Drawn to the White Mountains

April 3rd, 2013 by Lindsay


Ever since the first explorers saw the distant northern mountain peaks as they sailed off the coast of New England, people have been drawn to the White Mountains. In the nineteenth century, increasing numbers of people escaped urban noise and crowds to explore the sublime beauty of the mountains. There they found a microcosm of the United States, tamed and welcoming locations surrounded by raw and often terrifying wilderness. First seen as a mecca for the elite, changes in travel and accommodations after 1850 opened the White Mountains to the average tourist.  Americans’ perceptions of time and space changed and their perceptions of the mountains changed with them.

Philip Carrigain (1772-1842) devoted his working life to developing an accurate map of New Hampshire.  Printed in Philadelphia, the map was engraved on six overlapping plates.  The six separate pieces were later assembled in Concord to create a single map.  (The reproduction Carrigain map on display at the Museum of the White Mountains was also printed in six separate pieces.)