Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is beaver pond #3 in the Zealand Valley chain of ponds and dams

This is the large pond created by the dam in the photo below. When I was 10 years old there was a large field here, big enough so that you could play softball there. There was a huge white birch at the edge of the field and we found 'artifacts', like railroad spikes and broken glass, evidence there had been a logging camp on this site. I also heard from Fran Belcher who wrote a book about the logging railroads of the White Mountains that there had been a switching yard for the Zealand Valley logging railroad here, on this site. Trains switched here to take the lower of the two railroads that cut down through Zealand Notch, the upper track bed cut across Whitewall Mountain partway up the talus slope and the other track ran down along Whitewall Brook 100 feet lower. It's extraordinary when you look at the pictures in Fran 's book that almost every tree was stripped off the mountain slopes right up to the mountains' summits. In some of the photos there are massive logs two feet in diameter and you could only imagine what the forests looked like before the logging and all of that destruction.

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