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Thread: Past Peak(s)

  1. #1
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    Past Peak(s)

    Some of my research has yielded some interesting ‘views of the tops’. Perhaps others have old summit pictures to compare the then and now of these three peaks or others.

    For example some research on Mt. Shaw - it seems that perhaps the Shaw summit was blasted.
    “The stone used for walls, chimneys and towers as well as for the garden walls was blasted from the mountain top.”
    http://www.lucknow.com/tomplantlucknow.html
    It is now a somewhat level carriage turnaround, but was it different in the past? Higher perhaps?

    This is a current view north as you approach the summit


    ----

    Chocorua

    This is supposed to be Chocorua summit? 1918 camp Belknap brochure (pic taken prior to 1918)
    http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...php?photo=4591

    A 1915 description of Chocorua summit
    “But this castellated promontory is not the summit. Our real conquest is still ahead of us. The main fortress must yet be stormed. We cross the ridge, descend into the little ravine, and soon reach the spring. This is marked by a white cross painted on a flat sheltering rock facing the north, overhanging the tiny pool below. Over massive blocks of granite, through crevasses and up cracks in rocks we scramble, and shortly reach a little circular path leading to the summit. At last, all breathless, we reach our goal. Here upon the very topmost rock―about as large as a good-sized dining-table14―we find a sixty-foot flag-pole, firmly guyed to the rocks, and from which on exceptionally calm days float the "Stars and Stripes." The fire warden, residing in a tiny camp on the southwest side, is the "color guard." Also a circular stand is attached to this peak. The pole and stand were recently erected. The circular stand formerly held a map which included all the country visible from Chocorua―of inestimable value to the tourist. Whether the wind or some human vandal removed this map I know not, but it is no longer there.” http://www.sidis.net/PASSChap7.htm

    In the book “Our Mountain Trips” the summit pole is not mentioned in their 1903 trip, but in 1920 a picture of it is included on page 143 of “Part II”


    Although it doesn’t show the actual summit of Chocorua this is also an interesting then and now:
    Peak house (blew off in 1915) http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...Peak_House.JPG

    Recent photo of Jim Liberty cabin puts it in nearly the same spot.


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    Belknap Mountain

    Circa 1907 summit
    http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...php?photo=4371

    This tower was built in 1915 but is still quite a bare summit.
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vze3nm2c/s...okouttower.jpg

    Now there is no view unless one climbs the newer higher fire tower.
    Last edited by carole; 07-19-2008 at 06:23 PM. Reason: I erroneously deleted my photos

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    Senior Member pocahontas's Avatar
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    Thanks carole,
    those pictures are so interesting
    I especially like the comparison of the
    Jim Liberty Cabin sight~~cool !
    Thanx for sharing !
    Tricia

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    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    "The fire warden, residing in a tiny camp on the southwest side, is the "color guard." Also a circular stand is attached to this peak. The pole and stand were recently erected. The circular stand formerly held a map which included all the country visible from Chocorua―of inestimable value to the tourist. Whether the wind or some human vandal removed this map I know not, but it is no longer there.” ...

    In the book “Our Mountain Trips” the summit pole is not mentioned in their 1903 trip, but in 1920 a picture of it is included on page 143 of “Part II”
    That would make sense since the fire lookout was built ~1911, the map was probably removed when the warden was off duty.
    http://firelookout.org/towers/nh/chocorua.htm

    Many years ago I went to a lecture at Monadnock where a former park superintendent said even that peak was growing up and had photos from the '50s to prove it. The actual summit is probably trompled enough to remain bare but the edges are filling in. Yesterday I hunted above a benchmark that was apparently cleared off last year but already the moss had grown over.

    And let's not forget that nearly every hill in southern NH was cleared for sheep grazing before the Civil War.

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    The link in Roy's post shows a flat top, as does the one in the "Our Mountain Trips" book. But the brochure from 1918 (perhaps the picture was taken before 1911) shows a pointed summit. Either they really weren't on the 'tip-top' or the summit was leveled out a bit.

    Hoping there's other pictures out there.

    I think we all know that summits often fill in through the years, thus the threads on cutting/clearing a view. But pictures of the way they were in the past are always interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    For example some research on Mt. Shaw - it seems that perhaps the Shaw summit was blasted.
    “The stone used for walls, chimneys and towers as well as for the garden walls was blasted from the mountain top.”
    http://www.lucknow.com/tomplantlucknow.html
    It is now a somewhat level carriage turnaround, but was it different in the past? Higher perhaps?
    I've wondered about that myself - it doesn't seem particularly rocky at the actual summit, but between it and Flagg is very rocky. In addition, there are some areas heading toward and beyond Black Snoot that could have been possibly blasted by the looks of it. One of these days I'd like to track down some information on the range, including the blasting, creation of carriage roads, and the observation towers.

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    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Wonderful stuff, esp. the letter from Olivia Plant, which brings the remains back to life.

    The "Tip Top" photo from Camp Belknap looks like the top of Cow Rock, perhaps then as now a macho scramble (and said to be the point from which Chief Chocorua uttered his curse at Campbell, then leapt), although a bit below the summit. I was there earlier today, but exploring Frank Bolles's cave at its east base, not its top.

