History of Chocura - History

History of Chocura - History

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Variant spelling for Mount Chocura, New Hampshire.

(ScGbt: t. 607; 1. 168'; b. 28'; dph. 12'; dr. 10'6"; s. 6k.;
a. 1 11" sb., 2 24-pdr. sb., 1 20-pdr.)

The first Chocura, a screw steam gunboat, was launched 6 October 1861 by Curtis and Tilden, Boston, Mass., and commissioned 16 February 1862, Commander T. H. Patterson in command.

Departing Boston 17 March 1862 Chocura was forced to put into Baltimore for repairs and did not arrive at Fort Monroe, VA., until 6 April. She was then assigned the blockade of Yorktown and patrol up the York River until 9 November 1862 when she joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for service off Wilmington, N.C. Cruising there until 15 August 1863, she captured two prizes, and assisted Maratanza in taking another.

After repairs at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Chocura sailed to New Orleans LA., arriving 30 November 1863. Here she joined the West Gulf Blockading Squadron for patrols in the Gulf of Mexico, taking six prizes and assisting in capturing two others, and cutting out and destroying a three-masted schooner late in January 1865.

After the war and repairs at Pensacola Navy Yard, Chocura resumed her cruising in the Gulf of Mexico as a part of the newly activated Gulf Squadron 17 October 1866. She arrived at New York 30 May 1867, was decommissioned there 7 June 1867, and sold 13 July 1867.


PC-1124 (q.v.) was renamed Chocura(IX-206_ 20 Febuary 1945.

Brief History of Tamworth

The history of Tamworth officially began with the granting of a charter from George the Third of England to the town in the name of Benning Wentworth in 1766. Settlers ventured slowly north into the towering forest that was broken only by the Indians’ trail along the Bearcamp and occasional grassy “intervals.” They burned and chopped the great trees, built the first homesteads, and planted the first crops.

By 1790 there were 47 heads of families in Tamworth 126 by 1800. Among them were names still familiar today: Ames, Gilman, Bryant, Mason, Berry, Roberts, Nickerson, Hayford, Durrell, Remick, Boyden and Wiggen. Parson Samuel Hidden was ordained here in 1792 and led the town for nearly fifty of its formative years. The meeting house and one-room school house were built sheep grazed the hillsides every farmer grew corn, wheat and rye grist mills flourished on the streams.

The hardy people of Tamworth, sustained, like their contemporaries, by strong religious faith, came through the smallpox epidemic of 1813 the “cold years” and famines of 1815, ’16, and ’17 the “siege of the wolves” on Great Hill in 1820 and the year 1827, when it snowed in every month.

The remnants of the Pequaket and Ossipee peoples, branches of the Abenaki, who still lived in the region, were primarily peaceful in their relations to the earliest settlers, as counseled by their great Pennacook chief Passaconaway. But the fragility of the understanding between the two cultures comes down to us in the poignant legend of Chief Chocorua.

After Chocorua’s father Paugus was killed on Lovell’s Pond, Passaconaway’s son Wonalancet led his remaining tribesmen away to the town of St. Francis on the St. Lawrence River.

The native people are remembered in local place names, some of them bestowed by the poet Lucy Larcom and others during the 1870s and ‘80s.

As soon as the first farms were established, saw mills, shingle mills, and turning mills proliferated in every part of town. Houses, churches, and schools were built close to them, forming the villages of South Tamworth, Whittier Chocorua, Wonalancet and Tamworth. Industry and inventiveness flourished. Loggers, blacksmiths, millers, shoemakers, storekeepers, furniture- and barrel-makers plied their trades. Nearly all were farmers too. The women’s prodigious skills in spinning, weaving, sewing, baking, and preserving are hard to imagine today.

In the 1850s, Tamworth’s population peaked at 1,766 souls, a level not to be reached again until the early 1980s. The coming of the railroad, which provided easier access to the more fertile land to the west, and the end of the Civil War, an experience that had given many New Hampshire soldiers a look at what lay beyond the rocky soils of their home state, contributed to the waning of the local agricultural era.

