Arethusa Falls-- not forgotten

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Arethusa Falls-- not forgotten


This image of Arethusa Falls was taken for the MWM by Lauren Plummer. The contemporary image was put into historical context by MWM scholar, Dr. Marcia Schmidt Blaine, using Moses Sweetser's 1876 The White Mountains.

Nineteenth-century guidebooks provided quite different information from today’s tourist information. Seldom did the books provided directions to a site since it was expected that tourists would hire guides. The earliest ones included literary references for each site; all nineteenth-century guidebooks presented long, vivid descriptions, even as author John Spaulding noted that “words cannot describe faithfully the magnificent scenery” of the White Mountains.

Arethusa Falls:

“The Arethusa Falls were discovered by Prof. Tuckerman, many years ago, but they have not been visited by a dozen people since, and are wellnigh forgotten. They were visited and measured by the Editor and Prof. Huntington, in September, 1875, and then (being nameless) received the provisional name of the Arethusa Falls.”


Photograph by Lauren Plummer; Excerpt by Moses F. Sweetser


[Sweetser, M.F., editor.] The White Mountains: A Handbook for Travellers. 11th edition. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1891.[Originally published by James R. Osgood & Co, 1876].


Photograph taken July 2013; Guidebook published 1876


Passing Through: The Allure of the White Mountains


Visit the spot where Lauren took this photograph: 44°08′53″N 71°23′07″W



Photograph by Lauren Plummer; Excerpt by Moses F. Sweetser, “Arethusa Falls-- not forgotten,” The Cairn, accessed November 27, 2015,