White Mountains Remembered

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White Mountains Remembered


J.P. Boudreau


June 23, 2013


Passing Through: The Allure of the White Mountains

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My Great Great Great Grandfather Asa Taylor Barron, was born in Bedford, New Hampshire in of December 1814. He went to sea out of New Bedford , Massachusetts as a cabin boy at 14. The voyage on the Sarah Anne lasted four years, and the boy came home a man. He went to his father Abel Barron's place up in Quechee, Hartford, Vermont, and went about building his business. When the old man died in 1851, Asa and his younger brother Oscar F. Barron took over ownership of the Junction House Hotel, in White River Junction, VT. By the time the Civil War ended the brothers Barron were looking to expand their holdings, and soon looked to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They bought the Neal farm in Twin Mountain in 1867, and the following year they built the Twin Mountain House. Within ten years they would come to own , the Crawford House, Fabyan House, Summit House, and Mt. Pleasant House, all within the town of Bretton Woods, N.H. Asa T. Barron and his brother formed the A.T. & O.F. Barron Hotel Co. in 1868, and it remained so until the death of Oscar F. Barron at Crawford House in 1879. When Asa died in 1887, he was the king of hoteliers in the Whites, and had hotels stretched from Vancouver B.C.to Palatka, Florida. His sons, Oscar G. Barron, William A. Barron, and Harold B. Barron would continue in his stead for another sixty plus years. The firm became known as Barron, Merrill & Barron after Asa's death, with his sons Oscar G.Barron age 37, William A. Barron age 19, and Cordeanio Harley Merrill, Asa's partner, as principal owners. After C.H. Merrill died in 1908 at 68, the name was changed to The Barron Hotel Co, and so it remained. Oscar G. Barron, Asa's son, died at 63 in Littleton NH in 1913, leaving the business in the hands of his younger brother Colonel William A. Barron Sr. Col. Barron would go on to manage the hotels for another 35 years, before selling the Twin Mountain House and Crawford House for cash in 1948. Col. Barron lived to be 96, and died upon hearing of the death of his son, Brigadier General William Andros Barron Jr., at 71. The father and the son were buried across from each other on the same day, in the Oak Grove Cemetery, in Newburyport Massachusetts. None of their hotels remain, as Crawford House was torched in 1977, Fabyan House met the same fate in 1951, The Summit House on Mt Washigton burned in 1908. The Mt. Pleasant House was torn down in 1938, and the Twin Mountain House in 1960. I was fortunate enough to have met Raymond Willard Evans (1909-2001) who worked at Crawford House in the 30's and lived in the Section House along side the Main Central tracks, on Mt. Willard. He was a great person, with a great photographic eye. The collection of photographs, which he left behind, are a true "American Treasure" and I hope you search them out, as they are viewable on-line.



J.P. Boudreau, “White Mountains Remembered,” The Cairn, accessed October 10, 2015, http://www.plymouth.edu/the-cairn/items/show/54.