Tamworth and surrounding towns were to find their true economic future in the beauty of the spectacular mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers, fields and forests that make up the landscape. To supply the growing number of visitors with comfortable shelter and food, the farmers and their wives opened their homes to summer boarders. Carriages collected visitors at the Mt. Whittier station, and drove them with their luggage (and often servants as well) to local inns and boarding houses, where many stayed for extended periods of time, enjoying walking trails, scenic vistas, and homegrown country food.

Entertainment abounded. On July 4th, 1882, the Willow Inn in Tamworth Village had about 100 guests. Its guest book for the period includes glass blowers, comic vocalists, minstrel shows, a ventriloquist, a cornet band, a “Grand Opera,” and even Christine Nilsson, the great Swedish singer – with the majority of the performances occurring at the Town House. There were horse races on the Depot Road, visiting baseball teams, and a traveling circus, whose elephants refused to cross the Swift River Bridge and, instead, had to be led through the water!

As knowledge of the beauty of the area spread, the influx of visitors gradually encompassed not only the summer season, but also autumn for its incomparably vivid foliage, and winter for the sports activities – skiing, skating, snowshoeing, and, eventually, snowmobiling. Inns, cabins, and hotels sprang up, and the purchase of second homes was widespread.

Many of the newcomers, some quite well-known outside Tamworth, originally came as tourists to enjoy the scenic beauty and outdoor activities and later chose to stay on as second home owners or permanent residents. Of these, perhaps the most famous was President Grover Cleveland, whose son Francis Cleveland founded The Barnstormers Theatre with his wife Alice in 1931. It is today the oldest professional summer theater in the country.

As the town grew, countless townspeople left their mark on the quality of life in Tamworth. Added to the oldest family names were new ones like Brett, Currier, Evans, Vittum and Welch Later still, Bolles and Bowditch, James and Runnells, Finley, Read, Steele, Bowles, Cannon, Harkness, McGrew, and many, many others, some of which we find on the roads and buildings, trails and parks we all encounter every day. In fact, quite a few present day Tamworth residents proudly carry the names of their ancestors who have called Tamworth home throughout its history.

Perhaps the person most influential in Tamworth history was Parson Samuel Hidden. He came to Tamworth freshly graduated from Dartmouth College in 1792. He was ordained at Ordination Rock and became the first settled minister in town. His interests were broad and, besides spiritual leadership, he brought cultural benefits to this small town. He taught music and started a choir, supervised existing schools and opened new ones, and started the Tamworth Social Library (the fourth in the entire state).

With this cultural start in the 1700s, it is no surprise that Tamworth is still known today for its artistic, literary and religious organizations. The town currently boasts two public libraries, an art gallery, the Arts Council of Tamworth, the Tamworth Historical Society, the Tamworth Foundation, The Barnstormers, six churches, and many resident authors, poets and artists.

Today’s Tamworth citizens, like their predecessors, pursue an astonishing variety of occupations and livelihoods, from the small-scale farming and logging familiar to earlier residents, to all manner of service and construction industries, educational endeavors, and long-distance electronic businesses. Yankee inventiveness thrives, and the mix of year-round and part-time residents with many talents and interests provides a vitality unusual in a town of this size.

Written by Jean Ulitz and Amy Berrier, with grateful acknowledgement to Marjory Gane Harkness and the wealth of historical information included in her book, The Tamworth Narrative.

History of Chocura - History

Historical evidence does not back up the legend of Chief Chocorua, or that the mountain was named for a person.

Why Is the Summit of Mount Chocorua Bare?

Mount Chocorua’s bare, rocky summit is attributed to a succession of forest fires from the early 19th to early 20th centuries. You can read this history here.

Where Did the Trails Up Mount Chocorua Come From?

One trail is said to have been used by Native Americans before the English arrived on these shores. Some trails began as a road or bridle path, others were created expressly as hiking trails. You can read the history of Mount Chocorua’s trails here.

How Did Chocorua Get Its Name?

