and cold. I think back to those first two weeks of June and the happiness that is gone forever with the summer of 1926. When one is blue and lonesome for something that is gone, it is hard to forget. I think of that day the train came in. That time it meant something for me. The Osgood Ridge Trail and Howker Ridge Trail has its memories on Mt. Madison, and Berlin brought its times of happiness too. Well, those days have dropped into the past, with the summer that has gone, only pleasant but sometimes discouraging memories and parts of that time of life. The leaves that drop this fall cannot bury it, nor the deep snows on these mountains this winter. Every dog has his day.

Friday, September 10, 1926
Done quite a stretch today. Finished taking old tower out, put in lower second landing and cement base. The sun set clear tonight, no clouds in sky. Old Sol is slowly working toward the line where two weeks ago it set between the peaks of Washington and Jefferson. Tonight it set almost over the summit house, a difference of 10 degrees toward the south. The Wild River valley shows the red and yellow of autumn, and the leaves are commencing to fall.

Saturday, September 11, 1926
Could not do much today, high winds and cold. Blowing snow on Presidentials and Dome, low clouds. However, put floor in second landing and punched steel for bolting stairway. Started out 3 o’clock afternoon for Gorham. Packed down tent and knapsack with miscellaneous junk – 100 lb. pack. Went to movies in evening. “Pursued”.

Sunday, September 12, 1926
Got Ford running today. Did not do much else except lay around and look wise, and have the usual uncompromising talks with father.

Monday, September 13, 1926
Carried up supplies this morning. Struck into cloud bank at Slides, very cold and strong, steady wind, blowing snow. Clear in afternoon. Worked on tower, started building form for end of last stairway at base of tower. Ten people up today.

Tuesday, September 14, 1926
Painted all day. One more day will just about finish this job. Put cement in form at base of tower. One side of tower painted.
Many people up today. Clear and cold today, ice on platforms and water tank this morning, white frost and ground froze. Expect snow on top here soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 1926
Worked on trail today fixing water bars. Today was cloudy with a cold east wind blowing over Dome. Clouds came down at 3 o’clock PM. Fixed bars from entrance Mt. Hight trail through Zeta Pass almost to where telephone line comes into trail.

Thursday, September 16, 1926
Raining this morning with cold east wind. Ten girls up this morning did not register.
No work today, disagreeable weather for anything. Got word today to go into Wild River country Monday, work on trail and putting in telephone line.

Friday, September 17, 1926
Went down to work on trail this morning cleaning water bars and putting in those knocked out by pack horses. Clouds are low today and do not seem to show any signs of lifting.

Saturday, September 18, 1926
Clouds are low. Left Dome this morning. Arthur Hale has used me fine and I appreciate the time I have worked with him and his company. The Tower has been more than a home to me and I know I shall miss it.
Went down, finishing water bars and packed rest of outfit down to Gorham for Wild River country with Raymond. Two people from Switzerland up on trail to Dome today.

08-13-2011, 01:45 AM
Sunday, September 19, 1926
Started out for Norton this morning in Chandler car, connecting rod knocking in Jefferson turned us back. Bad knock got worse as we went on. Back in Gorham took out Ford racer and went to Glen Ellis Falls, Shelburne and Berlin.

Monday, September 20, 1926
Came into Wild River country. “Valley of the Shadow”. Very clear day. Ranger Hale is with us.
Packed in tent and supplies 16 miles in from civilization one might say. Went over trail to cut through wilderness ¼ mile stretch not so bad, 1/6 mile stretch through burnt land, dense brush, and deep undergrowth, rocks, fallen trees, etc. On Forest Service map this is called “Perkins Notch”, at the head of the Wild River, and east branch of Saco. Spent night at Spider Camp, the headquarters of Wild River game reserve. We set up camp today 3 miles up valley from Spider Camp.

Tuesday, September 21, 1926
Packed up rest of supplies to our camp. Swamped a bit of trail Ranger Hale and I went further up the valley into Burnt Land over worst section of trail. Blazed through undergrowth. Can see Carter Dome NH to west, Baldface in Maine is on the right.
Our new country is very wild in every sense of the world. Very few come in here and the game is plentiful, deer, fox, bear, bobcat, rabbit, etc.
We remember today as a great start on our first ¼ mile of trail in this wild land. Went to bed early, hard days work cutting ahead. Cold night, heavy frost.

<end of notebook>

08-13-2011, 05:10 AM
Thanks for posting the notebook, I enjoyed reading it. I get the sense your grandfather was lonely. Whether it was civilization as a whole or just lonely about not having a girlfriend, I couldnt tell. Nevertheless, it sounded like he had a good time.

08-13-2011, 05:31 AM
Thank you for the time and effort you spent transcribing this wonderful story. I especially enjoyed reading the reference about the "Game Preserve" located in the Wild River - Spider Camp area. I had heard a little about it when I was the adopter of the Black Angel Trail in the early 80s, but had never seen anything in print.


08-13-2011, 06:31 AM
What a great trip report. Thanks for posting! :)

08-13-2011, 06:44 AM
Those were some hard men. Great read.

08-13-2011, 11:28 AM
Thanks for sharing and posting....Interesting perspective of the early days...Thanks

08-13-2011, 12:22 PM
Another thanks for this posting. Fascinating glimpse of that era in the Whites.

The Unstrung Harp
08-13-2011, 12:53 PM
Wow, thanks for taking the time to post this. "Work and flies", oy vey!

08-13-2011, 10:27 PM
Thanks for posting. I enjoyed reading this very much.

08-14-2011, 12:49 PM
Awesome! Thanks for posting. I'll definitely be thinking of this glimpse of history on Carter later this week.

08-14-2011, 02:18 PM
Thank you very much for transcribing and posting your grandfathers journal. I love reading personal experiences in the mountains from long ago.

08-16-2011, 11:27 AM
Chris, as you run across other items of this nature, I hope you will post them as well. No other person on the planet has your particular collection of historic treasures. They are unique. The VFTT community is able to enjoy reading the journal you posted only through your generosity of sharing it with us. Thank you!

Just one last comment. It was most interesting to read from the July 26, 1926 journal entry that they were able to see reflected moonlight off the Atlantic Ocean.
Did I read that right?

08-16-2011, 11:35 AM
THANK YOU for posting this.

08-16-2011, 05:22 PM
1 of the best posts I've read on this site ...thank you:):)

Jason Berard
08-16-2011, 06:51 PM
I especially liked the entry about the porkie with the cast iron stomach needing "lead pills". It reminded me of things my great grandfather would say.:)

08-16-2011, 07:00 PM
Neato post. Thanks. :)

Mike P.
08-17-2011, 10:48 AM
Neato post. Thanks. :)

Ditto, real nice read from the old days from someone not considered a writer of the times