East Bank: Bretton Woods To Colebrook

R. 10 § 7. East Bank: Bretton Woods to Colebrook. 59.0 m.

This section continues along the `West Side Road,’ a State Highway with light blue markers, from Twin Mountain, the radiating point for the White Mountain roads, to the Connecticut river by way of Whitefield and Lancaster. The panorama of the Presidential Range to the east is especially fine throughout. Continuing, the route follows the east bank of the Connecticut to North Stratford and Colebrook.

From Twin Mountain the route follows the blue-banded poles northward. The right fork (2.0) leads to Jefferson (R. 51). Turning left the route enters

13.7 WHITEFIELD. Alt 950 ft. Pop (twp) 1635. Coos Co. Mfg. overalls and seed potato cutters.

This village is the center of a summer life less gilt-edged but quite as happy as that of the hotel resorts a few miles to the south. Half a dozen roads radiate through the eastern ranges and the western hills to Jefferson, Twin Mountain, Maplewood, and Dalton.

The route, with its light blue markers, keeps on northward.

22.0 LANCASTER. Alt 864 ft. Pop (twp) 3190. Half Shire Town of Coos Co. Settled 1764.

Lancaster is a pleasant agricultural community at the confluence of Israel River and the upper Connecticut.

Centennial Park, in the center of the town, commemorates the town’s centennial in 1864; the bronze wolf was dedicated on the 150th anniversary in 1914. About the park are several fine old houses. At the head of Main St. is the Holten home-stead (1780), still occupied by the Holten family. The Memorial Library was given by Senator John W. Weeks of Massachusetts, a native of the town. Turning to the left from Main St. along the State Road we reach the Junction, to the right of which stands the fine old Stockwell farm. The ell of the present residence was the home of Emmons Stockwell, one of the two pioneer settlers. Nearby are the grounds of the Coos and Essex Agricultural Society, where an annual fair is held.

Just south of the town is Mt. Prospect (2059 ft). A splendid road leads to the summit, and the grade is at no point excessive. Here is located Senator Weeks’ summer home. On the summit is a stone tower erected by Senator Weeks, which is open to the public. The extended view includes the valleys of the Connecticut and Israel rivers, the Presidential Range, the Percy Peaks, and the Franconia Mountains, and the towns of Jefferson, Whitefield, and Bethlehem. On the slope of the hill is the summer home of another of the `old guard,’ Governor Samuel W. McCall of Massachusetts.

Starr King says, “In the combined charm, for walks or rides, of meadow or river,—the charm, not of wildness, but of cheerful brightness and beneficence,—Lancaster is unrivaled.”

Lancaster was settled by David Page and Emmons Stockwell in 1764. The pioneers experienced no trouble from the Indians, as they had been subdued by Rogers’ Rangers a few years before. The grant of the town, issued by Governor Wentworth, called for an annual payment of ships’ masts to England, but none were ever delivered.

28.5 NORTHUMBERLAND. Alt 826 ft. Pop (twp) 2184. Coos Co. Mfg. pulp, lumber and paper.

Across the Connecticut in Vermont is Guildhall Falls. To the west are Mt. Burnside and Cow Mountain, and to the east, Mt. Lyon, Cape Horn, and Mt. Bellamy. The principal village in the township is Groveton (27.5), situated on the valley uplands near the confluence of the Upper Ammonoosuc and the Connecticut, between Bellamy and Morse Mountains.

37.5 STRATFORD HOLLOW. Pop (twp) 844. Coos Co.

Stratford Hollow is a quiet little village surrounded by very attractive mountain scenery. The two remarkable Percy Peaks (3336 & 3149 ft) are situated in the southeast corner of the township. President Dwight said of the North Peak in 1803, “The most exact and beautiful cone which I ever beheld.” The bare parts are of light-colored granite.

Passing through the hamlet of Coos (41.0), sometimes called North Stratford Junction, the route continues to

59.0 COLEBROOK. Alt 1017 ft. Pop (twp) 1905. Half Shire Town of Coos Co. Mfg. lumber and foundry products.

Colebrook, the most important town in this section lies at the base of Mt. Monadnock and Lombard’s Hill.

The town was named in honor of Sir George Colebrook, to whom it was originally granted in 1770. A good part of the potato starch of this country was formerly made here.

The West Bank Route also enters here and so does Route 42 from North Conway and Gorham.