Local legend, created by white colonists and their descendants, has it that Mount Chocorua was named for a Native American Chief Chocorua. While the Legend of Chief Chocorua has been written and depicted in many forms, historical evidence does not support the legend or the notion that the mountain is named for any person. Historian Mary Ellen Lepionka has written extensively about this, using historical evidence to debunk the myth, and etymology to speculate about where Chocorua may have gotten its name. You can read her essay online here or download a PDF here.


The railway was built by Sylvester Marsh [3] who grew up in Campton. Marsh came up with the idea while climbing the mountain in 1852. [4] His plan was treated as insane. Local tradition says that the state legislature voted permission based on a consensus that harm resulting from operating it was no issue – since the design was attempting the impossible – but benefits were guaranteed. He was putting up $5,000 of his own money, and that, plus whatever else he could raise, would be spent locally, including building the Fabyan House hotel at nearby Fabyan Station to accommodate the expected tourists. The railway is sometimes called "Railway to the Moon", because one state legislator remarked during the proceedings that Marsh should be given a charter, not merely up Mount Washington, but also to the Moon.

Marsh obtained a charter for the road on June 25, 1858, but the American Civil War prevented any action until 1866. [4] He developed a prototype locomotive and a short demonstration section of track, then found investors, forming the Mount Washington Railway Company in the spring of 1866, and started construction. [5] The route closely followed a mountain trail that had been established earlier in the century by Ethan Allen Crawford. [6]

Despite the railroad's incomplete state, the first paying customers started riding on August 14, 1868, and the construction reached the summit in July 1869. [4] The early locomotives - represented today by the restored display locomotive, #1 Old Peppersass [7] – all had vertical boilers, like many stationary steam engines of the time the boilers were mounted to the locomotives' frames with twin trunnions, allowing them to pivot as the locomotive and coach climbed the grade, permitting gravity to always keep the boiler vertically oriented, no matter what the gradient of the track. Later designs introduced horizontal boilers, slanted so that they remain close to horizontal on the steeply graded track.

In August 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant visited New England to escape the heat of summer in Washington, D.C. During his tour he rode the cog railway to the top of Mount Washington. [8]

Running the railway Edit

Sylvester Marsh died in 1884 and control of the Cog passed to the Concord & Montreal Railroad, which ran it until 1889 when the Boston & Maine Railroad took over. [9] [10] From 1868 to 1910, the locomotives were fired with wood. In 1910, the railway converted to using coal for all its locomotives. [11]

Control by the Teagues began in 1931 when Col. Henry N. Teague bought the Cog. He died in 1951, and Arthur S. Teague became general manager, then gained ownership in 1961. (Arthur Teague was the colonel's protégé, but no relation.) After he died in 1967, the ownership passed to his wife, Ellen Crawford Teague, who ran the Cog as the world's first woman president of a railway. In 1983, Mrs. Teague sold the railway to a group of New Hampshire businessmen. From 1986 to 2017, the Cog Railway was controlled and owned by Wayne Presby and Joel Bedor of Littleton, New Hampshire. The Bedor and Presby families also owned the Mount Washington Hotel and Resort in Bretton Woods for the period 1991–2006. In 1995, the railway appointed Charles Kenison the General Manager. These individuals were responsible for a complete revitalization of the railroad, with the assistance of Al LaPrade, a mechanical engineer whose career began at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. [1] [9] [12] The Cog has been in continuous operation since 1869, with service interruptions only during the World Wars.

In the summer of 2008, the Cog introduced its first diesel locomotive. The Great Recession and the 2000s energy crisis led to fewer passengers, and the Cog sought to cut costs with the diesel, which could make three round trips for the cost of one steam train round trip. [13]

In December 2016, the owner of the Cog proposed building a 35-room hotel along the line, about a mile below the summit and two miles above the station, to be opened in 2019 for the 150th anniversary of the train. [14] However, the proposal drew opposition due to its location in the alpine zone of the mountain and was shelved. [15]

In April 2017 the Bedor family sold its interest in the railway to Wayne Presby, the only remaining member of the original group which had purchased the railway in 1983. Presby assumed direct management control of the railway in December 2017 and has embarked on improvement projects including re-railing of the entire line. [ citation needed ]

History of Chocura - History

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Chocorua, New Hampshire

Chocorua is an unincorporated community within the town of Tamworth in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. It is located in the general area where Routes 16 and 113 meet, south of Mount Chocorua and Chocorua Lake.

