2018-07-12 / Community News

Learn about Mt. Washington at library

Ed Webster will be at McArthur Library in Biddeford at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12 to talk about New England’s highest peak, Mt. Washington.

Known as Agiocochook, “Place of the Storm Spirit” by the native Abenaki, three major weather systems frequently collide on its summit. In 1934 a 231 mph wind was clocked before the meter blew away. Add severe storms plus more than 140 deaths and Mt. Washington does indeed have some of the world’s worst weather.

Local guidebook author Ed Webster’s newest lecture canvasses the peak. After Darby Field made the mountain’s first ascent in 1642, the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, after summiting in 1784, bestowed its presidential name in the 1790s. Mt. Washington also boasts America’s earliest hiking trail, built in 1819 by Abel Crawford and his son Ethan Allen. Eventually driven up by horse-drawn carriages then automobiles, and ascended by the world’s first steam-powered Cog Railway, few people know the mountain’s original name. Or that a newspaper, “Among the Clouds,” was printed daily on the summit from 1877 to 1908.

Webster will show a collection early art, 1860s to 1890s Stereo Photographs, plus pictures of 1930s Huntington Ravine rock climbs and 1950s pioneer ski runs in Tuckerman’s Ravine.

Events at the library are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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