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    I remember the metal stand on top of Chocorua. Was there in the sixties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amicus

    The "Tip Top" photo from Camp Belknap looks like the top of Cow Rock...
    I am not familiar with where “The Cow” is located. Is it the rock jutting out on the right of the summit in the ‘Peak House’ and my ‘Jim Liberty cabin’ shots? That seems to be quite a way down. The only picture I have of “The Cow” is from 1904 in the “Our Mountain Trips” book (Vol. 1 page 77) which from the angle taken it has a somewhat straight across cut on top whereas the ‘tip-top’ picture looks to be a pointed rock.

    Either way, the angle that the ‘tip-top’ picture is taken shows the photographer was either slightly higher than the group or level with them which wouldn’t put them on the ‘true’ summit. So I think I answered my own question that the Camp Belknap brochure ‘tip-top’ picture isn’t the summit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    I am not familiar with where “The Cow” is located. Is it the rock jutting out on the right of the summit in the ‘Peak House’ and my ‘Jim Liberty cabin’ shots? That seems to be quite a way down. The only picture I have of “The Cow” is from 1904 in the “Our Mountain Trips” book (Vol. 1 page 77) which from the angle taken it has a somewhat straight across cut on top whereas the ‘tip-top’ picture looks to be a pointed rock.

    Either way, the angle that the ‘tip-top’ picture is taken shows the photographer was either slightly higher than the group or level with them which wouldn’t put them on the ‘true’ summit. So I think I answered my own question that the Camp Belknap brochure ‘tip-top’ picture isn’t the summit.
    I'm not sure of the name of that rock offhand (I yield to Amicus), but it can be reached from the summit with some minor scrambling. There are a few plaques on/near it, signifying ashing being spread. Nice views from that area, too.

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    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    I am not familiar with where “The Cow” is located.
    Cow Rock is a jutting rock on the east side of the summit, and legend has it that Chocorua leaped from it to his defiant death, rather than surrender to Cornelius Campbell (whose family Chocorua had massacred in retaliation for the death of his son, for which he blamed them.)

    There is a picture of it on p. 25 of Steve Smith's Mount Chocorua: A Guide and History which confirms, in my mind, my ID, although it is taken from a different angle (from due W, vs. N in your vintage photo). Because it is parallel with the summit, you can get views of its top on an even plane, or looking slightly down.

    Frank Bolles spent A Night Alone on Chocorua in 1893 and his account is an inspiring classic. It is reprinted in full as the last chapter of Smith's book. He sheltered in the cave at the base of Cow Rock, which you access from the SE side.

    As rocket21 notes, there are two memorial plaques on its north face - an enduring one to a man who died in 1932, from his widow, and another for a man who died in 2007 that has already faded to bare legibility.

    It doesn't look like a cow.

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    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayjay
    I remember the metal stand on top of Chocorua. Was there in the sixties.
    The map stand was still there in the 80s, but I never saw the 60' flagpole which probably vanished with the lookout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    For example some research on Mt. Shaw - it seems that perhaps the Shaw summit was blasted.
    “The stone used for walls, chimneys and towers as well as for the garden walls was blasted from the mountain top.”
    Another interesting quote:

    "1913 - all systems go simultaneously, including the mansion, the stables, two lodges, miles of stonewalls, 30 miles of single-lane carriage ways with ditches, bridges and culverts.
    He had the top of the mountain leveled and used the rock to construct his house."
    http://lrct.org/castle-history1.html

    I wonder how much higher Shaw would be today? Over 3000' most likely.

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    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    "He had the top of the mountain leveled and used the rock to construct his house."

    I wonder how much higher Shaw would be today? Over 3000' most likely.
    It is highly unlikely that he hauled rock from Mt Shaw to build his house, that is several miles away and there is plenty of rock closer :-)

    I'll bet the "mountain" he levelled is what the Phantom Trailbuilder's map calls Lee Hill where the house was built on. That makes more sense.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr

    I'll bet the "mountain" he levelled is what the Phantom Trailbuilder's map calls Lee Hill where the house was built on. That makes more sense.
    So did "Pork Bellies"
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    Although it doesn’t show the actual summit of Chocorua this is also an interesting then and now:
    Peak house (blew off in 1915) http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photop..._Peak_House.JPG

    Recent photo of Jim Liberty cabin puts it in nearly the same spot.
    I believe that the sign on Jim Liberty actually states that it was built on the same place. I'll dig through some pics to see if I can get the exact statement.

    Edit: Found a large enough picture of the sign (http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyrt/2499794957/sizes/o/). It reads:
    "This cabin is located on the site of the peak house, a three-story hotel built by David Knowles of Silver Lake, NH in 1891 on land formerly owned by Jim Liberty, builder of the original stone foundation and the trail bearing his name. Built with material hauled to the site by horse and wagon, the peak house hotel provided food and lodging and was a popular destination for hikers and tourists. Though anchored to the rock by iron cables it was destroyed by a storm in 1915. This cabin was built in 1932, and renovated in 1974, by the WMNF. Please treat it with care."
    Last edited by hikingnclimbing; 07-21-2008 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Found photo of sign
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