Mount Washington (New Hampshire)

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"Mount Washington" by Albert Bierstadt; oil painting; 1862

Mount Washington is the tallest mountain in New Hampshire. It is also the tallest in the northeastern United States. It is 6,288 feet (1,917 m) tall. The mountain is known for cold and stormy weather. Some people think it has the "worst weather in the world".[1] The highest wind speed ever measured on earth, 231 miles per hour, was recorded there.[1]

History[change | change source]

The Native American name for the mountain was Agiocochook (or Agiochook). It was thought to be the home of the Great Spirit.[2] As early as 1628 it appears in print as "Christall hill" (Crystal Hill). In July 1874 it was given its current name, Mt. Washington, after George Washington.[2] A road to the summit was completed in 1859. It allowed horses and carriages to travel to the top.[3] The road is still there today.

F.O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, drove the first automobile to the top of Mount Washington.

On 31 August 1899, Freelan O. Stanley and his wife drove a Stanley Steamer motor car to the top of Mt. Washington.[4] Not counting stops to add water, the car took two hours and ten minutes to reach the top.[4]

The cog railroad[change | change source]

In 1869 a cog railroad was built to carry tourists to the top of the mountain.[a][6] It carried so many passengers at a time a new hotel had to be built in 1873.[6] Sylvester Marsh designed this system and in 1866 he raised funds to build the first cog railroad; it was to the top of Mt. Washington.[5] He was called "Crazy Marsh" because a railroad going up a mountain was thought to be impossible.[7] But Marsh wasn't crazy. He took out patents on his design.[8] Customers paid to ride to the top even before it was finished. They called the ride "Jacob’s Ladder".[7] It is still in operation today climbing the mountain at 2.8 miles per hour.[7]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. A cog or rack railroad is designed to go up steep grades. A toothed cog or gear pulls the engine up the grade. Cog railroads are used to climb mountains.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Mount Washington: About its Weather" (PDF). Division of Parks and Recreation, New Hampshire. ND. Retrieved 17 August 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bruce D. Heald, The Mount Washington Cog Railway: Climbing the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2011), pp. 14–16
  3. Bruce D. Heald, The Mount Washington Cog Railway: Climbing the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2011), p. 23
  4. 4.0 4.1 Christopher Jensen (17 June 2011). "Taming a Mountain Road With Horses and Cars". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Roman Abt, 'Mountain and Rack Railways', Cassier's Magazine, Volume 37 (November 1909–April 1910), p. 525
  6. 6.0 6.1 J. R. Tate, Walkin' with the Ghost Whisperers (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2011), p. 328
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Carl Leonard (29 August 2013). "SYLVESTER "CRAZY" MARSH'S MOUNT WASHINGTON COG RAILWAY OPENED TODAY IN 1869..." Now we know em. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  8. Bruce D. Heald, The Mount Washington Cog Railway: Climbing the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2011), p. 35

Other websites[change | change source]