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Area History


Located in the northeast corner of the United States, Mount Washington has always been a place of wonder. Agiocochook or "Home of the Great Spirit," as it was called by native peoples for generations before the first settlers men arrived, is the tallest mountain in the Northeast. It was their belief that the "Great Spirit" was located there. In 1642, during the first waves of European expansion into the colonies, a man by the name of Darby Field became the first white man to scale up Agiocochook. It's been said that Field's two Indian guides refused to climb and claimed the Great Spirit was there. Darby continued on and got himself placed in the history books.

Things remained quiet for the rest of the 17th and most of the 18th century. In 1819, just as America was becoming its own unique nation, Ethan Crawford and his Father Abel, built the first trail to the Summit of Mount Washington. Soon the popularity of the mountain grew and so did the town. By the early 1850's, Mount Washington had become one of America's first tourist attractions. In 1852, the first hotel was built on the summit to accommodate for the vast influx of people coming to the area. The next year the Tip Top House was built, and still stands today.

Two very important attractions were opened in the 1860's. The first was the stage coach road, now known as the Mount Washington Auto Road. The Auto Road is a toll road that goes over Mount Washington alowing its visitors a unique birds eye view. Seven years later, in 1868, The first log railway was built to summit, an idea thought of as "insane" only a few years earlier. Both of these engineering marvels are still in use today.

A series of devastating fires around the turn of the century wiped out most of the buildings atop of Mount Washington. The only to survive is the Tip Top House, which is said to be the oldest mountain top holstery around. It's an amazing fact considering Mount Washington is known for its extremely erratic weather (due to it being located at a meeting point of storm fronts).

The years went on and Mount Washington has stood the test of time remaining one of New Hampshire's greatest tourist attractions, and it doesn't look like new Hampshire's "City in the Clouds" will be leaving us anytime soon.