September 14, 1855, Lizzie Bourne

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  • September 14, 1855, Lizzie Bourne

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September 14, 1855, Lizzie Bourne


This image of the Lizzie Bourne monument was taken for the MWM by Lauren Plummer. The contemporary image was put into historical context by MWM scholar, Dr. Marcia Schmidt Blaine, using John H. Spaulding's 1858 Historical Relics of 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.

Lizzie Bourne Monument:

“Down on the Glen path, forty rods from the top of Mount Washington, stands a little monument of stone. There, on the morning of September 14, 1855, the body of Lizzie Bourne… of Kennebunk, Me., was found. About two o’clock the day before, she had started from the Glen House, accompanied by her uncle, George W. Bourne, and his daughter, to walk to the top of Mount Washington…drenched by the wildly flying mists, and having lost her bonnet, poor Lizzie sat down and complained of being sleepy…. She fell down in the path where the mound now stands… and breathed her last.”


Photograph by Lauren Plummer; Excerpt by J. H. Spaulding


Spaulding, John H. Historical Relics of the White Mountains: Also, a Concise White Mountain Guide. Mt. Washington: J.R. Hitchcock, [1858].


Photograph taken 2013; Guidebook published 1858


Passing Through: The Allure of the White Mountains


Visit the spot where Lauren took this image: 44 6' 22" N 7 11' 50" W



Photograph by Lauren Plummer; Excerpt by J. H. Spaulding, “September 14, 1855, Lizzie Bourne,” The Cairn, accessed October 9, 2015,