The Tourists Continue to Arrive

March 3rd, 2010 by Lauren
Observatory on Carter Dome, September 1900 Guy L. Shorey Collection, Mount Washington Observatory

Observatory on Carter Dome, September 1900 Guy L. Shorey Collection, Mount Washington Observatory

As the loggers moved deeper into the White Mountains, tourists continued to arrive. Some tourists stayed in the increasingly grand hotels, such as the Mountain View House, but many stayed in farm houses that were turned into small boarding houses such as the Mountain Park House or the Philbrook Farm Inn. After being “whirled along in the smoky rattle and roar of the railway journey,” as AMC member and Framingham, Massachusetts resident Isabella Stone wrote to a friend in 1882, some tourists stayed near their hotels, venturing out only to take part in nearby hotel activities, but the more intrepid hikers went much farther afield. They took part in hikes to find grand views and in trail-building activities associated with the AMC.
Not all welcomed the new type of tourist: a reader in the Boston Traveller wrote:
“We are disgusted with the arrogant claims of educated tramps and ‘culchowed’ [cultured] pedestrians who have set up a sole-leather aristocracy, insisting that nobody can ‘do’ the mountains except under the aegis of the Appalachian Club, or on foot, alone with scribe and staff, wallet, hammer, and impaling needles.”
There was tension even among tourists. Surprisingly, even as tourists complained about fires, they also hoped to keep the mountain tops clear so that they could enjoy the views, even if that meant cutting or burning trees. Isabella Stone wrote to a friend from New York who was traveling to the mountains: “the view from the summit is indeed beautiful and one must regret its already evident obstruction from the rising tops of a forest of young growth.” In 1881, AMC member Marian Pychowska wrote to a friend that the top of Mount Kineo “has not been done as thoroughly as I hope it will be one day (not [yet] by fire).”

Mount Crescent House Guy L. Shorey Collection, Mount Washington Observatory

Mount Crescent House Guy L. Shorey Collection, Mount Washington Observatory

Philbrook Farm Inn Guy L. Shorey Collection, Mount Washington Observatory

Philbrook Farm Inn Guy L. Shorey Collection, Mount Washington Observatory

Appalachian Mountain Club excursion party on the Franconia Branch, 1910 Photographs, Special Collections, New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, NH

Appalachian Mountain Club excursion party on the Franconia Branch, 1910 Photographs, Special Collections, New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, NH