Mount Chocorua is commonly known in the area as the "Matterhorn" of the White Mountains due to its triangular summit. Chocorua Lake, along NH 16 at the southern base of the mountain, is a common stopping place for photos of the mountain landscape.

    , sculptor, Abraham Lincoln photography historian (summer resident) , Army surgeon general , philosopher and US founder of experimental psychology died in Chocorua [2] , New Hampshire's first Poet Laureate lived in Chocorua [3] , the first wife of Ernest Hemingway. [3] , former President of the World Peace Foundation (vacation resident) [citation needed]
  1. ^"Chocorua". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^"William James", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  3. ^ ab Hemingway, Jack. Misadventures of a Fly Fisherman, pp. 269-70

This New Hampshire state location article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

The area was once a major Abenaki Indigenous peoples of the Americas village known as Pequawket, meaning "crooked place," a reference to the large bend in the Saco River. It was inhabited by the Sokokis tribe, whose territory along the stream extended from what is now Saco on the coast, to Conway, New Hampshire in the White Mountains. In 1706, Chief Nescambious would be the only Native knighted by the French. [5] For a while the tribe was not hostile to English settlements, even hiring British carpenters to build at Pequawket a 14-foot (4.3 m) high palisade fort as protection against their traditional enemy, the Mohawks. In 1713, Sokokis sachems signed the Treaty of Portsmouth to ensure peace with English colonists. Eventually, relations with the English soured. During Father Rale's War, Pequawket was attacked in the Battle at Pequawket on May 8, 1725, by John Lovewell and his militia. [6] Lovewell was killed, as were Chief Paugus and others. The tribe subsequently abandoned the village and moved to Canada. [7]

The township was granted on March 3, 1762, by the Massachusetts General Court to Colonel Joseph Frye of Andover, Massachusetts. Colonists called it Pigwacket, a corruption of its former name. The first permanent settlement was in 1763 by Nathaniel Smith and his family from Concord, New Hampshire, though it is said that John Stevens, Nathaniel Merrill and a slave named Limbo spent the winter of 1762 here. Many pioneers were veterans of the French and Native Wars. When a portion of the grant was discovered to lie in New Hampshire, replacement land was granted as Fryeburg Addition in what is now part of Stow. On the eve of American independence, the Province of Massachusetts Bay granted township privileges to Fryeburg. These were recognized and validated by the Continental Massachusetts government on January 11, 1777, when Fryeburg was incorporated. [8]

It began as a strategic frontier outpost, and the earliest town in the White Mountain region. Excellent soil helped Fryeburg develop into a prosperous agricultural center, and the first gristmill was established using Saco River water power in 1766. Other mills and factories produced lumber, leather, harness, tinware, cheese and canned vegetables. After the Civil War, the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad passed through town, bringing tourists escaping the heat and pollution of cities. Inns, hotels and boarding houses were built. Tourists began arriving by automobile after designation of the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway in 1919 (identified as United States Route 302 since 1935). [9] Fryeburg is today a year-round resort area. It is also an academic town. Fryeburg Academy, a private preparatory school, was founded in 1792. Before his career as a statesman, Daniel Webster taught for a year at the school, one of the oldest of its type in the nation. [10] In 1924, Dr. Abraham Krasker founded Indian Acres Camp For Boys. Two years later, Dr. Krasker's wife Gertrude founded Forest Acres Camp For Girls. In 1997, the International Musical Arts Institute was founded at Fryeburg.

                                  Tamworth                           Cook Memorial Library

          The Cook Library collections include 
     manuscripts, diaries, photographs and maps
      pertaining to Tamworth and Chocorua, as
   well as records of the Chocorua Mountain Club.

    One of the outstanding records of Tamworth 
     history are the fifteen volumes known as the
    Damon Scrapbooks.  They contain over 1,000
        photographs and letters pertaining to
              people and events in the region.

