Saturday, February 17, 2007

Notice of the Profile Mountain, 1827

from the American Journal of Sciences and Arts, July 1828, p. 64.

Notice of the Profile Mountain in New Hampshire;

by Gen. Martin Field.


New Fane, Vt. Nov. 22, 1827

Dear Sir—On a late excursion, which I made among the White Mountains in New Hampshire, I visited Franconia and the Profile Mountain, which has long been considered a rare phenomenon. I there procured a sketch of the mountain, which I enclose to you, and if it meets your approbation, would you please to insert it in the Journal of Science, &c.*

I am sir, very respectfully, your &c.


The White Mountain range passes through the easterly part of Franconia, and presents numerous elevations and sublime mountain scenery. But the greatest elevation, in that vicinity, is Mount La Fayette, which forms the northern boundary of the Notch, so called, and is supposed to exceed four thousand feet, in height. The Profile Mountain is night the road leading from Franconia to Plymouth—is five miles from the lower iron works, in Franconia, and about three miles south of Mount La Fayette. The elevation of this mountain, I understand, as never been accurately ascertained, but is generally estimated to be, at least, one thousand feet. The road passes very night the foot of the mountain, from which it rises abruptly, at an angle of about 80° to the profile rock. The bare rock, on which the profile is delineated, is granite, and have been long exposed to the atmosphere, its color is a dark reddish brown. A side view of the projecting rock, near the peak of the mountain, in a northern direction, exhibits the profile of a human face, in which every line and feature are conspicuous. But after passing the mountain to the south, the likeness is immediately lost.

* A sketch of the mountain, profile, &c, was taken by a gentleman of Boston, and the likeness is a good one. The mountain scenery is filled up from fancy. The mountain is covered with trees and shrubbery, except the profile rock. The timber is a mix of beach, birch, rock maple, bass wood, &c. with hemlock, spruce, and other evergreens.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Welcome to the High Hills

Welcome to the High Hills of Ossapy, a blog tribute to the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. I'm originally from far "south of the notch," as they say up in the No'th Country, and far west as well, but three generations of my family have made northern New Hampshire our other home. My grandparents, together with my mother and uncle, were the crew at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Zealand Falls hut during the WWII years. My mother later worked at Pinkham Notch. My grandfather was the author of the AMC Field Guide to Mountain Flowers of New England, and my grandmother was "Cal" Harris, who was an active hiker and naturalist well into her 80s. They met on Mt. Washington. I have been fortunate, over the years, to acquire a substantial legacy of love, lore and memorabilia relating to the region. I currently work as a university instructor and historian of the libertarian tradition in American. With this project, I hope to turn some of my skill and pleasure in digging up bits of forgotten history to the project of White Mountain history.