History of the Kancamagus Highway in NH

The Kancamagus Highway region is rich in history that dates back to the Indian Tribes of the 1600’s. Along the Kancamagus Highway you will find informational postings about the area you are visiting, many times they will offer some history about the area you are in as well.

The mountains surrounding the Kancamagus Highway (and the Kanc itself) are named after some of the earliest and most notorious residents along the Kanc, like:


Kancamagus “The Fearless One” was the grandson of Passaconaway.


Passaconaway “Child of the Bear” was Kancamagus’s grandfather. Passaconaway passed along his offers of peace to other tribes and united over 17 Indian tribes within central New England in 1627. This unification formed the later known Penacook Confederacy. Passaconaway ruled the Penacook Confederacy until he passed away in 1669. He turned over the Sagamon of the Confederacy to his son “Wonalancet.”


Wonalancet ruled the Confederacy until 1684 when Kancamagus became the 3rd and final Sagamon of the Penacook Confederacy.

Kancamagus tried to keep his grandfather’s dreams of peace for the confederacy but around 1690, the white Englishmen brought war and violence to the region. Kancamagus led the Penacook Confederacy and left the area heading North to the now Canadian border region of New Hampshire.


Paugus “The Oak,” was chief of the Pequawket Tribe along the Saco river in Conway, NH. Mt. Paugus can been seen in the South of the Kancamagus Highway, West of Mt. Chocorua.


Some common towns and mountains are named after native American Indians:

The town of Conway NH gets its name from Passaconaway.
The town of Penacook NH gets its name from the Penacook Indians.
Ossipee NH gets its name from the Ossipee Tribe.
Mt. Chocorua in New Hampshire gets its name from Chocorua.
And of course the Kancamagus Highway gets its name from Kancamagus, the grandson of Passaconaway.

Many towns and mountains in New Hampshire are named after famous Indians and Indian tribes.

The Russell Colbath House

The Russell Colbath House was built in the early 1830’s. For over 100 years, these early settlers used the land for farming and logging. They also took in boarders in the Summer months. The logging industry peaked around the year 1900 here.

The Russell Colbath House is now used by the US Forest Service and offered as an historic site for public viewing and an information center. The house is open in late Spring through the Fall foliage season daily.

The Kancamagus Highway today…

The Kancamagus Highway started as two small town roads. One in Lincoln, NH and the other in Passaconaway. The road to Passaconaway was completed in the year 1837. 100 years later in 1937, these two town roads were extended in both directions, East and West from Passaconaway and from Lincoln NH and were connected. The Kancamagus Highway opened 22 years later to through traffic in 1959. The Kancamagus became so popular, and was somewhat dangerous as a dirt road, so it was recommended it be paved. The paving of the highway was approved and was paved in 1964. Even though it was paved, the Kanc was closed in the winter months until 1968 when it was plowed for the first time.

The Kancamagus celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009 with a few special events.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Memento Mori Curatio

We spent this past weekend at a friend's place on Peaks Island and received a special "behind the scenes" tour of the Fifth Maine Museum. For more info on the museum see this link here.

It is not your typical Civil War museum.

One of the many highlights of the visit was meeting historian C. Ian Stevenson, who has found this site to be an important part of his soon to be published book, "This Summer-Home of the Survivors": The Civil War Vacation in Architecture and Landscape, 1878-1918. It explores communal vacation cottages and campgrounds constructed by Civil War veterans as places to merge memory and leisure among their comrades and families.

As you can see from the photo above, the building is surrounded by ten foot wide wrap around veranda. The view from the back is not too shabby with its.

. view of the dramatic cliffs and caves of Whitehead on the eastern end of Cushing Island.

Inside the building portraits, prints, sculptures, maps, artifacts and stained glass windows honor the fallen and the memories of their brothers in arms.

Built in 1888, it was used by the local chapter of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic), a nation wide fraternal organization composed of Civil War veterans.

This "sacred-secular" architecture of grief and relief made me think a lot about the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The GAR and their women's auxiliary are the ones who helped make Memorial Day a national holiday. Holidays can be an important part of healing. The building served (and still serves) as a tonic. For many years Civil War veterans and their families summered here, enjoying the cooling ocean breezes and magnificent views.

The building still serves as a cultural center and community meeting space and can be rented for weddings, etc. The museum continues its focus on the "summer cure." The power of story to heal and create community is explored in this summer's special exhibition “Weathering the Storm: Five Centuries of Resilience on Peaks Island” slated to open on July 7, 2021. Curator, Holly Hurd-Forsyth's exhibit starts at the point of European contact with the indigenous Wabanaki people in the early 1600s and explores a defining hardship for each of the next five centuries, asking the question “Is resilience and community more meaningful here on Peaks Island, where outside assistance is not always accessible?”

Back in Conway, an important treasure of the Conway Public Library is this flag from our own local GAR post (Custer Post #47).

We also have the post register.

. recording the name, age, birthplace, residence, occupation, and military record of the post members from 1879 to 1924 when the last member passed.

The Conway Historical Society also has an important collection of Civil War related items including this wonderful plaque.

Flags and banners were a part of dealing with the uncertainty of the Civil War beginning as early as 1861, when Frederic Edwin Church used this image to meditate on the idea of a higher meaning, to understand the reasons, and to lift the spirits in the midst of the ongoing carnage.

One of several versions he did to explore the theme, this one is an oil on paper and more can be found out about it here. Note the light of the camp fire on the distant shore (more on camp fires later).

The dark cloud on the left looks to me like an eagle in the sky. This photo is from this site here. There is a good explanation of the science behind these crepuscular rays here.

You might want to consider becoming a member of the cloud appreciation society here.

An aesthetic appreciation of art, architecture, landscape and clouds can be a useful part of dealing with grief and trauma. New England artists offered a variety of perspectives in their commentary on the Civil War and its aftermath.

In a number of cases, artists used New England's bucolic farming traditions as a symbolic way to comment on life after war such as Homer's "Harrowing" experience here,

harvesting in a New Field here, and .

. hiking and mountain climbing here.

Storytelling was part of the therapeutic activities of the GAR.

Have we wet your appetite to do your own research into your family's military history? We would be happy to help you.

The Conway Public Library's Henney History Room provides free assistance with saving, searching and sharing your family history. First there is the physical care of your heirloom objects themselves. Did you know that the ferrotype photo above must be stored differently than an ambrotype photo? Do you know how to tell the difference? (Hint: The answer involves a magnet and a piece of black velvet). Do you know how to tell the difference between a good plastic or paper enclosure and a bad one? We can help you with that.

We can also help you search our powerful ancestry library edition database, available from within the library building at this link here.

This photo above of my great-grandfather, Stephen Cottrell, can be found on the library's ancestry database along with his signature on this volunteer enlistment document for the Civil War.

He joined the war on February 1, 1862 at 23 years old. For many years our family story was that he died at Lookout Point at the corners of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. It was a highlight to stop there when we visited Civil War sites on frequent trips from our home in Florida to visit our grandmother in Ohio.

Later when we read his letters more carefully and did some research we realized he actually died at Point Lookout Maryland.

The document below from the library's ancestry database confirms he was a member of the sixth regiment infantry and died March 4, 1864 at Point Lookout Maryland of an unspecified disease.

That document helps clarify the obscured regiment number on his gravestone (findagrave has his last name spelled wrong here).

Note the GAR grave marker on my great grandfather's tombstone. After a few hours climbing up and down the family tree I found my father's draft registration card posted on ancestry.

Starting with this document we can add personalized historical tidbits such as who Mrs. Walter Johnson was (his sister, our Aunt Katherine who lived in the house at 155 and 1/2 in the back), photos of his house from Google maps and street view here, the fact that both houses were built by his dad and older brother who were carpenters and stories of some of the adventures he told us about in and around Tampa Bay such as sailing his little boat in a hurricane and being greeted by the police when he beached it. They say history has a way of repeating itself and yes, the same thing happened to me years later.

The Conway Public Library has created a guide to visiting local veteran memorials. You can check it out here.

Watch the video: Chocorua


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